Former mayor who loyally served his borough dies at 64

Richard Patterson
Richard Patterson

A dedicated councillor who became mayor, but who never lost touch with his home community, has died suddenly at the age of 64.

Richard Patterson, who lived at Beadnell, passed away peacefully at home on August 5, with wife Jane at his side.

His career in local government began in 1978 as a member of Beadnell Parish Council. He was elected as a Berwick Borough councillor in 1991, becoming a formidable member of its Conservative group, serving as deputy leader and chairman of the corporate services and regeneration committee before being appointed mayor of the authority in 2005.

Richard was a founder trustee of North Sunderland and Seahouses Development Trust and vice-chairman of the North Northumberland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. He also operated the Beadnell boat-launch.

A sporting all-rounder, he played football for North Sunderland and Bamburgh in his younger days and rugby for Alnwick for nine years. He even tried his hand at parachuting at Brunton, where he reached potential instructor rating, and was also made captain of Seahouses Golf Club in 2000, becoming chairman of the greens’ committee.

Born the youngest of eight children to a Seahouses family, Richard moved to Beadnell and set up a business as a landscape gardener and fencing contractor. He and Jane married in 1973 and had three children – son Ben, now 34, Sam, 24, and Gemma, who tragically died in 1986, aged six.

Following a funeral service at St Ebba’s Church, Richard was laid to rest at Beadnell cemetery, next to his beloved daughter.

Ben said: “He knew so many people and their kindness and support has been overwhelming.”