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Auntie Edie would have been impressed

03 May, 2018

• SO sad to read about the “spoiling” of the Billy Fury mural at West Hampstead. The New Journal was posted to me by my cousin Linda so that I could read about the vandalism, (Singing superstar’s fans call for return of Billy Fury mural, April 5).

Every time I visited my Auntie Edie I had a “bit of a ritual”. I always came off the train at West Hampstead, crossed over West End Lane to catch the No 328 bus down into Kilburn, and, of course, I would pause to reflect on my younger life at the Billy Fury mural.

I thought it was so lovely and a great tribute to such an icon. Is there any way that it could be restored? I do hope so. I, too, remember that Mother Christina did a blessing there. She told me about it on a day we were both visiting Auntie Edie.

I have only been once this year, to attend Auntie Edie’s funeral. Now there is a great Kilburn family story – Edith Emily Richards, July 6 1923 to December 31 2017.

She was the last of a family of nine children, all born in Kilburn. So I had many reasons to visit the area. My grandparents’ name was Stride and they lived in Smyrna Road, NW6. And as the family stayed in the Kilburn area for many years, they were sure to have been well known.

My mother, Mary, was the youngest of their children and she died 11 years ago. Auntie Edie lived in Kilburn all her life and she would have been a familiar sight, always shopping in the High Road.

She loved her bingo, attended St Mary’s Church, and made bread pudding, shortbread biscuits, and a variety of cakes to share and give to many. Since the funeral, Beacon Bingo and St Mary’s Church have both put up plaques to her memory.

We are all so proud to be part of the Stride family and to remember our Kilburn roots. We remember our aunts and uncles with much love and know that, due to the plaques, Auntie Edie’s name lives on. Wouldn’t she have been impressed!

GLORIA M CARRUTHERS
Willington, Bedfordshire

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