Kendal Town Council

The Mayor of Kendal

Councillor Doug Rathbone was elected Mayor of Kendal at Council’s annual meeting on 4 May 2021. Unusually, because his first term was blighted by the Covid pandemic, he was re-elected for a second term at the annual meeting in May 2022.

Doug has been a Town Councillor since 2018, representing the people of Heron Hill ward.  He has also been a District Councillor for Kendal South and Natland during that period, and is one of two Westmorland and Furness Council Members for Kendal South.  He aims to have an active dialogue with people living in his area and support local initiatives. Above all, he wants to help the community in which he lives.

The Mayor chooses charities to support and raise money for during their term in office.  Doug’s charities are Christians Against Poverty, who aim to lift people out of debt and poverty and Well Communities who support people recovering from drug and alcohol addiction. To learn more about these charities, please use the following links  and

To book the Mayor to support your event please click here.

The Mayor is supported by a Deputy Mayor, who since May 2021 has been Cllr Julia Dunlop.

The Mayor’s Parlour

The Mayor’s Parlour in the Town Hall is the historic reception room for the Mayor’s civic role. It’s where the Mayor will receive guests and dignitaries during civic events. The Parlour is also home to a collection of exceptional historical items that tell the story of  Kendal’s rich heritage.

Visiting the Parlour

Visits to the Parlour are accompanied by the Town Council’s Heritage Officer. Groups of up to 12 people can hear about the history of Kendal and see the town’s regalia and works of art.

The sessions will last 90 -120 minutes, and will include time for questions and attendees are welcome to take photographs of most things in the room. The sessions will take place on:

Wednesday February 1st at 5.30pm – fully booked

Tuesday February 7th at 10.30am – fully booked

Thursday February 9th at 2pm – fully booked

Thursday February 23rd at 2pm

Tuesday March 7th at 10.30am

Booking is essential as places are limited. To book, please email

To view any heritage items in the Town Council Collection for academic research please contact us to make an appointment or complete the booking form.

Art Collection

The Council’s art collection covers mostly mayoral and civic subjects, but also some local views and works from prominent local artists – Cuthbert Rigby and George Romney among them. The outstanding works can be seen in the Mayor’s Parlour and around the Town Hall, but you can also see most of the collection on-line at

Civic Events

Kendal Town Council organises several annual Civic events including:

  • Mayor Making Ceremony
  • Mayor’s Sunday
  • Torchlight Festival Reception
  • Remembrance Sunday
  • Christmas Lights Switch-On
  • The Mayor’s Christmas Coffee morning
  • The Mayor’s charity dinner

To see the latest event please check the calendar available here.


Kendal has had a First Citizen (originally known as the Alderman) since 1575, during the reign of Elizabeth I. The title of ‘Mayor’ was bestowed by Charles I in 1636 and there have been 273 different holders of the office prior to Cllr Doug Rathbone. List-of-Mayors-to-May-2022.

Famous Kendal surnames on the Mayoral Roll of Honour include Bindloss (for the first time in 1579 and the last in 1894), Sleddall, Birkett, Strickland, Hadwen, Miller, Mackereth, Braithwaite, Dobson, Maude, Bradshaw, Webster (Kendal’s most famous architect), Wakefield, Gilkes and Somervell.

On ceremonial occasions the Mayor is accompanied by the Sword Bearer and Mace Bearers. The Sword Bearer carries the ceremonial sword presented to the town by Charles II, one of only 20 ever given to a town by the Monarch. The maces are slightly older and were made in 1647/8.