Hastings & St. Leonards Branch

Hastings & St. Leonards

Arthur C Towner Ltd
2-4 Norman Road
St Leonards-on-Sea
East Sussex
TN37 6NH

Tel: 01424 436 386 Email: info@towners.co.uk
Opening hours:

Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Branch Team


Diploma of Funeral Directing
Degree in Religious Studies
Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies

Member of:

British Institute of Funeral Directors
British Institute of Embalmers
Chartered Management Institute

Edward Towner

Owner and Managing Director

Hastings born and bred, Edward has worked at Towners since leaving college in the mid 1970s.  He has been Managing Director since 1987. 

Being the fifth generation of the Towner family to run the business, he is acutely aware of the legacy his forebears have left and hopes to leave the company in an even better state than he found it when his watch comes to an end and his two children, Hannah and Oliver, take up the baton.

After over 40 years in the business Edward has hung up his top hat and no longer arranges or conducts funerals: his time at the office is spent managing the company and he is happy, he says, to be guiding his wonderful team in pursuit of the perfect funeral.

Outside work he enjoys playing golf badly, sailing, cooking curry, walking the dogs and sitting in his beach hut.  He is a Trustee of and volunteer for Hope Kitchen Hastings, the local soup kitchen providing hot food and a friendly welcome to homeless people.  He has been married to the lovely Beverley since 1978. 


BSc (Hons) in Marine Biology

Msc in International Marine Environmental Consultancy

Hannah Towner

Company Secretary

Hannah assists her father in all aspects of running the company. In a small family business many areas of responsibility fall on the owner – areas which, in larger companies, would have their own head of department: Human Resources, Marketing, Asset Management, Strategy, Research and Development, Finance etc. Hannah and her father work together in all these areas to ensure the present health and future growth of the company.

A fluent German speaker, Hannah is also a keen environmentalist. She loves the sea and swims like a fish; she is a keen scuba diver and has worked internationally as a scuba diving instructor. She also likes to go surfing when given the opportunity.


BA (Hons) in Acting

Oliver Towner

Project Manager

Oliver graduated from the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts in London and is known for starring roles in Accountable (2017) and Professional Paranoia (2016). His stage work has included leading roles in Othello, Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night's Dream with the touring company Bowler Crab.

Oliver's work as an actor grants him the flexibility to maintain a connection with and involvement in the family business. His particular interest is in making sure the company stays up-to-date with new developments in the funeral and stonemasonry industries. He is also responsible for management of the company's IT systems.

In his spare time he enjoys online gaming and is learning Japanese.


Foundation Degree in Funeral Service

Robert Duncan

Operations Director

Robert was born in Edinburgh and was brought up in Greenock and Glasgow before moving south to the Isle of Wight in 1981. He began working in the funeral industry in 1982 and has worked for independent funeral directors and larger concerns.  He has seen great changes in what clients ask for and is keen to ensure he provides the highest quality of service.

Robert joined Towners in 2012 and now occupies the role of Operations Director within the company.  He gets immense reward from supporting the staff around him.

In his personal time, he spends regular weekends with family on the Isle of Wight, is a keen motorsport fan and likes riding out on his motorbike.


Diploma of Funeral Directing
Foundation Degree in Pastoral Ministry

Member of:

British Institute of Funeral Directors

Duncan Brown

Senior Funeral Director

Duncan was brought up and educated in Hastings. As a teenager he developed an interest in acting at the Stables Theatre, and went on to train professionally.

Following a period of early experience in panto and plays around the country, Duncan found himself with the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company in a connection which lasted a number of years and concluded with him as Resident Director.

On his return from London he joined Towners in 2000, and worked first as a driver and then as a funeral director, passing the Diploma in Funeral Directing in 2003.

Duncan is a Deacon in the Catholic Church. His duties include a leading part in services and the training of adults new to the faith in preparation for reception into the church.

Duncan and his family, his wife and two teenage children, all share in various ways in his participation in the theatre and in active membership of the congregation of St. Mary Star of the Sea.


Degree in Music

Stephen Groves

Funeral Director

Stephen was born in County Durham and went to school and university in the North East, and then studied theology as a post-graduate, and later took a PGCE.

He moved to Sussex in 1986, working in Brighton, then St Leonards. After a period of teaching music at St Leonards, Mayfield, Stephen joined Towners full time in 2012.

Outside work, Stephen helps to run a B & B in St Leonards, and is an active member of the Russian Orthodox Church.


Degree in Illustration

Diploma in Funeral Arranging

Nick Willis

Funeral Director

Nick moved to Hastings from Bedfordshire in 2013 and started working for Towners soon after, initially as Desktop Publisher.  He moved into the role of Funeral Director after a year with the company and has been enjoying the opportunity to serve the community ever since.

Outside of life at Towners, Nick works as a freelance illustrator (Illustration being the subject of his BA Hons degree), plays guitar and fits in as many long walks as possible. When he isn’t away on an adventure, he likes to sit quietly at home with his wife and two cats. (When you’re one of nine children, you learn to appreciate a bit of peace and quiet.)


Angela Croft

Funeral Director

Born and raised in Bexhill-on-Sea, Angela lives there with her husband and two daughters. On leaving school Angela worked in the family print business for over 34 years, predominantly in the pre-press and graphic design department.

After the business was sold she found employment briefly at Bexhill College before being accepted at Towners in May 2017 to produce artwork for clients' service sheets, eventually moving into the role of Funeral Director.

Angela is very keen on sports and is a member of a local Run & Triathlon Club, particularly enjoying swim and cycling events. With a UK Athletics Run Coaching qualification she volunteers twice a week to coach the 8-16yrs Club runners. 

Spare time is spent with her family and she enjoys watching films, reading, listening to a wide range of music and, during the football season, enduring the peaks and troughs of being an Arsenal supporter.


Eleanor Walder

Graphic Designer

Eleanor was born and raised in St. Leonards-on-Sea and educated locally. She achieved 19 GCSEs at school before achieving a triple distinction star at Bexhill College in Health and Social Care Studies. She then moved away to Portsmouth to study Childhood and Youth Development at university, and achieved a classification of 2:1.

Eleanor worked as a carer at the age of 16 whilst studying at college. During university, to fund her studies Eleanor worked in a cafe and a dementia nursing home. After completing her degree she returned to her home town and worked in an assisted living house before taking up her current role as the Desktop Publisher for Towners.


Gill Little


Gill came to live in Hastings when she was 5 years old and has remained here ever since, apart from a four year stint living in Ibiza in the early 1980's.  She has been working as a part-time receptionist for Towners since October 2012.  Before that she worked as an Admin Assistant for a local housing association in their Lifeline department, a post she held for 20 years.  Gill is married with two grown up children and a step son.  At weekends Gill and her husband enjoy getting involved with anything the Hastings Old Town has to offer.  Gill's hobbies include going for long walks with her Cavapoo "Badger", doing crosswords, playing Candy Crush and sailing.


Rebecca Edwards


Rebecca moved to Hastings aged 4 and has been here ever since.  She loves the culture and vibe of Hastings and could not imagine not living by the sea.

Rebecca started the position of part time Receptionist in July 2017.  Prior to this she had worked as a Health Coach for East Sussex County Council.

When not at Towners Rebecca spends the majority of her time as mum to her two small children.  In any spare time that she can find she is an enthusiastic, if inept, runner, having completed one full marathon and a handful of half marathons.


From the North on the A21 (London to Hastings road)

The last village before Hastings and St Leonards is Kent Street. After Kent Street you will come up a long hill (past Claremont School on left) and when you pass under a road bridge you are in Hastings and St Leonards. From here, follow signs to St Leonards exclusively. Eventually you will come down a long hill towards the sea (London Road). Go right to the bottom; just before you reach the sea front you have to turn left. That is Norman Road and we are just along on the right-hand side, the last business premises before Warrior Square. You can park for one hour in Norman Road or variable periods in Warrior Square.

From the West on the A259 (Brighton to Hastings road)

Come through Bexhill and into St Leonards. Stay on the A259 throughout. As you travel along the sea front look out for a distinctive block of flats - Marine Court - which looks like a cruise liner's superstructure. Just past Marine Court there are traffic lights. At the lights, turn left into London Road. Turn second right into Norman Road. We are just along on the right-hand side in Norman Road, the last business premises before Warrior Square. You can park for one hour in Norman Road or variable periods in Warrior Square.

From the East on the A259 (Hastings to Rye road)

Come into Hastings and follow signs to the sea front. Travel west along the sea front, past the pier. Drive past Warrior Square (statue of Queen Victoria on right) and turn right at the traffic lights into London Road. Turn second right into Norman Road. We are just along on the right-hand side in Norman Road, the last business premises before Warrior Square. You can park for one hour in Norman Road or variable periods in Warrior Square.