Here’s a little bit of family news for a change…

This article was in the Jewish Telegraph recently. Many thanks to Mike Cohen and all the staff there for permission to reproduce the article and photograph on the site.


After 12 years as a volunteer at the Jewish National Fund office at Mamlock House, 84 year old Betty Gouldman is to retire. She will be moving home to join her son, Graham Gouldman of rock group 10cc fame, in London. Proud mum Betty says : “The sun rises and sets on him. I think the world of him”


Graham lives in Hampstead Garden Suburb and Betty’s new home will be in nearby Golders Green. She will be leaving behind grand-daughter Sarah Sidi and son-in-law Charles and two great-grandsons in Hale. But Graham’s three other children and the rest of her grandchildren are all in London.

Betty views the move with trepidation. As well as leaving her home, she will also miss the JNF. “I came to work for JNF a year after my husband Hymie died, in 1991” she said. “It has given me something to look forward to. It has stimulated me.” She heard about the job through Graham’s manager Harvey Lisberg, and her first boss was JNF shaliach Yigal Yardeni. Since joining, Betty has been happily filing, franking the mail and counting the money in the JNF blue boxes every Monday and Wednesday morning. Looking back she says “When I first started, it was a much quieter office. Lorraine Palestrand has really made the office buzz.”

The move to London will be a move to Betty’s roots – she was raised in Stamford Hill. She was evacuated with her brother Mark Schenkein to their aunt, Bec Taylor, in Park Road, Prestwich. Betty met Hymie at a play-reading session at the Waterpark Club on Stanley Road, Salford. After they married, Hymie was conscripted into the Royal Navy and Betty worked for the WVS Aliens Department at the Town Hall. She then went to work as a clerk at the Lancaster bomber assembly plant at Metro-Vickers in Trafford Park. She completed her war effort with a job at the Ministry of Supply. But clerical skills learned in the war stood her in good stead at the JNF.

Graham is currently touring Australia with Graham Gouldman and 10cc. Original members Paul Burgess and Rick Fenn are in the line-up. Betty revealed that her favourite 10cc tracks are “I’m Not In Love” and “Dreadlock Holiday”. Betty says that Graham used to “run over the lyrics” with his Dad in the early days. According to Betty, a milk bottle on the step provided the inspiration for the Herman’s Hermits hit “No Milk Today”.