NAJ News

In memory of founding NAJ Member, Gladys Duranczyk

05 May 2020

Gladys Duranczyk-NAJ

We are very sad to pass on the news that Gladys Duranczyk, of T&G Duranczyk in Hebden Bridge, passed away last week. She was 93.

In September 2015 she retired from the industry, selling the 52-year old business, which she ran on her own after her husband, Ted, died. T&G Duranczyk had been a member of the NAG (as it was, pre-NAJ) from start to finish.

In 2013, The Jeweller editor, Belinda Morris, visited Gladys in her shop and heard the story. Ted was a sheet metal worker and after suffering from asbestosis, was ‘sent off’ to train in clockmaking, which ‘they’ felt would suit him. Gladys set about looking for a shop that he could work from while she learned about the jewellery business from the previous owner, who stayed on to help her.

She joined the NAG – starting five years of courses – and went on a two-week jewellery trade course in Switzerland. She was on the committee of the  Association’s Yorkshire Centre, becoming its chair 30 years ago. Gladys was proud to say that she had missed just one of its dinners in all that time!

Until travelling became more arduous for her, she was a regular attendee of the UK trade shows and was also a registered valuer… until a flood in 2000 deluged her basement, ruining her equipment, at which point she decided to stop offering that service. When Belinda met Gladys, her ‘Saturday boy’ Nigel, who had been her assistant for 31 years, was working alongside her.

Former NAG chair Margaret Harris knew Gladys well,

I loved Gladys for her positive attitude to life and work. When I was chair she came with me when we went to the Las Vegas trade fair and conference and she loved it. We went to Thailand a few times and also Cambodia. Gladys was always up for anything. She was still dancing up until lock-down!

A staunch supporter of the Association, Gladys was an amazing lady who represents the end of an era in the UK jewellery industry.

Source: Belinda Morris, Editor of The Jeweller