Reminiscences from Ella's clients, colleagues and friends

"You know, when Ella was making something for me, I never ever worried about it. I knew it would be much more than good, and everything always was. I just used to look forward to Ella's delivery day, knowing that that day would be smiles all round and all of us the happier for the time she spent with us."
Louise Belson - Designer

"Ella was always such a pleasure to work with and made a fantastic contribution to our pantomimes. She will be missed enormously."
Helen Tye - Head of Wardrobe, Nottingham Playhouse

"A wonderful person: she gave so much and was always a huge delight to work with. We designers are only as good as our makers, and Ella demonstrated that many a time! She was a bright star in so many people's lives: whether they were designing for her or wearing what she made, they knew they had fabulous millinery - headdress, hat, wig or whatever - and that it was going to take them through the show.
Alison Cartledge - Costume Designer

"Ella was such a lovely, genuine, talented lady, and I'm grateful that Sue Condie brought us together. It has been a joy to have known and worked with her."
Henrietta Worrall-Thompson - Costume Supervisor, Salisbury Playhouse

"My Beloved El -
         Beautiful, clever, naughty, funny, kind and brave.
         From the day she was born she lit up the lives of those who knew her - especially mine.
         She was, and is, a part of me - always."

Hilary Kidd - Ella's sister

"I was always blown away by her extraordinary talent. She made me many fantastic costumes, including my favourite Tudor bum-roll that was so big I could actually rest a cup of tea on it (and occasionally did, although I don't think I ever told her that!)"
Hilary Greatorex - Actor

"Ella has given me some of my fondest and most cherished memories: the first time I met her, battling with a mound of white net in the cupboard that was the Gateway Theatre's Wardrobe Dept; walking home together in Liverpool on a clear New Year's Eve; our (wet) summer in the lakes, in the caravan at the bottom of her parents' garden, where we invented that delicacy 'Testes Valentino' (special spicy meatballs), and would combine our dole cheques so that our weekly shopping list always began with Gin, Vodka and Wine! She was a warm, kindly and generous person: I feel lucky to have had her as part of my life."
Graeme Phillips MBE - Artistic Director Emeritus, Unity Theatre Liverpool

"Ella is the reason I can no longer drink red wine. But bugger me, did we have fun getting me to this point..."
Jane Grimshaw - Theatre/Film/TV Costumier

"Ella taught me all I know about costume making, and was directly instrumental in my teaching position at Central St Martins, and therefore my whole teaching career. I cannot imagine how different my life would have been without her friendship, generosity and support. So many happy wardrobe memories: the laughs... the singing along as we sewed... the gin..."
Ali McNab - Artist, Educator and Healer

"I shall never ever forget what a glorious friend dear Ella was - the wonderfully special times we shared, Ella's kindness to me and her sense of fun and adventure that was so infectious and happy-making."
Christopher Bailey - Creative Director, Burberry

"Ella was my tutor at college and made a huge impression on me. I still think of her whenever I am in a wardrobe department. She will not be forgotten by those she touched with her kindness and talent. God bless her."
Ben Stones - Theatre Designer

"Although I only knew Ella for a short time, I felt close to her and enjoyed seeing the work and enthusiasm she put into my project. She was an amazing and talented woman and she will be missed greatly. I feel very lucky to have known her."
Simon Palmer - Costume-making Client

"My darling was always baffled as to why so many people - relatives, friends, professional colleagues - loved her so dearly. She could never quite get her head around the simple equation that it was because, in this life, you get back what you give - and, as anyone who knew her can attest, Ella Kidd was the original gift that kept on giving! Nothing mattered more to her than making others happy. She just didn't know any other way to be."
Ken Cumberlidge - Ella's husband

"What an amazing, vivacious and loving human being Ella was... She was a huge influence on my life and a very great friend; I will miss her deeply."
Sadie Tilbury - Wardrobe Mistress, Dyer & Breakdown Artist

"I will always remember her as such a positive and honest person: she was so patient and committed to the students and so supportive - but took no hostages!  She will be greatly missed."
Kevin Knight - Designer

"Ella's generosity of spirit, knowledge, skills and humour are what made her golden and very special in many people's hearts. She will always hold a very special place in mine."
Damon Edwards - Director, Nomad Design

"I loved and adored Ella with all my heart. She was my salvation at CSM when they told me 'ex-service men don't become designers'. Ella's response was 'As students go, you're real - you will be a designer!' We had fun times together, we did Dr Who together - my childhood dream. She was a wonderful, intelligent, magical woman."
Keith Dunne - Production Designer & Art Director

"I owe so much of who I am to Ella. A friend and mentor. My teacher about life, the importance of laughter, joy from creating something, that there was always time for one more round, to be generous, to give, to care."
Karen Ogborn - Head of Performance at Crimestoppers

"Dearest Ella, I can't even begin to describe your creative genius.  There's isn't anyone else like you.  I will be forever grateful to you for the unbelievably beautiful and intricate headdresses and wigs you have created for Bolli Darling.  We will wear your fabulous creations with pride and joy and will desperately try not to cry every time, as you'll only slap our wrists for ruining our make up!!  Thinking of you always and missing you hugely..."
Tanya Somerset - Bolli Darling

"What a very lovely person she was: the epitome of smiling thoughtfulness, very sensitive to others, effortlessly kind, yet with such strong convictions, vivid opinions and a very merry laugh. She was quietly splendid."
Stephanie Jacob - Playwright and Actor

"Ella was a wonderfully talented person, and a great friend and mentor to me. Her knowledge, skill and creativity enabled me to complete my final year. You always knew where you stood with Ella. She was the one who gave Wendz and me our first jobs after leaving college. Without her guidance, teaching & support, I wouldn't know half the things I do. She was always great fun to be with, and never said a bad word about anybody."
Simon Marks - Textile Designer

"Her studio was always open to staff and students, particularly on the days when shows went out and the drinks and nibbles burst into celebration of another set of designers' collections. She was the life and soul of the theatre courses."
Peter Bond - Senior Lecturer in Performance Design & Practice, Central St Martins

"She was not only a beautiful and warm lady but a seriously talented creative whose legacy was a working life dedicated to creating countless beautiful things - a truly worthy pursuit."
Philip Witcomb - Theatre Designer

"I think of her most days, as her much-treasured costume designs hang on my dining room wall. She was so talented, skilful, obliging, efficient and great fun to work with."
Sally Littlefair - Administrator, Young National Trust Theatre 1996-99

"Naomi and I were fortunate to have been the recipients of Ella's good cheer every time we visited. I have great memories of our time in Leytonstone in her comfy cozy living room with an array of fine foods and drink at the ready. Ella's laugh was a beautiful sound to hear and it makes me smile to hear it in my mind's ear. The Kidd-ness of Kidd lives on in all who were fortunate enough to have known her."
John Lescault and Naomi Jacobson - Actors

"I will forever think of her when I put my lippy on - apply 3 times and blot twice!"
Rachel Laurence - Actor