A WOMAN who was a driving force behind the success of the Brewery Arts Centre and Abbot Hall in Kendal has died.

Joan Frieda Trevelyan, a member of the Scott family which was behind Kendal’s Provincial Insurance Company, passed away in Western Australia, aged 96.

Born in Bolton on August 19, 1912, she was the eldest child of Francis Clayton Scott and Gwendolen Frieda Martha Jaeger.

Her father, with his brother, Samuel, started Provincial Insurance, which operated in about 20 countries with its head office in Stramongate, Kendal. Anne Pierson, former director of the Brewery Arts Centre, first met Joan Trevelyan in 1978 and described her as “an extraordinary woman who was to remain part of my life until she died.” She added: “My overriding memory will be of someone of great intellect, kindness and generosity.”

Mrs Trevelyan’s brother Peter Scott set up the Francis C. Scott Charitable Trust in 1963 with their parents, and the family endowed the trust with shares from their Provincial Insurance Company. The trust continues to provide grants for community groups and projects in Cumbria and north Lancashire.

Mrs Pierson added: “Joan helped me shape and test the philosophy which was to underpin the Brewery, and her support, and that of her family, through the Scott Trusts, made it possible for me to implement it. “The projects which appealed to her most were those which gave opportunities to the young and to the disadvantaged and which took the arts to the community. “None of those students taking part in Cumbria Youth Theatre, none of those watching a production by the Brewery’s professional touring company, Pocket Theatre, knew they owed that experience to Joan.”

Mrs Trevelyan studied medicine at St Anne’s College, Oxford, and worked at the Radcliffe in Oxford and later St Thomas’s hospital in London. She married John Trevelyan, then a senior administrator for the Westmorland education system, and who later became the secretary of the British Board of Film Censors. They had two children, James and Sara. They later divorced.

After emigrating to Australia with her family for 12 years, she returned to Westmorland to care for her dying mother. In her mid-80s, she moved to Edinburgh to live with her daughter before returning to Australia for the last thee years of her life.

Her son said: “She was always modest about her own achievements. She made a difference to the lives of a great many people, yet few were aware just how much.”