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A woman who has held two of the most unusual and historic jobs in Berwick recalled the interesting roles she has played when she was guest speaker at Berwick Rotary Club.

Monday, 5th February 2018, 08:00 am

Joyce Benton has been Halberdier and is now Sergeant-at-Mace, and she said both were almost as old and historic as the Mayor and Sheriff.

In her official capacity she is constantly involved in keeping the civic party right.

She told the club she had been at a function many years ago when she saw a top hat, tried it on and it fitted. Soon afterwards a vacancy came up for a Halberdier, she was interviewed and appointed. So efficient was she that when the job of Sergeant-at-Mace arose she was appointed.

She told of the major events of the year, like mayor-making, Remembrance Sunday and the May Fair, which used to attract huge crowds to Marygate.

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She would like to see those days return, but it would take a great deal of hard work to make it possible.

Mrs Benton has worked with both the former Berwick borough, which involved visits to so many towns and villages, and the current town council.

There are few authorities in the North East with long civic traditions like Berwick.