Dignitaries and guests from across Rutland filled the Great Hall at Oakham Castle on Thursday last week to witness the inauguration ceremony for the new High Sheriff of Rutland.
Andrew Brown from Caldecott was sworn into the role, taking over from Air Commodore Miles Williamson-Noble.
Both a farmer and environmentalist, Mr Brown was “honoured and privileged” to take over the ancient role from the outgoing High Sheriff.
Mr Williamson-Noble who has served the county for the past year, passed on an important piece of advice to the new High Sheriff, “enjoy, the opportunities are endless” he said.
Mr Brown was nominated in November to take over the ancient role, at a ceremony held at London’s High Court.
Speaking at the ceremony he said: “No one was more surprised than me to be asked to take on this role. I’ve been looking forward to this moment for a very long time.”
As part of the ceremony at the castle, a number of High Sheriff awards were presented by Mr Williamson-Noble to individuals and community groups in recognition of their work, prior to the handover.
A special certificate of commendation was presented to David and Rebecca Malpas from Uppingham, for their ‘exceptional courage’ in the face of criminal action.
The couple who own Rutland Antiques Centre showed exceptional bravery when three masked men armed with axes raided their shop in April 2014.
Mr Malpas said: “This is a very special day for us and it’s a real honour to partake in something like this.
“It’s nice to be recognised for our bravery. That day was an extremely frightening experience for us both.”
Other awards were presented to Malcolm Robb from Voluntary Action Rutland, who has been a ‘great asset to the Community Vehicle Scheme; Ron Simpson, for his “tireless campaigning” for Uppingham and Chris Green, Chairman of Royce Rangers Football Club, which coaches in excess of 250 children.
The Mercury also received an award for its support in promoting the High Sheriff’s winter fuel campaign, which was collected by reporter, Rachel Pishhorn.
She said: “It’s been a honour to be able to support Miles in his campaigning for both the older and younger generations of Rutland.
“He has played an active role in helping the community during his time as High Sheriff and we wish him all the best for the future.”
Mr Williamson Noble added: “This ceremony marks the end of one of the best years of my life, it’s been fantastic!
“It’s the end of an era, but the start of a new one.”