A FORMER Mayor’s Consort of Kendal has died after a short illness at the town’s Westmorland General Hospital.

Gertrude Bateson, of Oxenholme, was the only daughter and third child of James King MM, of Kendal, and Muriel Hunter, of Dalton-in-Furness, having been born in Gawith Place, Kendal.

In 1936 the family moved to the new Kirkbarrow estate, where she enjoyed a happy childhood with her parents and two elder brothers, James and John.

Her father, from a long-standing Kendal family, had been awarded the Military Medal in World War I. A railway goods carter, he also received the LMS Railway Bravery Award in 1945 after he risked his life saving a child from falling under his horse.

Gertrude attended the National and Senior Girls’ Schools in Kendal. She left school at 14, working initially at Kendal Socks then at K Shoes for a number of years.

In 1949 she met Kenneth John Bateson, of Oxenholme, and they were married at Kendal Parish Church in 1952. Their only son, John, arrived two years later.

Possessing a fine soprano voice, Gertrude joined Margaret Hine’s Greenside Choir in 1946 and later performed with Kendal Amateur Operatic Society. She had a lifelong interest in music.

After her husband’s retirement the couple enjoyed travel, gardening, and social events.

Ken died in 1999, and shortly afterwards Gertrude suffered a major stroke. After rehabilitation she lived with her son for 14 years in Bolefoot, Oxenholme.

When her son became Mayor of Kendal in 2009 she was able to act as Mayor Consort for a number of events despite her disabilities, and thoroughly enjoyed the events which she attended.

In her later years she enjoyed the company of her beloved cats, attending concerts, the company of friends and carers and radio and television programmes.

She was a fervent supporter of a number of animal charities, and a long-term member of the Labour Party.

In early 2014 her health began to fail, and she spent her last two weeks in the care of the National Health Service, to which she was devoted. She is survived by her son.