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Overdale Crematorium

Deceased Online completes digitisation project for Bolton Council

Completing the digitisation project of Bolton Council, 136,000 cremation records of Overdale Crematorium have been added to the database. From today all the records from 1954-1993 will be available to search.

The plot of what would become Overdale Crematorium (1950)

Overdale Crematorium at Heaton was opened in September 1954 by Lord Horder of the Cremation Society. Its foundation stone was laid by George Sykes, who had served as a Conservative Mayor of Bolton from 1931 to 1932.

Sykes was born in Hull in 1874 and began work in a drapery business. He eventually became a director of Hampsons confectioners. A great champion of parks and open spaces, Sykes also took an interest in cremation, and was a keen advocate for the new crematorium. The idea for a crematorium in Bolton emerged as far back as 1938, but was delayed by the Second World War. After he died on 5 March 1958, George Sykes was cremated at Overdale and can be found in the records on the database.

The Chapel of Remembrance with granite memorials in the gardens in front
The Crematorium continues to function, performing up to 25 cremations per day. Its beautifully tended remembrance gardens remains the resting place for many Boltonians, including those who have died further afield. Over the years many locally respected business figures, politicians and craftspeople have been remembered here. These include Frederick Hausmann (d. 1961), a leather technician and director of local firm Walker and Martin Ltd., and the actress, Edna Morris (1906-1972). 

Begonias in the Garden of Remembrance

And don’t forget, if you know of a specific area, borough or county you would like to see on the Deceased Online database, please encourage your local authority to contact us!

Otherwise, please make suggestions in the box below, or on our Facebook or Twitter pages.


  1. Whilst checking my family I have seen cremations of people who died in Manchester, Salford, Hindley, Wigan and Blackpool. Some will be Bolton people who died away from home but I wonder if the crematorium served a larger area in its early days?

  2. From memorial notices in newspapers it seems that some of the people cremated here were returning to their Bolton roots.

    However, you raise an interesting point. In 1954, there were less than a hundred crematoria across the UK. Demand was high, and it may be that families from the areas you mentioned needed to travel a few miles in order to have their loved one cremated rather than buried. This was possibly not the case for the person from Blackpool, though: Carleton Crematorium had opened there in 1935. To further confuse things, one person alleged to have been cremated there was Beatrix Potter - who died many miles north in the Lake District!

    It may be also worth comparing these records with others from the Greater Manchester area that will be uploaded onto the database over the coming year.

  3. Roxanne Moore (Nee Bate)
    I am searching for burial records for my paternal grandparents. My Grandmother's death was recorded in Prescot and I understand she was buried at Farnworth Cemetery. My Grandfather's death was also recorded in Prescot, but I am not sure if he was buried in Farnwoth Cemetery also.
    I am unable to find records of either grandparent's burial details through 'deceasedonline'. At one time I did find my Grandmother, but the information was mislaid and I am now unable to find her again.
    Any help/guidance you could offer would be most appreciated.
    I am planning to visit England in 2015 and would dearly love to be able to visit my Grandparents and photography their gravestones for my Dad.
    Kind regards,
    Roxanne Moore

  4. Hi Roxanne,

    There seems to have been some confusion here. If you could email us with the full names, dates of death and dates of burial details (or as much as you have), we can look into this for you.

    You will find the contact box on the website at


  5. I am wondering if you can assist.
    From what I remember as a child I went to Overdale crematorium for my Grandmas funeral. I have not been able to find a record for her. She was called Vera Taylor and died 22nd November 1997.
    I would like to know what happened to her ashes, if they are stored there. Or if they were scattered there.
    Is there any way of finding this information out and having this memory confirmed.
    Kind regards Sarah


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