‘Tamworth Birdman’ takes over as Deputy funeral Manager

Thursday, 3rd December 2015

ONE of the last remaining independent co-operatives in the country has appointed a new manager to a key role within its operation.

Glen Speak has joined Tamworth Co-operative Society as deputy manager of its funeral division.

Mr Speak, who was previously a manager with the Co-operative, takes over from Bill Galvin who retired earlier this year.

Originally from the Black Country, Mr Speak moved to Tamworth ten years ago when he met his wife Rebecca and has become very active in the local community. He is delighted that he can now work as well as live in the town.

After briefly working for an independent firm of undertakers in Blackheath, he joined G Gibbs, a family-run funeral business in West Bromwich, where over the next 18 years he learnt the tools of his trade and trained to become an embalmer.

His focus in Tamworth will be on strengthening the links he has fostered in the community with various organisations and charities throughout his career.

While working for a previous employer, Mr Speak, who is a Member of the British Institute of Embalmers and chairman of its Midlands division, created training sessions for care home staff to dispel the ‘myths’ surrounding the funeral sector. The sessions proved so popular he was invited to become a guest lecturer at Wolverhampton University, where he produced a similar training programme for student nurses.

Both professionally and privately he epitomises the ethos of the Co-operative movement which was founded on the principle of communities and businesses working together to improve each other’s lives.

In his spare time he and his wife take in abandoned parrots for a national charity, Problem Parrots who provide ongoing help and support to people who keep all kinds of parrots. Friends call him the ‘birdman of Tamworth’ because he also keeps doves. If that’s not enough, he also has four Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.