Wednesday 22 January 2020

Aunt Update #2

 Mum (on the left) with Emmy in 1947 and at their last meeting in 2010

Long time visitors to this place might remember that I used to write quite regularly about my two elderly London based Aunts. Sadly Emily, forever Aunty Emmy to me, passed away last July aged nearly 92. I wrote a little about her life lived on one Bethnal Green street a few years ago (here). Emmy remained very active, outgoing and well known in her community until a fall in 2017, after which she never fully recovered. She deteriorated steadily over the next two years and to see this once fiercely proud and immaculate lady become ill and housebound was heartbreaking. Although she was a couple of years older than my other elderly Aunt (Joyce, who I wrote about last week), Emmy was actually my Mum's cousin, making her technically my second cousin. Mum and Emmy remained extremely close throughout their whole lives, much like myself and my own cousin.

In the last 30 years alone Emmy survived a heart attack, took up photography, maintained a forceful position in her local housing association, became a confident online presence (emailing me regularly between our weekly phone conversations), was heavily involved in the campaign for a memorial for the 1943 Bethnal Green tube disaster, contributed to number of WW2 documentaries on radio and TV and was name-checked as a consultant for a novel based in the East End of her youth. Her early life was no less busy. At Emmy's funeral the vicar was forced to pause for a moment to take a breath as the many highlights of a full and busy life were recounted, while the order of service quoted heavily from interviews with her in the Daily Express and on Channel 4.

No tune today, instead here's a short clip from that Channel 4 interview in 2015. Rest easy Aunty Emmy.


C said...

What a fantastic lady (with such a full life) and a fantastic clip, TS - really special. A lovely way to remember your Aunt Emmy.

Marie said...

You're so lucky to have had your Auntie Emmy in your life, Swede. (I'm sure she felt the same about you.)

Brian said...

That clip was really something, Swede. Thanks for sharing that. The greatest generation.

Rol said...

Lovely keepsake to remember her by. Brilliant.

The Swede said...

Thanks for your kind words everyone. It was John Medd who introduced me to the proverb, '..when an old person dies, a library burns down..' It never felt more appropriate.

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