Obituary: Ena Alice Wright (1920-2014)

Published Saffron Walden Historical Journal No 30 (2015)

A familiar face at meetings of the Saffron Walden Historical Society, Ena Wright died in 2014 at the grand age of 94. Ena was born on 26 April 1920 at Radwinter Road, Saffron Walden, her parents being Percy and Edith Wright. She always joked that her home was ‘between death and starvation’ [the cemetery and the workhouse].

Her grandfather, who lived in Museum Street, was a shoemaker like his father before him, and was secretary of the Congregational Church, where Ena went to Sunday School.  She attended Priory School, a small private school for children aged 5-15 all taught in one room at Audley Road. and she had many happy memories of her childhood.

The family moved to West Road in 1933 and her life continued to revolve around the Abbey Lane Congregational chapel. In her younger days she enjoyed badminton and tennis, and was a member of the Grove Tennis Club for 50 years. During WW2, Ena volunteered with the Civil Defence, and worked in a nursery looking after evacuee children. Later she worked in the offices at Engelmanns Nursery, and then joined the family firm at James the Jewellers, where she was a familiar face behind the counter, working alongside her sister Olive Newman and her family. An invaluable worker, she was known particularly for her beautiful copperplate handwriting, a legacy of schooldays. Ena went on working there part-time right up to Christmas 1913, only a year before her death – a remarkable achievement.

She was always a busy lady with many hobbies – a keen member of the National Trust with a particular passion for historic houses, and a regular attender at the Saffron Walden Historical, Town Library and Museum society lectures, in addition to travelling widely, birdwatching and enjoying walks on the Suffolk coast. She was devoted to the Congregational Church her entire life – a lovely, cheerful lady who is much missed.

Howard Newman

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