A well-known Cumbrian woman who died after being hit by a car has been fondly remembered ahead of her funeral.

Former art teacher Penny Bains, 72, died in the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle on December 29 - nine days after she was struck by a car in Brampton.

Her death was one of three fatal collisions involving pedestrians in Cumbria in December alone.

Penny’s funeral will take place tomorrow at St. Mary’s Church, in her home village of Hethersgill, at 1pm.

Ahead of the funeral, her friend and former neighbour Philippa Godwin paid tribute to the nature-loving former William Howard School teacher.

“Penny was really passionate about getting the best out of people,” said Philippa, 65, who now lives in Suffolk.

“She was very widely known in the local community, in the Brampton area and in Hethersgill where she lived.

“She was passionate about getting involved with projects – she’d throw herself into things, particularly in the very remote rural communities, she would run classes and projects.”

Penny’s enthusiastic involvement in community projects was contrasted with her character, which Philippa described as “intensely private”.

“It’s that funny contrast between someone who was quite self contained in her own skin, thoughtful, but also curious about other people,” Philippa said.

An only child, Penny was brought up in Spalding, Lincolnshire. Becoming an art teacher, she spent many years in London and Kent.

In the mid 1980s, she relocated to Hethersgill near Brampton. The rural setting was perfect for Penny, who had a deep passion for the natural world.

“She adored animals, an supported lots of animal charities,” Philippa explained.

After moving to the area, Penny began teaching art at William Howard School in Brampton.

Philippa described Penny as a hard taskmaster, but all for the purpose of encouraging people to excel.

For health reasons, Penny left William Howard in the early 1990s, but she continued teaching art in community settings across the Brampton area and was popular among her students.