Tributes have been paid to a former landlady who helped campaign for flood defences in Ryedale.

Kathleen Grayston passed away on September 26 aged 79.

Originally from Leeds, Kath married Gerald Grayston in 1961 and went on to have three children, Mandy, Helen and Christopher.

Following the death of Gerald, Kath moved to North Grimston where she became the licensee of the Middleton Armsin 1991.

Kath was soon to put the Middleton Arms on the map. Following a significant refurbishment the pub soon became the heart of the village for locals and was renowned far and wide.

The pub raised thousands of pounds each year for charity and Kath and her family became part of the village and were good friends with all the locals.

In 2002 Kath became the owner of Bridge House Bed and Breakfast in Pickering. She was to semi-retire but continued to work tirelessly and independently until she was 75. Following the devastating floods in Pickering in June 2007, Kath was forced out of her home for almost a year due to flood water damage. She subsequently became Secretary of the flood defence group and campaigned tirelessly along with some of the other residents in Pickering,

Kathleen was a keen golfer and had been a member of Malton and Norton Golf Club. She loved gardening, her garden in Pickering winning her a Pickering in Bloom award.

Her family said: "Mum was an extremely proud lady, she was selfless, determined, fiercely independent and always presented herself immaculately. Her passing is a great loss to all her family, friends and everyone that knew her.

Friend Pat Woolard, who still lives in North Grimston, said: "Kath was a very strong hard working and independent lady, she was a very caring person and would do all to help anyone she could. She was a good listener and more importantly a good friend. We had lots of laughs and lots of tears along the way but they were the best years. Kath will be sadly missed by all who knew her."