The 65-year-old, who counted LS Lowry among her friends, was known as a kind-hearted woman who bought presents for just about everyone she met.

She was a regular at the Church Inn in Mobberley where the staff were always pleased to see her.

"She came in for a meal with her dog and would always bring presents for us," said chef Nathan Lingard. "I remember one time when she gave everyone a book by Lowry and a bottle of wine."

Pat moved to Knutsford in 1965 with her husband Brian, who this week was still too upset to talk about her death.

She was a colourful character with a successful career that had been inspired by Lowry.

But her paintings were different to his as her subjects included anything from back streets to comical characters.

In the 1960's she produced work for television and the then Prime Minister Harold Wilson bought some of her work.

"Everyone roars with laughter when they see them and it makes our meetings easier," he told Pat.

Guardian chief photographer Alan Taylor met Pat on a number of occasions although he was never invited to her house.

"We usually met at the Church Inn because she never answered the door to anybody," he said. "She was a lovely lady and quite unique."

Another admirer said: "Pat Cooke was a free and happy spirit who tried to show people the beautiful aspects of a world often clouded by bad news."

Her funeral will be held at Altrincham Crematorium on Monday at 1pm.

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