Bringing history to life at coffin works.
It's just that the guides are impressively sensitive to the fact that every person has a unique relationship with death and the dying.
And, when you are in a guided tour of up to 15 people, there's no second guessing if one little thing said out of place could trigger an emotional response from one of the visitors.
The mention of children, for example, is handled particularly sensitively here.
It has taken more than a decade, but The Coffin Works project has been something of a labour of love for the Birmingham Conservation Trust to preserve the Victorian building.
The resulting visitor experience is not dissimilar to the award-winning Smith and Pepper tour at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter.
This means you are not just getting an insight into industrial practices going back more than a century, but stepping inside a time capsule, too.
Rather like Cadbury, Newman Brothers is the story of several brothers.
Originally brass founders, the relocation of the 1882 company to Fleet Street in 1894 saw a switch to making coffin furniture such as handles, breast plates and shrouds.
There's a chance to see the Victorian room where heavy pressing gear stamps sheets of metal into shapes.
Stand back... and watch the operator being careful with his own fingers.
Children are given special magnets to see which fittings are metal and which ones became plastic yet still look deceptively like metal.
With an enclosed courtyard offering unusual views of other notable city centre buildings and a meeting room, The Coffin Works can also be hired for conferences, concerts, theatre performances and even parties.
Buried away on The Coffin Works' website is the advice that there is limited parking outside - because the other side of Fleet Street is for permit holders.
Arriving in the rain, I found out the hard way.
Unlike other spaces restricted for the disabled and motorcycles etc, the city council has not marked the road to make this obvious.
With no ticket machine guidance either, your only clue is a small sign high up on a post.
So while I was trying to do the city a good tourism turn I'm now faced with a penalty fine even though I returned to our space within my ticket's two-hour limit.
One assumes permit holders don't want people in their spaces, so the cynical might think that by not making this restriction clearer the city prefers to expect us to keep coughin' up.
Newman Brothers at The Coffin Works, Fleet Street, Jewellery Quar-Quar ter, Birmingham B3 1JP. Tel 0121 233 4790. Website: www.coffinworks.org.
Admission prices: guided tours and self-guided visits: adult PS5 (conc PS4); child five-16 (PS3); Under fives, free. Family (1+3) PS10; (2+3) PS15.
.Opening times: Tuesday-Thursday, ? 10am-noon for schools (term-time), or for family activities during Birmingham school holidays. Hourly guided tours from noon-3pm; self-guided visits from 3.30pm-5pm. Late night opening on Thursdays: tours at 5pm and 6pm. Friday-Saturday: selfguided visits from 10am-noon; hourly guided tours from noon-3pm; 3.30pm-5pm self-guided visits. Sunday: hourly guided tours from noon-3pm; selfguided visits from 3.30pm-5pm.
.Tours can be pre-booked: call 0121 233 4790 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Birmingham Conservation Trust ? Supporter FREE (sign up when you visit for unlimited visits to Newman Brothers for 12 months, plus many other benefits).
. Tuesday is Community Day. Free admission for residents of Aston, Soho, Ladywood and Nechells (Lady -Lady wood Ward) with proof of residency / postcode (e.g. bank statement, utility bill).
. Exhibitions are included in the admission price for a factory tour. To visit an exhibition only, it is free on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
. Note: closed Mondays. Also closed from 5pm on Sunday, December 21, 2014, reopening from 10am on Saturday, January 3, 2015.
Inside the coffin works in Fleet Street, close to the city centre |