Tributes to South Ribble's first Lady Mayor, who "paved the way for other women"

Joan Lawson
Joan Lawson
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The funeral will be held tomorrow (Thursday) for Joan Lawson, the first Lady Mayor of South Ribble, who has died aged 100.

Great-grandmother of eight, Mrs Lawson, of Walton-le-Dale, worked as an ambulance driver in the Second World War, and ran her own hairdressing business.

Joan Lawson on her 100th birthday last year

Joan Lawson on her 100th birthday last year

She served 23 years as a borough councillor for the St Leonard’s ward in Walton-le-Dale, becoming Mayor in 1980.

Councillor Margaret Smith, leader of South Ribble Council, said: “I have lost a friend that I knew both in government and away from politics.

"Joan was an avid campaigner and loyal representative for the people she served and I will never forget her dedication which is an example to us all.

"As the first Lady Mayor of South Ribble, she paved the way for other women to hold this important post as First Citizen of the Borough and since Joan, there has been almost a dozen more Lady Mayors.

“Joan was such an accomplished individual: an ambulance driver in the Second World War; a business owner; a borough councillor; and then our first Lady Mayor. There really are no words to describe her achievements. Reaching 100 is just another sign of her resolve and verve for life.

“I extend my deepest sympathies to her friends and family at this difficult time.”

Mrs Lawson died on Tuesday, January 22. The funeral will take place at 1pm tomorrow (Thursday, January 31) at Preston Crematorium. The Civic Flag at the council’s Leyland offices has been lowered to half-mast until after this date.

The funeral is open to the public. Meanwhile, the family has advised that donations in Mrs Lawson's memory can be made to Rosemere Cancer Foundation.