Kim Buckley
One of Louise's photos of her friend Kim Buckley


Today's newspapers are full of wonderful tributes to the three members of the Buckley family who died in yesterday's fire. A team from the South Wales Argus were reporting from Tillsland in Coed Eva all day and you can read their reports here.

Louise Griffiths, from Farlays in Coed Eva, has been friends with Kim Buckley for over 20 years. Here is a tribute she wrote tonight to Kim.

“I first met Kim when she lived behind my childhood home in Greenmeadow. I think the thing that kind of attracted me was her infectious laugh, as soon as she laughed so would you. I was only about 11-12 and probably really annoyed her by going to her house but she never let on.

“I remember that awful day when I woke to see the gas board outside her house, there had been a gas leak leaving her and her eldest son in a coma and killing her youngest son, David. Thankfully Kim and her eldest, Shaun, survived but I remember the pain she suffered at losing David. (I think he was about three at the time) It really was awful.

“When I was 16 I was pregnant with my son and she was pregnant with Kaylee. I remember we used to walk back and forth to Blenheim Shops together, planning our babies future.

“I lost touch with Kim for a bit not long after our children were born, she moved to Coed Eva and I moved to Henllys. About three years later I met my now best friend, Mel King. She introduced me to her friend, Sharon Burnett who in turn introduced me to her best friend, who just happened to be Kim! We used to have such a laugh, the four of us. We would meet regularly for coffee mornings and would sit around and 'gossip' for hours. We are all interested in spiritualism so would try and contact spirits. In truth we ended up scaring ourself more than anything.

“Kim, Sharon and myself are massive Westlife fans, Sharon and Kim going to every concert they did in Cardiff. I remember us being down Mel's and Kim thinking her husband, Reg, looked like Nicky from Westlife.

“She took a pair of Reg's pants off the airer and started sniffing them (thankfully they were clean) none of us could talk, we were in hysterics! I don't think Reg knows about that even now.

“I saw Kim a while back in town with her daughter and she was so excited. Kaylee was having twins and she was going to be a grandmother. Even though Kaylee was only young she said she would always stand by her daughter and with her help she knew she would be a fantastic mother. When Kaylee went into premature labour and baby angel died not long after birth she was devastated, but vowed to stay strong for Kaylee and baby Kimberley. She was incredible. She would post updates almost every day about her progress, the ups and the downs, and we were always there with supportive words. When they were told they could finally bring Kimberley home, she was overjoyed. You could feel her excitement through her status updates.

“On Tuesday 18th my best friend rang me with the horrible news that they were all gone….devastated! I couldn't believe it and it still doesn't seem real too me. I took some flowers down yesterday, just to pay my respects and before I could lay them, I fell. Right in front of all the press and news crew! It turns out I have fractured my knee but at the time I just burst out laughing. There I was, grieving my very special friend and made a right pleb of myself in front of everyone!

“In my head I could hear Kim wetting herself, she would have been the first to help me up as soon as she had got up off the floor laughing.

“It's memories like these and knowing she is with her son, David, daughter and grand daughter that keeps me going.

“Kim was a very special lady, she really didn't have a bad bone in her body and deserved so much more than what life threw at her. She is going to be missed not just by me but everyone who was lucky enough to know her. But none more than Sharon, her very best friend.

“We love you Kim and will never forget you. Xxxx”

Anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious in the vicinity of the home before the fire was reported at 3.31am on Tuesday 18 September, should call the police on 101, Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or speak to officers in Tillsland.



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