BANNER carrier Denis Sanderson is stepping down after 35 years of carrying the civic pride of his home town.

Since 1969, he has carried the town crest of Richmond at a variety of processions and events.

But, at the age of 76, he has decided to pass on the duty that has run in his family for well over a century. Both his grandfather and uncle were previous banner bearers.

"In the early days, it was just a broomstick with a soft banner which was quite light to carry, but the new banner, presented to the town in 1990 by the commander of Catterick Garrison, is heavier," he said.

Town clerk Dr Peter Clarke paid tribute to the pride and enthusiasm with which Mr Sanderson carried out his duties.

A new banner bearer - male or female - is being sought. The duties involve turning out between four and six times a year. Those interested can call (01748) 850808.