A woman who playeda leading role in the successful return of Honister Slate Mine has died after losing her battle with cancer.
Celia Taylor Weir, aged 77, was the mother of Mark Weir, who bought and reopened the disused mine in 1986, after it had been closed for 11 years.
Mark died, aged 45, when his helicopter crashed near the mine in 2011.
Celia, who is survived by her three other children — Joe, Dawn and Michelle — was born in Coniston, but moved to Borrowdale as a child, when her father got a job working at the mine, before it closed in 1975.
“She was a big part of Honister for goodness knows how many years,” said Dawn.
“They had a farm at Borrowdale and she spent most of her life up there, but she was better known at Honister and when Mark got it, she was a huge part of that. She was a tiger up at Honister.”
One of seven children, Celia had attended Borrowdale School and Lairthwaite School in Keswick and her first job was at a greengrocer’s shop in the town, to which she cycled from her home in Braithwaite.
Michelle said: “She had a right good love of life and was always wanting to better herself.
“She loved walking and she worked for herself doing dinner, bed and breakfast at the farm in Borrowdale and had a fish and chip shop, The Kingfisher, in Keswick. Dawn and mum both worked there and she helped Mark when he got Honister.
“They were very close. When he first bought the slate mine, she was full of dread, but she became a big part of Honister and she loved it.
“Mark worked very hard up there and so did mother. She did the mine tours. She was full of fun and energy — but you wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of her!”
Celia, who lived at Troutbeck, had been married three times, had eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
She was diagnosed with cancer in September and died last Monday. Funeral details have not yet been confirmed.