Eastbourne swimming instructor will be ‘missed terribly’

Friends of an Eastbourne swimming instructor said she will be ‘missed terribly’ following her death.

Friday, 22nd October 2021, 9:34 am
Eastbourne Town Hall SUS-210216-141625001

Friends of an Eastbourne swimming instructor said she will be ‘missed terribly’ following her death.

Clare Kirkbride, 60, was found dead at the base of cliffs near Eastbourne on February 5, 2021.

The inquest at Eastbourne Town Hall on Thursday, October 21 heard how Mrs Kirkbride had been ‘stoic’ following her husband’s death and had thought about moving to Manchester to be closer to family.

According to the second cousin of her late husband, Mrs Kirkbride had changed her mind and decided to stay in Eastbourne.

The Eversfield Road resident had been reported missing on February 2 after last being seen on January 31.

Following a social media appeal, the body of Mrs Kirkbride was seen by a resident.

Police subsequently conducted an investigation and ruled out any third-party involvement.

Sussex Police’s DCI Jon Gillings said, “Many people described Clare as stoic and resilient.”

A toxicology report from David Woodrow suggested that Mrs Kirkbride’s injuries were consistent with a fall from height.

East Sussex coroner Alan Craze came to the verdict of suicide.

Mr Craze said, “The only verdict or conclusion that the inquest can come to is suicide.

“I will indeed come to the verdict or conclusion that this was tragically a suicide and I think we are starting to develop the factors that have gone into the decision to take her own life in this way.”

Linda Sherlock, who knew Mrs Kirkbride through the Eastbourne Rambling Club, added, “She will be missed terribly because she was involved in the Eastbourne Rambling Club, U3A, the Eastbourne Bowling Club.

“She wasn’t just a member, she was on the committee.

“She was a very proactive woman.”

U3A’s Dilys Bayes said, “She just gave so much.”

• If you have been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, the Samaritans may be able to help – the charity’s helpline number is 116 123.