Tributes paid to former Wakefield mayoress

Betty Henderson mayoress obit
Betty Henderson mayoress obit

TRIBUTES have been paid to a former mayoress who died on Monday morning.

Betty Henderson was Wakefield’s mayoress while her father Harry Stead, a widower, was mayor of the city in 1967.

Mrs Henderson spent her early years living at Manygates Lodge, in Castle Grove Park, and later lived on Manygates Lane.

She died at Pinderfields Hospital aged 88 as a result of pneumonia caused by complications in her chest.

Lynda Canning, a distant relative of Mrs Henderson, said she was heavily involved with the local Conservative party and was proud to have been mayoress.

She said: “Betty was my mum’s second cousin and I have nice memories of her. She was very good company, a very sociable person and very loyal to her friends.”

Mrs Henderson was married to Claude in Sandal, but Mr Henderson passed away many years ago.

A long-term friend Martin Sidebottom said she did secretarial work during World War Two, first in Edinburgh and then in Nottingham.

But she spent the vast majority of her working life working for Rawson’s Carpets as a secretary to the managing director.

Mr Sidebottom said she was “like a grandmother” to him.

He said: “Betty was a very sociable person and such a good friend to me.

“She was proud of being mayoress but also very proud of her work for Rawson’s.”

Rawson’s managing director Hector Rawson said: “Betty was a marvellous employee who worked for us for 46 years.

“She was totally loyal to the company in every way you can possibly think of.

“She has helped a great deal in the success of the company.”

Mrs Henderson’s funeral will take place at Wakefield Crematorium on Thursday. It will start at 2.40pm.