PROMINENT Windermere resident Diana Matthews is following in ancestral footsteps after being sworn in as Cumbria’s new High Sheriff.

Mrs Matthews, who will carry out the role for a year, is the great granddaughter of George Henry Pattinson, who was High Sheriff for Westmorland in 1921.

She revealed that her great grandfather’s uniform inspired her own choice of outfit, which was designed and made by young Cumbrian crafstmen, reflecting her interest and support for the county’s arts and crafts traditions.

Mrs Matthews, a magistrate for more than 30 years, is a trustee of the Wordsworth Trust and a patron of the Lakeland Arts Trust, which owns the Windermere Steamboat Museum founded by her father George Harry Pattinson.

She said: “The office of High Sheriff is unpaid and non-political but with deep roots in history. It is uniquely able to bring people together, especially those unsung heroes who are doing wonderful charitable work in the community.”

Mrs Matthews takes over the High Sheriff’s role from Juliet Westoll, who performed one of her last official functions by handing out prizes to Cumbria’s voluntary and community groups during a High Sheriff Awards ceremony at Carleton Hall, Penrith, last week.