Edna Elizabeth Welford 1913 – 2011

We all hoped she would make the century but Mum has passed away at the ripe old age of 98.  She will be sorely missed by so many so it is very fitting to mark this occasion.

Some Key Dates


Mum was born on November 27, 1913 in Hartlepool as Edna Elizabeth Payne. Given family circumstances, she had to leave school at 14 to look after her father, mother and two elder brothers.  In 1936, she married Thomas Midgely Welford and they had three children, Barry 1937, John (Tony) in 1940 and Susan in 1944.

In the late 1930s, she and Tom set up a corner grocery shop at 92 Welldeck Road in West Hartlepool, with somewhat cramped living accommodation behind and above the shop.  Eventually they moved to 31 Welldeck Road where Mum lived for much of her life.  Tom was a Type 1 diabetic (requiring daily insulin injections) at a time when diabetes was not fully understood, and so Edna often had to function as an unpaid nurse, keeping an ever watchful eye on Tom’s diet and his sugar level and demeanor.  He died in 1983 at the age of 69.

Nine years later Edna moved up to Scotland to be nearer to her children – John in Edinburgh and Sue in Penicuik.  From 1992 to 2005 she lived in Castle Rock sheltered housing in the village of Roslin.  When she could no longer look after herself she moved into the Thornlea Nursing Home in nearby Loanhead.  She settled in very well, and receiving excellent care from the staff was able to spend her final six and a half years there before dying peacefully on December 21, 2011.

Edna had a great many friends and was a delight to be with.  She had many talents, not least her great cooking.  There were many favourites, but I really enjoyed the super-fruit-filled cherry cakes she used to send me at university.  However if I had to pick three qualities I would name the three which follow.

Her Positive Attitude and Humour

This would probably be what most people who knew Edna would put at the top of their list.  She had a hard life and her mother, who was ‘not a well woman’, was a real burden.  Helping to run the shop during the War years while raising three kids was very challenging but nothing phased her.

She was a very social person and loved music of all kinds throughout her life.

Her Kindness

Another strong characteristic was her kindness and readiness to help those in need.  For a time she took in her aged and ailing Uncle Tom who was no longer able to care for himself.

She and Tom raised some great kids

The emphasis here is on the raising and not on the great kids.  Or as my brother, John, said, present company excepted.  They both went out of their way to encourage us to get out and get involved and so we did in singing in choirs, scouting and a number of other activities.  We all had a great upbringing and will be forever grateful.

Here she is in 2009 with my brother John and some of her grand-children (Kim and Katie) and great-grand-children (Sam and Aidan).

Mum and some of her family

Celebration of her life

Although Edna has by now outlived most of her close friends, there will be a Celebration of her Life on Wednesday 4 January 2012 at 12.30pm in the Pentland Chapel at the Mortonhall Crematorium, Howdenhall Rd, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH16 6TX.  The celebrant, Alex Macleod, is a member of the Humanist Society Scotland.  He has now provided a full account of the Celebration of her life.

Those attending are invited to meet for coffee from 11.30 am onwards in the Toby Carvery in Howdenhall Road directly opposite the entrance to the Mortonhall Crematorium.

Donations and Comments

A collection at the Celebration will be taken for Alzheimer’s Scotland.  No flowers by request, but please send donations in lieu to Alzheimer’s Scotland.

If you have fond memories of Edna, it would be great if you wish to add them as comments here and share them with her other friends.

3 thoughts on “Edna Elizabeth Welford 1913 – 2011”

  1. How very sad to hear the news that “Auntie Edna” has passed away. Here are some things that came into my mind on hearing this:-
    * Her singing – especially in the car on holidays to Scotland – “Oh you take the high road and I’ll take the low road” “Roamin’ in the gloamin'”, Mares eat oats and does eat oats and ickle lambs eat ivy????”
    * My earliest memories are of her dragging a brown haired dog into the kitchen (called I think Penny, who wasn’t fussed on children) – and I mean dragging – it was very strong and very stubborn and it was quite a battle!!
    * The piano in the front room
    * There was a relative of Uncle Tom’s – who lived in Welldeck Gardens who was a bit batty – and I was so shocked when my friends thought she was related to me!! We had a good laugh about that!!
    * The very first time she and Uncle Tom were preparing to visit Canada for the first time – oh how glamorous that seemed to me after holidays to exotic places like Margate and Filey!!

    RIP Auntie Edna

    Marion x

  2. Thanks for the Youtube link to the song Barry – never realised about the “wooden shoes” – Marion

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