Commemoration planned for Lord Ted Graham

Co-operators are invited to a tree planting and commemoration on Friday 1 April at Pymmes Park, Edmonton

A group of Enfield Co-op Party members are arranging a commemoration for Lord Ted Graham, the co-operative politician, author and campaigner, who passed away in March 2020.

Born in 1925, he began his co-operative career at the age of 13, working for the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Co-operative, delivering bread on a co-op bicycle. He eventually became Labour and Co-operative MP for Edmonton in February 1974 and was later created a life peer as Baron Graham of Edmonton. He was Labour chief whip from 1990-97 and was also chair of the Co-operative Council and served as president of the 1987 Co-operative Congress.

The pandemic stalled plans for a commemoration, but now a tree planting and commemorative plaque in Edmonton’s Pymmes Park to honour his memory have been arranged by the Executive Committee of Enfield Cooperative Party, including Bevin Betton (chair), Placida Ojinnaka (secretary), Vivien Giladi (vice-chair) and Kathy Hall (treasurer).

“Ted had served the people of Edmonton faithfully for many years as a local councillor then leader of the Council, as the MP and then in the House of Lords,” said the committee. “Always loyal and effective, Ted was an ardent and committed cooperator. He held many roles within the Cooperative movement over his long life and was the president of Enfield Coop Party for decades.”

A liquidambar tree will be planted in Ted Graham’s memory

The tree chosen is a liquidambar. “The liquidamber grows into a tall, beautiful and stately tree which holds its ground – as Ted always did,” said Ms Giladi. “In the autumn its leaves blazon a lovely red, pink and rust – Labour and Co-op colours. We’ve found the perfect spot for it, near one of the entrances where it can stand alone and make a statement about Ted and what he represented.”

The tree will be planted at the end of March, and the plaque will be installed on 1 April. “Enfield Co-op Party members, and friends and representatives of Ted’s extended family will gather to celebrate a life well-lived and much appreciated, and co-operators are cordially invited to share this memorial of thanks,” added the committee.

Dame Pauline Green (former president of the International Cooperative Alliance) and Bevin Betton (chair of Enfield Coop Party) will be speaking at the event, which is also being supported by Andy Love, the former MP for Edmonton.

Commemoration details: Friday 1 April 2022 10.45am for 11.00am at Pymmes Park, Edmonton 

  • If you plan to attend, please gather no later than 10.45am at the Victoria Rd entrance to Pymmes Park (please note there are two entrances to the park on Victoria Rd. Attendees will be met at the entrance nearest to Silver St station and the A406, not the entrance further north on Victoria Rd opposite Park Rd. You will then be guided to the location of the commemorative tree and plaque which is a 2-3 minutes’ walk.  
  • Parking in the area is restricted so anyone who plans to attend is urged to either travel by public transport or allow plenty of time to park elsewhere in Edmonton and then walk to the park. 
  • Attendees are also invited for light refreshments at the nearby Pymmes Park Bowls Club (wheelchair accessible). This will give all the opportunity to share memories of all Ted did for the people of Edmonton and the co-op movement.
  • Please RSVP to [email protected]
  • Should you wish to make a donation to the cost of Lord Ted’s commemorative tree and plaque then cheques and bank transfers are welcome – please email [email protected] for details.