By Felicity Reid:
Some time in the spring of 1962, Paul Richie ( an Austrailian writer) informed the group at the Kiosko that there was someone new at Sandy’s. “Like a spider” he said, “all arms and legs” What he should have added is big hazel eyes and a mouthful of teeth because she was always smiling – and an ass admired by many expert observers! So I first met Susan Elliott and I have known her ever since. Her death on Good Friday was a tragic end to a life full of tragedies.
Susan wrote a book about her life: Denholm Elliott: Quest for Love, which I am not claiming as a great piece of literature, but it is a surprisingly honest account of her life up to 1992 and worth reading because she was very courageous, probably the bravest woman I have known. And certainly the bravest I have loved – brave women often turn out to be crashing bores: Susan was never boring, every occasion became a party; children and animals adored her!
Because the book is available, I am going to summarize very briefly her connection to Santa Eulalia: she and Denholm built a beautiful house and entertained all sorts of theatre celebrities. When Denholm was not well, Susan thought to supplement the family income by buying and restoring Sandy’s Bar and subsequently M&M’s. When Denholm died, she founded the Denholm Elliott Project and rented Can Bufi. She arranged concerts and other events to make money to help to those with HIV and the people who cared for them. It was a great success, many people were helped. But money was a problem, and without the anchor of Denholm,( who had always been afraid that they were going to run out of money and worked non-stop ) Susan could not make ends meet, and so had to abandon the project.
Susan intended to write a sequel about the following years but she was severely injured in a fall at her house here, and was in a coma for three months in London. She never really recovered although she made really valliant attempts to have fun but was happier to talk about earlier days: her short-term memory was unreliable.
For the many of us who have known her through the years, there will never be a replacement.
Mark and Rosey have arranged a service for Susie which will be held at Golders Green Crematorium, Hoop Lane, NW11 at 2pm Thursday, 26 April 2007.
They have been asked about donations and feel that those so inclined should get in touch with the Elton John Aids Foundation (www.ejafuk.com) and donate in Susie’s memory. Since Elton was one of the first to donate towards the Denholm Elliott Project, we think Susie would enjoy that sentiment. The Ibiza service is tentatively scheduled for June 9th.