KAREN Turner has been sworn in as the 1,202nd Portreeve of Ashburton.

Following the ancient ceremony on Tuesday evening she told those present: ‘Representative of the Lord of The Borough, Master Bailiff, members of the Courts Leet and Baron, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, it is a great honour to be standing here today as the 1,202nd Portreeve of Ashburton and I would like to thank Sean for asking me to be his Master Bailiff and giving me this opportunity.

‘I also want to thank Katherine Pugh for agreeing to be my Master Bailiff – her dedication to our community is well known and I know she will be of invaluable support during my year.

‘Finally, I’d like to thank the courts for appointing me as your Portreeve and endorsing my choice of Master Bailiff. I am looking forward to our year working together, myself, Kath and members of the courts, as we uphold the ancient traditions associated with these historical courts.’

Until Tuesday’s ceremony, Karen was Master Bailiff to Portreeve Sean Wilson who swore in Ashburton’s new Portreeve.

Master Bailiff for the next year is born and bred Ashburton resident Kath Pugh, and for her it was a particularly special occasion.

‘Fifty years ago on Court and Law Day my granddad, Henry George Bradford was sworn in as the 1152nd Portreeve of Ashburton,’ she said.

‘In November 2005 I visited with Henry and he asked me who the next Bailiff was going to be. It was Tony Pugh, my father-in-law.

‘My grandad looked at me and said “if you ever get asked to be someone’s Bailiff, do not turn them down as it’s an honour and the best thing you will ever do.’’ Naturally it’s a great honour that I’ve been asked to take on this ancient office for this year.’