back to article UK crematoria eye heavyweight incinerators

The UK's crematoria are struggling to cope with the nation's oversized corpses, the BBC reports. According to the Local Government Association, the nation's growing levels of obesity mean many cremators simply cannot accomodate the wider coffins required to dispatch the deceased to the hereafter, and local councils are footing …


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  1. A J Stiles

    Any chance of a translation?

    Some of us aren't American and don't know how much 44 inches is. Please, in future, can we have all measurements in metres, litres and kilos, just like we learned in school in the 1970s?

    And do crematoria actually do anything useful with the energy they are liberating? It seems criminal not to be generating electricity or providing district heating .....

  2. Des

    Get a Project Manager...

    ...and rather than invest in the right equipment for the job, you can just split the work into two seperate tasks.

    Just fit a bloody great bandsaw in the preparation room and saw the coffin into two halves of 20" or less. They won't complain, they're dead already.

  3. PJH

    Re: Any change of a translation?

    > Some of us aren't American and don't know how much 44 inches is.

    It's 1.18132936e-16 light years. See

    > Please, in future, can we have all measurements in metres, litres

    > and kilos, just like we learned in school in the 1970s?

    Well I was in a UK school during the late 70's and 80's and they taught us about inches and miles. And why aren't you complaining about the UK road signage being in metric instead of imperial?

  4. daniel

    Metres and inches

    In school from the early 80's, we were taught in millimeters, centimeters and meters, though feet and yards were still in wide use. Just for further info.

    1 yard is about 90 cm

    1 inch = 2.54 cm

    1 foot = 30 cm (or very near offer ;-))

    And remember: Google is still your friend....



  5. A J Stiles

    But it wouldn't have hurt .....

    ..... to have written something like "Standard coffins are between 40 and 50cm., but one-metre monster caskets are 'becoming increasingly common'" in the first place!

    Google may indeed be capable of doing the conversion for me; but in 2007, and in the country where the original prototypes for the kilogramme and metre were cast, this should not be necessary.

  6. Dave P

    Re: Any change of a translation?

    I am an american and in school all we learned was metric (during the 80's)....But then I would walk a mile home and use this crazy system we borrowed from you guys.

    They even changed some of the signs way back when and the american cars went to metric...People just had a hard time changing, and they went back.

  7. Gareth Gouldstone

    Imperial units?

    I am 46, was at school in Yorkshire in the 60's and 70's and was never taught Imperial - we only ever learned Metric units (SI units in secondary school).

    I only know Imperial units via folk-lore from older relatives and osmosis from general cultural (mis)usage.

    The government should set a date of 2012 (Olympic year) for complete adoption of Metric units including road distances. Oh, and join the Euro, just to complete the set!

  8. Keith Langmead

    Re: But it wouldn't have hurt .....

    Except of course that if the story had been done in metric, myself and many other brits wouldn't know what you were on about!

    I'm 30 so learnt metric in school, and use it for most things, BUT there are some measurements which are just more suited to Imperial measurements, which is why most of the population still use them. For instance I have no idea what my height, weight, waist measurements are in metric. An inch is a large enough measure to be a useful approximate, where as a centimetre is just that little bit too precise in my opinion.

    It's not like the America's only use Metric themselves anyway, the roads are still in Miles, and watch any US show when they refer to someones weight, and it'll generally be in Pounds, not Kilo's. (can anyone explain why stones aren't used?). Haven't heard anyone referring to waist lines so don't know which is used generally... though the way the UK and US are going, Metres will soon be more appropriate! :-)

  9. Marcos El Malo

    What do you call an engineer working on corpse storage containers?

    A coffin boffin?

  10. Matt Caldwell


    Here in America, nearly everyone uses Imperial. For nearly everything. Construction, bolts, distance, weight, its all imperial (except for scientists and academics/researchers). I myself prefer the SI system, but a lot of people (myself included) have no concept of SI in everyday life.

  11. Big Pete

    Corpse fired power station

    Shouldn't all these oversized corpses be used to generate electricity, It seems such a waste, to just use all that stored energy doing nothing. After all, they probably got that way by sitting in front of the telly eating chips, It seems only fair that their bodies be used to generate electricity to power the televisions of the next generation of fuel ^H^H^H^H people.

    Or maybe Bio-Diesel.

  12. Bruce Sinton

    Kilos and all that

    The only countries in the world that still have the Imperial measurement system are the U.S.A. and that other freedom loving place formally called Burma.


  13. Rob Holmes

    How does this affect...

    ...the governments position on regulating our carbon footprint as part of their "green" drive? I dont know what the current plans are, but the last I heard they intended to hand out carbon-credits for people.

    Does this mean that before we die, we're going to have to plant trees / use planes and cars less / switch off all our lights permanently to offset the carbon released when its finally time to light the terminal touch-paper?

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