Kendal Town Council

Mayor of Kendal 2021/22

Councillor Doug Rathbone became Mayor of Kendal during the Full Council meeting on the 4thMay 2021.

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.  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.  The charities chosen for 2021/2022 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 an event please click here.

The Deputy Mayor for 2021/22 is Councillor Julia Dunlop.

The Mayor’s Parlour

The Mayors Parlour within Kendal Town Hall distinguishes Kendal from most other Parish Councils in Cumbria. The Parlour is used for Committee meetings and receiving guests and dignitaries during civic events. The Parlour is home to exceptional historical items that signify Kendal’s rich heritage.

Heritage Open Days

Simon Unsworth, the Mayors Attendant, will be opening the Mayor’s Parlour and leading a heritage talk on the following days:

  • October 5th 6.30pm – 8.30pm
  • October 14th 10am – 12 noon
  • October 17th 2pm – 4pm

To confirm numbers, please email if you intend to join.

Group Visits

To arrange a visit (groups of up to 15 maximum) to the Mayor’s Parlour to hear about the history of Kendal and see the town’s regalia and works of art – please complete the booking form. This BBC audio slide show provides a glimpse of what to expect.

Academic Research 

To view any heritage items stored within the Mayors Parlour as part of academic research please contact us to make an appointment.

Civic Events

On behalf of the Mayor, Kendal Town Council organises several annual Civic events including:

  • Mayor Making Ceremony
  • Mayor’s Sunday
  • Torchlight 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 past holders of the office until Councillor Doug Rathbone.

Famous Kendal names 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 (of K shoes).

On ceremonial occasions the Mayor, is accompanied by the Sword Bearer and two Mace Bearers. The Sword Bearer carries the sword presented to the town by Charles II, which is one of only 20 ever given to a town by the Monarch. The Mace Bearers (originally known as Sergeants of Mace) carry the maces made in 1647/8.