TRIBUTES have been paid to Melanie Burton, from St Ives, who was killed as she cycled to work. Melanie, 33, a qualified veterinary nurse, was in an accident involving a lorry at the junction of Hill Rise and Houghton Road, St Ives, on Friday morning. Her
TRIBUTES have been paid to Melanie Burton, from St Ives, who was killed as she cycled to work.
Melanie, 33, a qualified veterinary nurse, was in an accident involving a lorry at the junction of Hill Rise and Houghton Road, St Ives, on Friday morning.
Her father Chas said: "She was a special girl - really, really special."
Melanie lived with long-time boyfriend Malcolm Plant in Arran Way, not far from the accident scene. Police broke the news to him at David Smith Timber Engineers, in St Ives.
He had to tell Melanie's dad and her mother, Brenda, who lives in Ireland.
Melanie had been cycling to work in Wyton - Mr Plant said she liked to ride to work on sunny days.
He said: "It's like half of me has gone. She was a big part of me - she was everything."
The couple had been together since she was 19. They met in the Greyhound pub and found they liked the same music.
A former St Ivo pupil, Melanie had worked as a veterinary nurse for 12 years, and animals were her passion.
Mr Plant said: "We moved here two Easters ago and it was a perfect house for us. We were both totally against marriage. We didn't think we needed a piece of paper to prove that we loved each other.
"We had a different relationship from most couples. We each had our own interests and and we had our own circle of friends and we met in the middle.
"It was perfect for both of us. It was superb, my ideal relationship. I didn't have to ask her if I wanted to do things and she didn't have to ask me."
Melanie's brother, Ken, 28, a welder who is a DJ at the Lounge Club, in St Ives, remembered Melanie bringing home animals over the years, including a German Shepherd dog called Carla that had been so badly treated she had to nurse it back to life. He said: "You would come home and find Widget the pigeon on the table.
"If she had won the Lottery, she would have wanted to buy a place like Wood Green and fill it with animals. She had rabbits, cats, hedgehogs and birds."
She had a dry sense of humour and zest for life, he said. "We went to rock festivals together. She liked all types of music and I went on paranormal excursions with her. She was good at her job and well respected.
"Growing up, she got me out of a lot of scrapes. She was a great sister and a real one-off."
Melanie was a keen historian, particularly interested in the Tudor period, and took part in re-enactments, such as spending two weeks working in character at Kentwell Hall, the Tudor mansion in Suffolk.
She also took part in paranormal investigations and had been around the country visiting haunted buildings.
Melanie had done a bungee jump for charity and her father Chas remembered her as a tomboy. "She was never a girly girl, she never wore make-up and she never liked to have her photograph taken. She was a special girl, really, really special."
Melanie's funeral will be at Cambridge Crematorium on Monday, September 24, at 12.45pm. Family flowers only. The family have requested donations to the RSPCA or Cats Protection c/o Dennis Easton Funeral Service, The Lodge, 1 Broadleas, St Ives PE27 5PU if people wish.
* The accident happened at 8am last Friday at the junction of Hill Rise and Houghton Road, St Ives, and police are appealing for witnesses. Anyone with information should contact Cambridgeshire police on 0845 456 4564.