Daughters pay tribute to ‘warrior mum’ killed in Manchester Arena bombing

School receptionist Jane Tweddle accompanied a friend whose 14-year-old daughter attended the concert in May 2017.

Jane Tweddle
Jane Tweddle

A school receptionist killed in the Manchester Arena bombing “treated everyone with kindness, decency and respect” and was “the perfect listener”.

The three daughters of Jane Tweddle, 51, paid tribute to “our warrior mum” at the public inquiry into the May 2017 terror attack, which killed 22 people at the end of an Ariana Grande concert.

The hearing was told Ms Tweddle was “so proud” of how her girls had grown and the life values she taught them.

Manchester Arena incident
Jane Tweddle with her daughters Harriet Taylor, Lily Taylor and Isabelle Taylor (Greater Manchester Police/PA)

Isabelle, Harriet and Lily attended in person at Manchester Magistrates’ Court as their pen portrait of their mother and tributes from other family members and friends were read by their lawyer.

They said: “You always knew how to brighten someone’s day and make them feel loved.

“You treated everyone with kindness, decency and respect.

“You rarely got mad and when you did you probably had a damn good reason.

“Our warrior mum, teaching us to be kind and to always stick together.”

They added: “Our house was always full of love and laughter. There is nothing in this world we wouldn’t give to hear your voice, see your smile or hold your hand for just one minute.

“When we’d asked what time it was you’d reply ‘it’s the time of your life, never forget it’, we’ll hold on to that forever.

“You were taken too fast, mum, but you were so loved and now you rest high peacefully. We love you endlessly.

“Now we all have an angel to call by name.”

Ms Tweddle, originally from Hartlepool, worked at South Shore Academy in Blackpool, Lancashire, where she was said to be “cherished and trusted” and “made for the job”.

The inquiry was told: “Familiar, friendly and full of life, you were the first person the students would see when they walked through the door in the morning.

“Children from all backgrounds would open up to you about their homes lives and personal struggles.

“The perfect listener, you were a shoulder to cry on and a source of strength and support for so many.”

Her mother, Margaret Tweddle, said: “What happened in Manchester that night was evil and we won’t let evil win – Jane would not want that.”

Ms Tweddle had accompanied a friend to Manchester while her 14-year-old daughter attended the concert.

Manchester Arena incident
Olivia Campbell-Hardy’s father said her death has devastated the family (Greater Manchester Police/PA)

Another victim, Olivia Campbell-Hardy, 15, from Bury, Greater Manchester, died in the blast after she got a tram into the city with her friend to watch Ariana Grande perform.

The teenager was due to be picked up at Bury tram station later by her friend’s parents.

Her father, Andrew Hardy, said: “She did not return that evening and this will stay with me forever.

“The family spent hours searching for her only to be later told she had tragically died.”

Olivia had a love of dancing and singing from an early age and aspired to be a music teacher, he said.

Mr Hardy said: “Olivia was my youngest daughter and was a daddy’s girl. We were very close.

“She had a grown-up personality and a smile that would cheer anyone up.

“Her death has left us all devastated and we have found it very hard to deal with life without her in it.

“I miss her every day, her infectious laugh and all the good times we had but will never have again.”

Olivia’s grandfather Steve Goodman said: “She was a joy to us and our large extended family, and she had a way of not always being well behaved but managed to turn the tables with her humour and make us laugh.

“The void in our lives is immense. Our lives have changed forever.”

Concluding the commemorative stage of the inquiry, which is expected to continue until next spring, the chair Sir John Saunders said: “I want to say a thank you to all the families and friends of those who died for sharing their intensely personal memories of their loved ones.

“It has made clear, I hope, that the deceased and their families are at the heart of this inquiry.

“My overwhelming impression is of a group of people who for the most part were strangers, brought together only in death but who individually had brought great joy and happiness to others.

“They seem to have shared a great spirit of fun and enjoyment, and a zest for life. They were often the glue that kept their families and friends together.”

He went on: “It is important that the extent of the suffering of both the relatives and friends of those who died, and the continuing physical and mental suffering of the survivors, is properly understood because it shows why we need to get to the truth.

“My lasting thoughts are one of a huge responsibility, resting on me, on the inquiry team and all of those contributing to this inquiry to try and find answers for the families and the survivors, and provide what they most want – which is recommendations which will make it less likely that similar events will happen in the future with all the terrifying and terrible suffering that that brings.”

The inquiry continues on Monday.

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