ENID MARY HYDE (1925–2002) Enid Hyde, who died on 5 September 2002, was a keen botanist, serving as County Recorder for Suffolk with Francis Simpson from 1986 to 1995. She was born in Birmingham on 18th June 1925 to a radical family. Her father was president of the National Union of Teachers; mother taught classes in the poorer areas of Birmingham. Mother came from Worcester and it was from her that Enid was initiated into a love and appreciation of flowers.

She went to King Edward’s High School in Birmingham, where she was an outstanding scholar. She was offered, after her sixth form career, places at both Newnham College, Cambridge and Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. In choosing the latter, she said it was because it had a better rail connection than Cambridge. At school she had also been outstanding at sport, captaining the school team at rounders and hockey. At Oxford, she read modern languages (German and French) and took up bell ringing.

After this she worked on the Control Commission in Berlin as an officer in naval intelligence. It was a very stressful time. In 1948, she was flown out in the “Berlin Airlift” in a dilapidated Dakota. She was no sooner back home than she applied for a teaching job in Switzerland. For two years she lived in the hills above Montreux. Her love of alpines began here. A stay in England was followed by marriage and life in rural Quebec where in isolation and in an extreme climate, she again encountered flowers. Her son Mark was born there and brought up in a log cabin, devoid of water and electricity. What did that matter when there were Trillium?

She returned to England in 1958 and, with her husband Jim, settled in Woolverstone by the Orwell estuary in Suffolk. For a while in the exciting world of the Suffolk flora, there was regular botanising, but it was not until 1971 that she began systematic recording. For the next 30 years, on every possible occasion, she was recording plants. From Shotley to Burgh Castle to Newmarket, not much of Suffolk got missed. With her son Mark, (also a keen botanist, now living in Zimbabwe), with Francis Simpson or with Jim, she always had her notebook. As a consequence came her herbarium, her annual plant list for Suffolk Naturalists’ Society, her contributions to the Ipswich and District Naturalists Society and to leading the botanical trips of many other local societies.

Her greatest contribution to Suffolk botany was the enormous amount of work she put into getting Simpson’s "Flora of Suffolk" (1982) finished and published. The project had languished for over 20 years with little hope of publication; Enid, with her son Mark brought the recording up-to date. Her patient and meticulous approach to the work was in contrast to Simpson’s (by his own admission) abrupt and cantankerous manner and this was of great help in getting the manuscript completed. It is typical of her modest attitude that her name is not on the cover. During her time as Recorder she established a network of volunteer contributors with whom she corresponded regularly. She was very careful to acknowledge all records sent in and spent a lot of time identifying specimens for others. She co-ordinated work in Suffolk for the B.S.B.I. Monitoring Scheme (1987-88) and spent many hours compiling data for the Scarce Plants Project, including much research in old literature and herbarium sources. Her own recording was, of course, exemplary and you could be absolutely confident that all her records were accurate and properly documented. She passed on to me a brilliantly maintained archive of Suffolk records when she retired as Recorder in 1995. Although her own publications were few (outside of annual reports) she did publish papers (in Suffolk Natural History) on the inland spread of maritime species, Calamints, Oenanthe pimpinelloides (which she had discovered in 1975 at a site near Ipswich) and Mistletoe.

Her study of languages and teaching experience had provided her with excellent grammatical skills and these were put to good use in editing and proof reading many of the publications of the Suffolk Naturalists’ Society. The Society recognised her contributions by electing her as a Rivis Vice President in 1995. She was very keen on the conservation of the Suffolk countryside and looked after a local protected roadside verge which harboured a colony of Orpine, Sedum telephium (illustrated in Simpson’s Flora) . I can remember her consternation when she discovered the plants were being consumed by the larvae of a scarce micro-moth! As her herbarium shows, she was acquainted with the alpines of Austria, Italy, Switzerland and the Pyrenees. She collected in Spain where she botanised on much of the coastal areas from the French frontier to Andalucia – and Corfu. She also collected vouchers for many of her Suffolk records and of many unusual aliens. The collection has been passed to Cambridge University where it will be accessible for public and academic study.

I am sure she would have been particularly pleased to know that her herbarium was being well curated and used. Her last holiday was in the Valais of Switzerland. In the Val d’Hérens, at 1500 m in the mayan of a Swiss friend who, knowing her interest in flowers, had delayed the hay making, she was deliriously happy. The funeral and burial in the pretty churchyard alongside Woolverstone Hall (where she had taught for many years) was attended by family and friends. Amongst the straight, dark yews I spied a sprig of the cut-leaved bramble Rubus laciniatus, a plant Enid would have appreciated.


Enid also taught French and Gderman at Woolverstone Hall School, and at least one
class of Russian in 1965. She was a remarkly accomplished - and modest - lady.

Roger Friend - Berners/Johnstons 58-63: "Enid, apart from being the wife of Jim Hyde (my housemaster in Johnstons),
was my German teacher in the 4th year. I recall Jim once telling us that Enid was learning Russian and Barry Page said:
'How many languages does she speak now, 8?' To which Jim replied: 'No, only 6!'