Family and friends to honour tragic teen

Swindon Advertiser: Ashley McKinnon, who fell to his death on February 13 Ashley McKinnon, who fell to his death on February 13

A MEMORIAL to teenager Ashley McKinnon will be held in Moredon today, with 200 balloons to be released in his honour.

Ashley, 17, fell from the top floor of Wyvern car park shortly before 9.30pm on Thursday, February 13 and died shortly after.

At 4pm today, family and friends will release the yellow balloons from the playing fields which stand between Akers Way and Manor Crescent, to the west of St Mary’s Church.

Sarah Day, 54, of Manor Crescent, who has known Ashley since he was born, is organising the tribute and has said anyone who knew Ashley or wishes to pay their respects may attend the event. Sarah has also said Ashley’s mother has travelled from Birmingham to attend the memorial.

“His mum will be there. She told me she’s been overwhelmed by what’s happened. The whole situation has been a lot to take,” said Sarah.

“There’s been lots of interest in the memorial. My grandchildren grew up with Ashley and this is for them and the kids in the community who knew him.

“This is for the people who truly knew him from the Moredon community. Anyone can come who knew him. I wanted to do something before the funeral.”

The site for the balloon release will trigger many memories for those who knew Ashley as a child.

Sarah said many of their fondest and funniest memories were captured on that patch of grass. It would also provide the first sight of Ashley as he walked home from Hreod Parkway School.

“He used to go over there into the field for sneaky cigarettes in the bushes, even though I could see him from my bedroom window doing it,” said Sarah.

“He played football over there too. He would always be moaning if he ever got a kick on the shins or a tackle. It was his field. He was always over there doing something.”

The balloons are a nod to Ashley’s love for popping them at birthdays. Sarah said he would never release them into the air.

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