Our Mum, Enid Grizzard was born Enid Goldstone – Itel bas Chayim – on 10 August 1926 at home in Townhead Street in the heart of the great city of Sheffield. She was the second of four daughters to our grandparents Esther who had been born in Whitechapel, London, and our grandfather Hyman who had made the journey from his village Zemel in Lithuania to join his brother and sister and relatives in Sheffield.
Our mother was born in 1926, the same year as the late Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II and celebrated her ninety sixth birthday this year.
Academically bright, our mother passed the eleven plus, went to high school and grew up in Sheffield in the tumultuous years of the 1930s.
My mother and her parents and sisters moved to 16 Wilkinson Street, in Broomhill, Sheffield in the 1930s, a house my sister Caroline and I remember, and that was where she lived until she married.
My grandfather used to bring the live chickens back from the village of Swallownest, a few miles outside Sheffield, for the shochet to slaughter for the family meals.
The house was an extension of the shtetl with her parents, sisters and the maid Ida. There were relatives who came to visit and sometimes stay and many, many visitors coming in and out of the house. My grandfather used to bring the live chickens back from the village of Swallownest, a few miles outside Sheffield, for the shochet to slaughter for the family meals.
Mum would tell us about the relatives she remembered from her childhood and the refugees from Germany who warned them all about what was happening in Europe.
Outside there was school and the world of Steel City, a thriving metropolis which she was able to explore with her friends.
Education was important to Mum, she passed her General Certificate of Education O level examinations at fifteen, took AS levels at sixteen, while at the same time the war was going on and Sheffield was being blitzed by the Nazis.
Mum was entering bombed out buildings and reporting on life in a blitzed Sheffield in 1944 and 1945
She told us stories of her school days, of peripatetic schooling, with classes being held in pupils’ homes including her own and the nights they spent in the Air Raid Shelter as the bombs rained down. Earlier this year as she watched people running to the bomb shelters in Ukraine she told us it brought back vivid memories for her of her childhood.
Mum wanted to be a journalist and by pushing and cajoling she got a job on the Sheffield Telegraph. Even though her father who was a Litvak was worried when she crossed the road alone, Mum was entering bombed out buildings and reporting on life in a blitzed Sheffield in 1944 and 1945.
My father who was a Londoner, had come to work as a sub-editor on the Sheffield Telegraph and that was where they met.
In September 1945 my mother married my father Joseph Grizzard in Wilson Road Synagogue, Sheffield. It was the first Jewish marriage in Sheffield after the end of World War II.
In this week’s sedra Lech Lecha, to go out, we learn how Abraham left Haran. As a bride our mother left Sheffield for London. It was her great journey.
Living in London where my father worked for the Daily Mirror in the era of ‘hot metal’, Mum got a job at the Daily Express as a reporter. One of her assignments was to visit Manston Airfield in Kent, which is now again the news.
As well as writing, Mum’s other great talent was as an artist and she loved painting watercolours.
In 1951 my parents moved to the green suburb of Woodford. It had a tube which could take my father to his work place at Chancery Lane, and a new shul called Wanstead and Woodford full of characters who became part of our lives.
Mum and Dad lived first in Horn Lane, ten minutes walk from shul. I was born in 1952 and in 1955 Caroline was born. In 1960 we all moved to the Monkhams Estate, twenty minutes walk from shul, in a new house built in the grounds of Number 30. Mum lived in Monkhams Drive for sixty two years until her last days. She loved our home and the home loved her. We remember our childhood as very happy, Woodford was a great place to grow up.
Mum was involved running the Redbridge Jewish Recorder , a pioneering Jewish freesheet she set up in the 1960s. We remember the enjoyment both she and my father had travelling to the printing press in Haverhill in Suffolk to bring back the paper.
She then worked for the Jewish Chronicle editing the Redbridge Extra, a weekly supplement on Jewish life in our borough.
The Canadian Government were so impressed by her paintings they staged a huge exhibition at Alberta House
Mum studied Art at the Sir John Cass College which she really enjoyed and had her paintings exhibited at the Mall Galleries, and the Guildhall. The Canadian Government were so impressed by her paintings they staged a huge exhibition at Alberta House.
Everything Mum did she carried out to an incredibly high standard. She has always been an innovator whether it be in setting up a Jewish youth club in Waltham Forest, or running a charity committee that raised thousands of pounds for Israel.
She joined a publishing house and broke all their sales records from the moment she arrived there.
Mum and Dad, had an idyllic marriage and when Dad died suddenly in 1995, Mum made a new life. She travelled extensively including Israel and America and she taught Art in Jewish Community Centres transferring her skills to many people. She encouraged them to paint big bright canvases to brighten up their homes.
In the 1980s Mum and Dad became grandparents. They doted on their three grandchildren Katie, Bobby and Dahlia, and in the last decades Mum had three great grandchildren Rocco, Penelope and Poppy. Even in her last year, whenever Poppy came round, my Mum was able to lift and cuddle her, any aches and pains she had were forgotten.
Mum was an avid crossword doer and liked intellectual puzzles and riddles. She was a great reader, a lover of conversation and could go to bed at two o’clock in the morning and still be up by eight. This was a regular occurrence, maybe from the hours that working journalists used to keep.
She was always up-to-date on politics and would quiz her grand-daughter Katie about what was really happening inside the Tory Party as she believed, most probably quite rightly, that Katie had an inside track into the Cabinet.
Her grandson Bobby is a Leyton Orient Supporter and he introduced Mum to Brisbane Road, where she and his other grandmother Anne joined the Pride of East London when he became club mascot for the day.
Mum was very close to her sisters Norma, Sheilagh and Mavis
Her granddaughter Dahlia lived in Leeds. Having grandparents in London gave Dahlia the chance to visit and when we were in the West End my mother would always produce vouchers that allowed us discounted access to attractions and meals.
Mum was very close to her sisters Norma, Sheilagh and Mavis. Sheilagh died on Yom Kippur 5783 a few short weeks ago in Cleveland, Ohio which was a great shock to Mum as they had for ninety two years been four sisters.
Mum is mourned by her children Nigel and Caroline, her son-in-law Jonathan, her daughter-in-law Paula, her grandchildren, Katie and her husband Barney, Bobby, and Dahlia and her husband Lloyd, and her three great grandchildren Rocco, Penelope and Poppy, her sister Norma and her sister Mavis, her nephews and nieces and all their families in London, Leeds, Boston, Cleveland, New York and Washington and the many people who knew her.
May her dear soul rest in peace.