A former Mayor of Castle Morpeth has died at the age of 82.
Bill Cuthbertson passed away peacefully on Wednesday, December 16, at St Oswald’s Hospice in Newcastle following a long illness.
He had a strong sense of civic duty, having served as a councillor on Northumberland County Council and as the former chairman of Ponteland Parish Council.
He was the Mayor of what was then the Castle Morpeth Borough between 2001 and 2002.
Bill was born in 1933 in Fenham. Leaving school at 16, he joined the Police Cadets then did his National Service in The Royal Military Police, policing in Berlin alongside the Russian and American military.
Returning to the Newcastle City Police, he was a beat officer in the East End.
In the late 1950s, he took a secondment to join the Cypriot Police for two years at a time of conflict on the island and was commended for his bravery in single-handedly breaking up a riot in Nicosia by firing his service pistol over the heads of rioters.
On his return to the North East, Bill married Val, who was a secretary at Byker Police Station.
They had three children – Shaun, Andrew and Fiona. Both Shaun and Fiona were born with disabling special needs and sadly died in early childhood.
Bill worked his way up through the police force in Newcastle, attending Bramshill Police College where promising officers were fast-tracked through the ranks.
He retired as a Superintendent and was the Chief Constable’s staff officer for a period of time.
Bill and Val moved to Ponteland in the 1980s. Upon retirement and ever with a commitment to society, he became involved in local politics.
Val died in 2012. He missed her desperately, but never gave up the fight against his own illness and we was always appreciative of the support from Ponteland Medical Group, Macmillan Cancer Support and St Oswald’s Hospice.
Bill is survived by his son Andrew and sister Betty and will always be fondly remembered by family and friends.
His funeral will take place at noon on Wednesday, December 30, at the West Road Crematorium in Newcastle.