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‘Racy’ former regional daily columnist dies from drowning aged 44

Victoria ElsburyA polo journalist and writer of a “racy” regional daily column has died from drowning aged 44.

Tributes have been paid to Victoria Elsbury-Legg, pictured left, who used to write a column for the Bristol Evening Post called ‘Sex in the City’.

An inquest heard a suicide note was found in Victoria’s parents’ car, in which she had been travelling before entering the water at Mudeford Quay, near Bournemouth.

Victoria, who most recently worked as a freelance polo journalist, had suffered from ME and lived nearby with her parents during the last few months of her life.

Her parents, Sarah and Phil, told the Daily Telegraph: “She was always a chatter box but a wonderfully caring daughter. She made people very happy – especially us – and Victoria always went that extra mile to make people feel special.”

A Bristol native, Victoria graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London, with a degree in English literature and drama, before embarking on a career in journalism.

She worked on the then-HTV programme The List, interviewing future stars such as the Spice Girls and Justin Timberlake.

Of her ‘Sex in the City’ column in her hometown newspaper, described as “racy”, her parents said: “Our builder at the time used to read it avidly, but we used to close our eyes when we read it.”

Sitting in Bournemouth on Wednesday, Dorset coroner Sheriff Payne heard Victoria left the car she was travelling in with her parents at Mudeford Quay on the evening of Thursday 11 February.

Her parents, who were concerned for her welfare, contacted police to say they could no longer see her.

It sparked a large-scale search and rescue mission by Dorset police, RNLI, and Coastguard, which continued for an hour and a half before she was recovered around 10.30pm.

The inquest was told she was pulled from the water unresponsive and despite efforts to resuscitate her she was pronounced dead at Bournemouth Royal Hospital at 1.40am on Friday morning.

Hurlingham Polo Association, the UK governing body for the sport, said in a statement: “Her enthusiasm and energy for polo appeared boundless and she would always go out of her way to help in any polo venture that could benefit the game.

“She will be much missed and we would like to extend our deepest sympathies to her family.”

Her parents have asked that rather than flowers people make a donation to two charities very close to Victoria’s heart – mental health charity Mind and F.O.R.M.E (The Fund for Osteopathic Research into Myalgic Encephalomyelitis) which supports people with ME.

The inquest was adjourned until 17 June.