Councillor David Howell received the mayor’s chains as well as the all-important wine cellar key and coveted car flag.

Bideford’s new mayor was officially handed over the tools of his duty last night (Thursday) - including the coveted car flag and wine cellar key.

The comical gesture was part of the formal mayor’s introduction ceremony in Bideford Town Hall.

Outgoing mayor Cllr Phil Pester handed over the reins to new mayor Cllr David Howell.

During the ceremony Cllr Pester also presented awards to people of the town.

The Citizen of the Year award presented to Jeff Bracey for his untiring voluntary work in keeping the greens, verges and flowerbeds in good order at Londonderry Farm.

Young Citizen of the Year award will go to Scott Craner, who could not attend the ceremony but will receive his award at the next town council meeting on June 23.

Best retail floral display was presented to the Businesses of Bideford and best licensed floral display to the Royal Hotel.

The best licensed Christmas display went to Crabby Dicks and best retail Christmas display to Quenchers.

New mayor Cllr Howell appointed Jacqui Poole as his chaplain and ATC Corporal Oliver Humphreys as the mayor’s cadet.

Councillor Dermot McGeough will be deputy mayor for the year.

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