BARROW residents are increasingly turning their backs on traditional religious funeral services, opting instead for diverse and sometimes eccentric celebrations of life, according to Co-op Funeralcare.

A Chinese takeaway, a false leg and a Wizard of Oz costume have been revealed as some of the most unique items people have asked to be buried with, according to the UK’s largest report into funeral trends from the Co-op.

But Barrovians are holding their own with items such as the ashes of a beloved pet being placed in coffins.

Sacha Hamlin, funeral director at Co-op Funeralcare in Barrow said: “Placing items inside coffins dates back centuries, but what we’re seeing now is a shift in more people choosing exactly which personal items they want to be buried with.

“Sometimes, those items are sentimental to the deceased such as love letters, photographs and wedding ring.

"Others choose eccentric items specifically to make people laugh such as a Chinese takeaway… it can be a real talking point and put a smile on the faces of loved ones left behind.”

Sacha added: "More than ever, we’re seeing an increased demand for people who want to celebrate their unique lives and the ways in which we can help them do that are endless. In Barrow, for example, we helped a mourner place their loved one’s ashes into a firework.

"But it’s those personal touches that make a funeral truly unique and we’re truly privileged to be able to help families with that."