A DAY of ceremony, colour, pomp and happiness as local cheese maker and distiller Charles Martell was inducted as High Sheriff of Gloucestershire at Gloucester Cathedral.

Hundreds of guests braved the bitterly cold winds as they queued to gain entry and the procession of dignitaries which included Dame Janet Trotter, the Lord-Lieutenant, preceded by two of the mounted police arrived, followed by Mr Martell’s own coach and horses.

Wearing the traditional velvet and lace and carrying his sword of office, Charles began his year- long journey in accepting this prestigious role.

The office of High Sheriff is an independent non-political Royal appointment for a single year.

The origins of the office date back to Saxon times, when the ‘Shire Reeve’ was responsible to the king for the maintenance of law and order within the shire, or county, and for the collection and return of taxes due to the crown.

The duties of the role have evolved over time and supporting the crown and the judiciary remain central elements of the role today. In addition, High Sheriffs actively lend support and encouragement to crime prevention agencies, the emergency services and to the voluntary sector.