Film star died at rail crossing

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AN ELDERLY woman who was killed at a railway crossing has been named as a former film star.

Brenda McFarland died at the Gipsy Lane pedestrian railway crossing, in Needham Market, on August 24 when she was struck by a train.

The 82-year-old, known as Olive, was a resident at the Paddock House Residential Care Home, in Eye, but enjoyed returning to her farm in Creeting St Mary on a regular basis.

An inquest into her death was opened and adjourned on Tuesday at the Coroners Office in Bury St Edmunds. A full inquest will be held at a later date.

Kym Denny, home manager of the Suffolk County Council run Paddock House, said: “Olive has been a resident at Paddock House since January 2010 when she could not return home following a stay in hospital.

“She still made daily bus trips, followed by a short walk, back to her farm. She enjoyed her independence and was passionate about wildlife and the environment. Olive was a popular member of the home, well-liked and always made a positive contribution to the wellbeing of residents at Paddock House.

“All staff and residents wish to pass on their sympathies to Olive’s family and friends.”

The actress starred in a string of television shows as well as a number of films, including The Frightened City, alongside Sean Connery, and Alive and Kicking with Richard Harris.

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said that Paddock House was providing appropriate care and that this was a ‘tragic accident’.