The best friend of a hero air hostess from Chesterfield who died in the Manchester Airport disaster 30 years ago remembered her at a private memorial event at the weekend.
Sharon Ford, who lived on Enfield Road, Newbold, was one of 55 victims of the disaster on August 22, 1985.
She was just 22-years-old.
Sharon – who led many passengers to safety as a British Airtours 737 jet bound for Corfu burst into flames on the runway – was posthumously awarded a Queen’s Gallantry Medal for bravery.
Her best friend, Beverley Senatore, joined bereaved relatives and survivors of the disaster at the airport on Saturday for a private memorial to remember Sharon and everyone else who lost their lives exactly three decades on.
Beverley, 52, said: “It was very emotional – I’ve never cried so much in my life.
“There was a very moving sermon and a white rose and candle for everyone who died.
“I met the captain and other air stewardesses and they spoke very highly of Sharon.
“They said they used to call her Marilyn Monroe because she was so beautiful.”
On Saturday, after a 30-year wait, British Airways and Manchester Airport apologised to survivors and the families of those who died.
Beverley welcomed the apology.
It has also been confirmed that a new memorial will now be created at the airport.
Sharon spent nine months working as a typist and ticket sales woman for Chesterfield Football Club but had always wanted to be an air stewardess.
She eventually achieved her dream – but it was to end in tragedy.
Sharon, another air hostess and 53 passengers were killed in the fire on that fateful day.
Most of the victims died from inhaling toxic smoke and many were impeded by the layout of the seats and the narrow width of the exits.
The disaster led to a host of changes in air safety procedures.