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Taiyah Peebles' funeral: Hundreds pay respects to Herne Bay teenager

By Sandra Hembery

Around 300 family and friends have heard moving tributes at the funeral today of 16-year-old Taiyah Peebles who was killed on the railway tracks last month.

Her mother, Hayley decribed her as a "precious, beautiful young lady" and said the tragic loss of her youngest daughter had "caused a wound that would never heal".

Thanet Crematorium was packed for the service and many mourners carried roses and wore red, which was Taiyah's favourite colour.

Video: Hundreds pay respects at Taiyah's funeral

It ended with Mrs Peebles releasing a single, white dove, representing her daughter's free spirit.

The teenager, known as Tai, died at Herne Bay railway station in what her family say was a tragic accident. An an inquest is being arranged to examine the circumstances.

Tributes to Taiyah

Despite it being a celebration of her life, there was also an overwhelming sense of sadness and loss of one so young and many of her tearful friends hugged and comforted each other.

Recalling Taiyah's childhood, mum Hayley, of Spenser Road, Herne Bay, described a little girl who was always smiling and laughing and who grew into a beautiful young woman.

The gathering heard that when Taiyah walked into the room, the party started as she "brought the sunshine in with her", and gave everyone an uplifting feeling.

Her mum said it had been a comfort to the family that so many people cared about them and Taiyah was so loved.

A rose is held as tribute to tragic Taiyah
Taiyah's coffin was covered in photographs
Floral tributes at the funeral of 16-year old Taiyah Peebles

Taiyah's also sisters Stacey and Delcie gave touching tributes, along with several friends, which were read out by celebrant Angela Rowe.

Delcie said she had struggled to find the words because it was something she "never thought she would have to write".

"She was the funniest person I ever met. No matter how down I was, her cheeky little smile, and crazy self would just lift me right up," she said, adding, "no one will ever know how much I miss her."

Eldest sister Stacey wrote: "I still remember the day mum brought her home from the hospital, such a tiny bundle, with long bandy arms and legs. I instantly fell in love with her, and from that day on she came everywhere with me.

"As she grew older and started school she made her own friends and developed her own personality, one we all grew to love. She became a strong, independent and confident young girl.

The service featured Taiyah's favourite music and her coffin, which was vinyl-wrapped with images of her and family and friends, was carried into the crematorium to the song Talking to the Moon by Bruno Mars.

Friends gather for Taiyah's funeral
Loved ones of Taiyah Peebles at Thanet Crematorium
Taiyah Peebles

Taiyah was a former pupil of the Spires Academy and was due to start an art and design course at Canterbury College next month.

After the service, her old school opened it doors for the wake and put on a spread.

Her friends were taken by coach from the crematorium to the school in Sturry by two coaches provided by Lehane Travel.

On display was artwork by Taiyah as well as a slide show of pictures of her over the years and tributes which had been left at the station following the tragedy.

Friends were also invite to write individual messages in memory of her.

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