A MOTHER-FIGURE who nurtured classes of Bradford children as well as youngsters in her own family, has died aged 90 after a life of caring for others.

Kathleen Metcalfe who died peacefully of old age at her home, never had children of her own but was the matriarch of her family with 12 nephews and nieces who she helped guide through life.

Miss Metcalfe was born in the old fire station in Nelson Street where her father was based after being discharged from the First World War - in those days fire crews lived on the station with their families.

The family later moved to Wibsey and she was educated in the city until she left for Ireland to work in the garment industry becoming a managing director of a Dublin-based company.

After her father's death in the 1960s she returned to Bradford to care for her mother and re-trained now in her 40s as a teacher at Margaret McMillan College.

Her first and only teaching job was at St Joseph's RC Primary School in Pakington Street, off Manchester Road - the same school she had attended as a child.

Her nephew Kevin McMullen said his aunt had kept letters from former pupils and he had found one in particular from 1986 when she retired, written by a 13-year-old Louise Alder.

"It said 'You area lovely person and I'm not the only one that thinks that. You were very kind to me and I'm grateful for you being the person who you are'

"Louise would be in her 40s now but it's the sentiment that all her family and all those children she taught will share. She was always a caring person, all her life."

MrMcMullen added: "I think she had plenty of opportunities to marry but she said she never found one good enough - but she was still a mother-figure not just to her nephews and nieces but also to all the children she taught."

Her funeral will be today at 11.30am at St Joseph's Church.