LONG-SERVING macebearer Colin Barker has been honoured for his service to the town.

Mr Barker, who has served as one of two macebearers in Lyme Regis for more than 25 years, was invited to a town council meeting when he was surprised with a presentation.

The mayor, Cllr Michaela Ellis, presented Mr Barker with an engraved plaque bearing the town’s coat of arms, as well as a bunch of flowers for his wife Shirley, for supporting her husband in his civic role.

Speaking at the full council meeting last Wednesday, Cllr Ellis said: “I have a very special presentation to make tonight to someone who’s been brought here under false pretences and who has given many years of service to the town as macebearer – Colin Barker.

“Thank you so much for everything you have done for the town council in your role as macebearer. Thank you for over 25 years of service.”

In a purely ceremonial role, the macebearers accompany the mayor on civic duties carrying identical George II silver maces.

Historically, maces were carried by macebearers when in procession with the mayor and were used to defend the first citizen from attack.

The right to appoint two Sergeants of Mace bearing silver gilt maces was made possible when Queen Elizabeth I renewed the town’s charter in 1559.

Alongside existing macebearer Derek Hallett, who is also a town councillor, Mr Barker has been replaced by Jon Hunt, who is also standard bearer for the Lyme Regis branch of the Royal British Legion.