AN ANCIENT order of freemen has appointed two new leaders.

Eric Bulmer and Bob Elliott will serve as wardens of the City of Durham Freemen’s plumbers’ and mason’s companies, respectively.

Mr Bulmer, of Brandon Village, follows in the footsteps of his great-great-grandfather who joined the freemen in 1851.

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Mr Elliott, of Gilesgate, can trace his family links with Durham to the turn of the 19th century.

A time-served apprentice painter and decorator, Mr Elliott specialised in gilding and sign-writing and much of his work survives across the city.

Mr Bulmer worked as an electrical engineer and was in charge of a project to replace many high voltage mains and reconstruct most of Durham’s sub-stations.

The City of Durham Freemen date back 700 years and, having admitted women for the first time in 2012, now number more than 200 – a post-war record.