Kendal Town Council

The Mayor of Kendal

The title of Mayor was bestowed by Charles I in 1636 and there have been 274 previous Mayors of the office up to Cllr Doug Rathbone, Kendal’s current Mayor for 2021/2022.


Councillor Douglas Rathbone – Mayor of Kendal 2021/22

Councillor Doug Rathbone has served the Heron Hill ward as a Town Councillor since 2018.

He Chairs the Planning and Mayoralty & Arts committees and is a District Councillor for Kendal South and Natland.

As a trained historian, he is passionate about Kendal, its heritage and its buildings. Doug thoroughly enjoys helping people and solving local issues where possible.

Doug grew up in south London and the Blue Mountains in Australia.

He studied at Durham University where he obtained a degree in Economic & Social History and later returned to obtain an MBA.

Doug had a career in banking before volunteering in a union benefits advice centre. He cared for his mother for a decade, then together with his partner Sally Johnson, moved to Kendal. Sally grew up in Windermere, and they have regularly visited family here.

In his spare time, Doug loves listening to punk, new wave and 80’s music, going to gigs, walking the fells, sailing and meeting new people. He is also an Elder at Carver URC church in Windermere and a preacher around the country.

Doug’s theme for for his Mayoral year is Kendal Together. supporting and celebrating Kendal during the covid recovery. He is keen to support projects that help to welcome people back and recognise those that have supported others during the pandemic. His chosen charities are Christians Against Poverty | Debt Counselling Charity ( which provides free debt help with practical support in local community groups, and The Well Communities giving practical live-in support to those recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.

Doug plans to support these organisations via several fundraising events throughout his Mayoral year.

Mayoral Contact Details

To contact the Mayor or invite him to an event, please email: or call 01539 793 490.

The Deputy Mayor for 2020/21 is Councillor Juila Dunlop.

Mayoral History

Kendal has had a first Citizen (originally known as the Alderman) since 1575 during the reign of Elizabeth I.

The feature that distinguishes Kendal from most other Parish Councils in Cumbria is the Mayor’s Parlour.

Some of the famous Kendal names which appear 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.