Family’s farewell to Olive

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A HALIFAX woman who passed away last week after surviving a brutal attack at the hands of the Yorkshire Ripper has been laid to rest, 36 years after her ordeal.

Olive Smelt, of Haley Court, Boothtown, was the second victim during Peter Sutcliffe’s reign of terror. He attacked her with a hammer and pickaxe in August 1975, only stopping short of killing her because he was interrupted.

The much-loved grandmother-of-four survived the attack before finally passing away of pneumonia last Wednesday at the age of 82.

Yesterday, 250 friends and family gathered at Halifax Minster to welcome a hearse carrying her pine coffin and a white floral tribute reading ‘MUM’.

It was carried inside, followed by frail widower Harry, who married Olive in the same church over sixty years ago.

TV presenter Christa Ackroyd led a moving tribute to the mum-of-three and Rev Hilary Barber read a eulogy written by Olive’s daughter, Julie Lowry, which included the words: “She was such a kind, thoughtful person.

“Olive had her fair share of media attention. But, as you know, there was so much more to her than one event.”

At the 45-minute service, the congregation was invited to each light a candle and place it at the front before slowly filing out of the minster.

Afterwards, the congregation moved on to Stoney Royd Cemetery for Olive’s committal.