Former Mayoress loses cancer battle

Val Cuthbertson
Val Cuthbertson

A FORMER Castle Morpeth Mayoress from Ponteland has died after a long battle with cancer.

Val Cuthbertson was committed and energetic in the role between 2001 and 2002 alongside her husband Bill, who was Mayor at the time.

She particularly enjoyed meeting children at schools and was tireless in her fund-raising efforts for local charities, particularly the Yellow Brick Road Appeal of the Children’s Foundation.

Mrs Cuthbertson was born in 1933 in High Heaton, Newcastle, to George and Lydia Wilson. She joined the Women’s Royal Naval Service (Aux) in 1950 and was a keen rifle shot, regularly shooting at the Ponteland Military Range.

She wanted to join the Women’s Royal Navy, but her parents persuaded her to attend secretarial college in Newcastle. She became a secretary at Byker Police Station where she met Bill, a Police Constable at the time.

Bill and Val married in 1960 and had three children – Shaun, Andrew and Fiona. Both Shaun and Fiona were born with severe special needs and died in early childhood.

Through the 1970s and early 80s, Mrs Cuthbertson worked at Church High School in Jesmond as an administrator, before moving to Darras Hall in 1984 where she became an enthusiastic gardener.

She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2009 and passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 24, at her home.

Andrew Cuthbertson said: “Val remained resolute that she would fight her illness and was always appreciative of the support from the Ponteland Medical Practice, Northern Cancer Centre at the Freeman Hospital and more recently from Macmillan Cancer Support and the Tynedale Hospice staff who visited her at home.

“She will be fondly remembered by all her family and friends.”

Mrs Cuthbertson’s cremation took place at the West Road Crematorium on Monday.