Former Eden district councillor and Cumbria County Council chairman Bert Richardson — who also ran Caldbeck shop for 35 years — has died, aged 74.
Mr Richardson was a pillar of his community throughout his life, becoming a successful businessman, an active supporter of numerous local causes and events, and known as one of the hardest working councillors in the district.
Born at Upton Bridge, Caldbeck, on 11th September, 1946, he was the third son of John and Mary Richardson and one of four brothers.
In 1950 the family moved to East View, Upton, and ran the adjoining shop, Harrison Ivinson Stores, before moving to the village post office and Kirkland Stores in 1957.
Bert’s nan lived at Phyllis Cottage in the village and he lived there for a time while continuing to go to school at Caldbeck Primary School and later Caldew School, in Dalston.
He helped with delivering the post and he and his brother William helped their parents run the shop which Bert would later run himself.
He was a keen musician and well-known in the area for playing the accordion at local village halls and pubs. In the early 1970s while playing the accordion at a dance in Threlkeld, Bert met his future wife, Dorothy.
Dorothy’s family ran the village shop in Greystoke, so there was an obvious connection as well as their love of music, dancing and eating out.
The couple married in 1974 and lived at Kirkland Stores in Caldbeck above the shop, running the shop, post office and petrol station, later moving to Jefferson Garth, Greystoke.
He said it was a good life running the shop and he enjoyed serving the local people and visitors.
The couple took semi-retirement in 2002, by which time Bert had run the shop, first with his father and then with Dorothy, for 35 years.
Prior to their retirement the couple had moved to a newly built bungalow at Jefferson Garth in Greystoke where they lived happily together for many years.
Bert was a very good dancer and he and Dorothy used to enjoy attending local farmers’ balls, they also enjoyed meals out and later developed a love of cruise ship holidays.
In 1994, Bert was proud to be one of the first people to drive through the channel tunnel on the Eurostar.
He continued the journey in his new Jaguar to Monte Carlo, a favourite place of his and Dorothy’s.
After retiring, Bert drove a school bus. He was elected as an Eden district councillor in 2001 with the Conservative Party, representing the Greystoke and Hesket division.
He served on the district council for eight years before becoming a Cumbria county councillor. It was not his first foray into local politics, having first been elected on to the county council in 1989 and representing the Warnell division for four years.
In 2009, he was chairman of the county authority’s Eden local committee, before serving as Cumbria County Council chairman from 2010-11.
He was very proud of his work to contribute to his county and to his community and only stood down in 2015 — after 16 continuous years as a county councillor — due to ill-health.
Bert was also an active member of the village community in Greystoke. He was a regular churchgoer, a member of the Rotary club and the village social club, and was well known locally as a kind, caring and generous man.
He was also an active member of Keswick Golf Club and worked hard to establish the club from its very beginning.
He helped both physically and financially and became a life member, president and captain of the club.
After Dorothy died in 2017, Bert was supported by a wide circle of family and friends.
He died at the Eden Valley Hospice on 13th January.
The funeral is to take place on February 5 at St Andrew’s Church, Greystoke, with Richardson’s Funeral Directors, Penrith, having care of arrangements.