WISBECH businessman Richard Barnwell was sworn in as the High Sheriff of Cambridgeshire on Friday.
Dignitaries packed St Peter’s Church in Wisbech for the historic ceremony.
Notable guests included the Mayor and Mayoress of Wisbech Nick and Sara Meekins, Lord-Lieutenant of Cambridgeshire Hugh Duberly, Chief Constable Simon Parr and Judge Gareth Hawkesworth.
The High Sheriff is an independent, non-political Royal appointment that is held for one year.
Dr Nigel Brown handed over the mantle to his successor during the ceremony, which also saw Caroline Stenner, partner in Birketts LLP, named as Under Sheriff and Father Paul West appointed as chaplain.
A reception was held in St Peter’s Church Hall afterwards by Mr Barnwell and his wife Beverly to celebrate the appointment.
Mr Barnwell, who is 52-years-old, said: “It is an immense honour for me and Wisbech that I shall be holding office in the north of the county. I look forward to meeting everyone and attending as many functions as possible.”
Mr Barnwell first came to Wisbech to work as an assistant for James Crowden, who was himself High Sheriff in 1970. He only intended to stay three years but ended up remaining in the town. He is a farmer and a well-known auctioneer at Clifford Cross sales house.
He was Mayor in 2000, has been a county councillor and was named deputy Lord Lieutenant in 2006.
Mr Barnwell has been involved in lots of local groups and organisations and has been chairman of many, including the Wisbech Society and Wisbech and Fenland Museum.
He also helped to found the Octavia Hill’s Birthplace House with Peter Clayton.
He firmly believes in something Mr Crowden used to say: “If you want to do something, you always make time.”