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All for Charlotte
LIFE is too short to be anything but happy – those were the words chosen to remember a young woman who died in a landslip at Burton Bradstock.
The message is engraved on a bench dedicated to the memory of 22-year-old holidaymaker Charlotte Blackman, who died in July.
She was killed when a cliff collapsed on her at Freshwater.
Charlotte’s family from the Nottingham and Derby area congregated at Freshwater Beach Holiday Park, near Burton Bradstock, where she spent her final days, to unveil the memorial and pay an emotional tribute.
Charlotte’s dad Kevin remembered a lovely girl who he was very proud of. He said: “She’s not down here with us any more, but the bench is just to make people aware of where she was at the last point of her life.
“It’s near the playground, because she loved children, so it would be nice if families came to sit here.”
Pink and purple balloons – one for every year of her life – were released, and the relatives paused to remember their daughter, niece, sister and friend. Flowers were also laid at the bench, with butterflies, Charlotte’s favourite animal, as a common theme.
The family had planned to leave tributes at the bottom of the cliffs which claimed her life.
But they changed their minds after a small landslip earlier that day, a reminder of the unstable condition of the cliffs.
Mr Blackman said he plans to visit the bench every year.
He added: “I go down to her grave every morning, to keep it prim and proper, because that’s how she was. That’s the only thing I can do. It’s where I can be close to her.”
Charlotte, from Heanor, in Derbyshire, had been studying to be a teacher, and volunteered in her spare time to work with autistic children.
Her father, and boyfriend Matt Carnell, were also buried in the rubble, but rescuers freed them.
Matt’s sister Vicki Butler said she hoped the memorial would act as a warning.
“We made the decision and ordered the bench before we left in July.
“It leaves a memory of her here and at least if the message gets out to even one person about the danger of the cliffs, it’s a good thing.”
The family have requested that anyone who finds the balloons contacts them, stating their name and where it was found, by sending an email to email@example.com