THERE have been 819 of them. Now Eleanor Bell has officially become the 820th Mayor of Winchester.

She was appointed in a ceremony at the Bapsy Hall at Guildhall Winchester.

The mayoralty is the second oldest in England and dates back to 1200.

Cllr Bell, a Liberal Democrat has taken over from Frank Pearson and the new deputy mayor is now Wonston and Micheldever councillor, Patrick Cunningham,a Conservative.

During the ceremony, those attending enjoyed a performance by Barton Peveril student Jon-Joe Flynn who sang a number of songs from musicals.

Speaking at the ceremony Cllr Bell, who serves Badger Farm and Olivers Battery ward, said: "I am honoured to be elected to the role of Mayor of Winchester which has so much history attached to it. I look forward to a busy year of meeting people, supporting local organisations and their events, plus my own charity activities.

"Winchester and Hursley have been my home for 40 years and they continue to delight. Nevertheless the city and district have their share of social challenges which many local organisations work tirelessly to address."

This year’s chosen charities for the Mayor of Winchester will be the Fire Fighters Charity, Winchester Hospice, the Children’s Society and Winchester First Responders.

After mayor-making Cllr Pearson, who lives in Swanmore and represents Central Meon Valley ward, reflected fondly on his mayoral year, he said: "I have enjoyed every event I have been to and I've met some fantastic people and groups, and it was an a real honour to be Mayor of Winchester."