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Thursday, 02 July 2015

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EXCLUSIVE: Heartfelt interview with mother of woman killed in explosion at Windermere wedding

HEARTFELT tributes have been paid to an “irreplaceable and effervescent” mum-of-three tragically killed in an explosion at a Windermere wedding on Saturday.

LOSS Polly Connor, right, pictured with (from left) husband Damien and children Molly, Daisy and Oscar. Polly died after an explosion at a wedding in Ecclerigg, Windermere

Polly Connor, from Kendal, had been assisting with a fireworks display at the nuptials of local insurance boss John Simpson and his new wife Nicole when she and a man, who has not been officially named, were killed following an explosion and serious fire at the couple’s lakeshore home at Ecclerigg.

News of the death of the petite 46-year-old, a well known and popular plumber, had devastated all who knew her, Penny Benson, Mrs Connor’s mother said. She described her daughter as being tiny in stature but a person who had stood “so very tall in every part of our lives”.

Mrs Benson said: “We just cannot adequately describe our loss, particularly that of her husband Damien and children who she absolutely adored and was so incredibly proud of. She was a girly girl who loved to dress up and go dancing with her friends. She was also a hard worker whose first instinct was to help and think of others wherever she went.

“She was a wonderful person with a beautiful spirit who will be terribly missed.”

A former clerk of the course for the Macau Jockey Club, Mrs Connor had worked internationally as a working rider and head groom at racing stables as far afield as Australia.

She met husband Damien, a former jockey, 46, while working in the racing industry before the couple had three children – Molly, 15, Daisy, 13, and Oscar, 10.

After relocating to Kendal 10 years ago, she retrained as a plumber at nightschool while bringing up her young family – going on to establish her own business, Polly the Plumber, and working across the area within the construction industry and for private customers.

Stepfather John Benson, to whom Mrs Connor had been particularly close, said she was humble and modest about her many talents and had an unmistakable laugh.

He said: “She brought everything together in the most remarkable way. She was lovely, delicate and a girly but also a tomboy.

“It’s hard to describe someone with such an opposing combination of characteristics but in Polly, there they were.”

Mrs Connor’s brother, Windermere photographer Russell Colman, added: “When we were growing up, we were like the three amigos, mum, Polly and me. She was little but so tough. She wasn’t just the glue or the rock or the scaffolding to her family. She was the whole world to them.”

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