[E]laine and her partner Paul had attended the Manchester Arena on Monday 22 May to take Paul’s 13-year-old daughter and a girl friend to the Ariana Grande concert.
Elaine and Paul did not attend the concert themselves, but spent the evening in Manchester before re-attending the venue to collect them at the end of the concert.
It was as they were waiting in the foyer area at the arena that the explosive device was detonated resulting in Elaine’s death and serious injury to Paul.
Paul’s daughter and friend were not with them at the time of the explosion as they were still within the main arena. They then spent some time searching for them outside, but after being unable to find them a taxi driver kindly drove them back home.
A spokesman for Elaine’s family said: “Elaine and Paul were big music fans and regularly attended the Manchester Arena and other venues for concerts. Music is one of the things that bonded them together so closely.
“Elaine and Paul shared Elaine’s house together in Frodsham, which had been up for sale. They were particularly excited about buying a house together and were looking forward to moving to a new home in Widnes.
“Elaine had been introduced to Paul through a friend at work and they quickly became inseparable. She absolutely adored him and he rapidly became the love of her life. They were making many plans for their future life together and seemed so incredibly well suited. Her family and friends could all see how amazingly happy Paul had made Elaine, to a new level not seen before.
“We were devastated to hear of the injuries that Paul has sustained and we will be supporting him and his family through this difficult time. He is a big part of our family too and always will be.
“Although she was born in Ellesmere Port the family emigrated to Melbourne, Australia when she was five years old. Even at that age she always made it clear to her family that she left behind how much she was going to miss them. The family returned to the Ellesmere Port area three years later. Despite the short time they lived overseas the family have remained in close contact with many friends who have made contact to express their sympathy and devastation at the loss of Elaine.
“Elaine was one of a kind and had an impact on so many lives. She was a friend to so many and an amazing daughter, sister and aunt. Her love for all was immense and she was like the glue that held us all together. Our lives have been enriched by the time that we have had with her, but they will never now be the same again. We try to take comfort from how fortunate we have been to have had her in our lives, rather than think how much of a void there will be now that she has gone.
“Elaine loved to talk and could speak to complete strangers with ease, making everyone around her feel comfortable and relaxed. Her sense of humour was infectious and she had a speed of wit that was second to none. Elaine also had many funny phrases and sayings that we were all accustomed to hearing and can still imagine her saying. We all have so many wonderful memories and funny stories that we have been sharing since the tragic events of Monday. She would have wanted us all to continue to laugh, despite the tears in our eyes and pain in our hearts.
“Elaine was not afraid to share her thoughts and strong opinions and would often be the one to verbalise what others were feeling and thinking but were too reticent to say. Those who know her will testify to this but know that this was part of her lovable character and was never offensive. The most indisputable fact about her though was that she cared and she loved. She had a huge heart, was thoughtful beyond belief and would do anything for anyone. Her kindness, love and ability to know what we were all thinking, feeling or needed was a true asset and made her unique and irreplaceable.
“Only three weeks ago she turned up at the home of her retired parents out of the blue one Friday afternoon and told them both to get in the car. She told them she was taking them out for the afternoon but didn’t say where. Her parents have suffered with bouts of ill-health over the last couple of years and she wanted to treat them. She continued to drive them along with Paul, her partner all the way to Harrogate and upon arrival they still had no idea where they were going.
“Once they arrived it was revealed that they were off to a Leo Sayer concert. Her parents have been long standing fans for over 40 years. Her sister revealed that when they returned, they were full of beans and were buzzing; happier than they had been in a long time. This was typical of the kind and thoughtful acts that Elaine would do for all her friends and family. Little did we know at the time that this would be the last outing that they would all have had together as a family.”
Her sister, Lynda, has paid tribute on Facebook and wrote: “Hi everyone, I am posting this publicly so I don’t know who you all are but I am Elaine’s sister and just wanted to convey mine and the family’s sincerest thanks to all of you. You will never quite know how much you are helping us through this nightmare. I am mindful that we aren’t the only ones who are suffering but Elaine would want us to all zip up our man suits (I like to call them McIver Girl suits!) and get on with it. We can’t always control what happens to us in life but we do have control over how we deal with it. Though this might be hard to believe right now!
“Anyone who saw us together will know that Elaine and I were a formidable force when we were together, we absolutely bounced off each other in such a special way that made us both feel complete. Not all sisters can say that! We had an amazing and fantastic sisterly bond that will continue to live on inside me as long as I am breathing and until I join her one day when we can carry on the mischief together, wherever that may be. Keep smiling through the tears and stay strong everyone. Let’s keep sharing our stories and memories of her and all our loved ones who perished on Monday.”
She was the life and soul of the party, yet she did so whilst simultaneously making everyone else feel special and involved. We would like to share some further photos with you that show her wonderful character and unique style.
Our love for her is indescribable and the loss incomprehensible but she will always be with us and she will live on through the influence that she has had on us all and on all around her.
The family has set up a just giving page, which states: As Elaine’s family we are humbled and extremely grateful at the outpouring of emotion and support from all who knew Elaine and indeed even those who didn’t.
Whilst we are grateful for your sentiments, it is Elaine’s mum’s wishes that we kindly ask that anyone who wishes to send flowers or cards instead donates to Cancer Research, a charity close to our family’s heart.