YORK Magistrates Court has said a fond farewell to two legal advisors with nearly 70 years’ service to the community between them.

Julian Cundiff first started work for the courts in 1980. In the 38 years since he rose from an administration worker to be a clerk to the justices, advising hundreds of magistrates on the law.

As well as his legal work, he is well known nationally among anglers and has written several books and articles on fishing.

He is joined in retirement by fellow legal advisor Gordon Martin, who has also advised hundreds of magistrates in his 31 years with the courts.

Courtroom One of the courthouse in Clifford Street, York, was packed with many who have worked or served in the courts during his 38 years, including magistrates, solicitors, court staff, probation officers and members of the WRVS and Lions who staff or have staffed the court’s coffee bar, as well as family members.

They burst into applause as Mr Cundiff was escorted to the chairman’s position on the magistrates’ bench.

He fought back the tears as he paid credit to all those who work in the courts.

“I am only here because you keep me in the job. This is my family,” he said. “These are the people I really enjoy being with. I cannot think there is a better job.”

He also paid tribute to his father and personal family.

Magistrate Ewan Scott, on behalf of all the York and Selby magistrates, said: “You will be sorely missed for your support of magistrates, for your humility and for your good humour.”

Phil Morris, speaking on behalf of private solicitors and CPS staff who appear for the prosecution, said: “You are the only legal advisor who could properly carry the tag ‘celebrity’”.

He reminded the audience how one defendant keen on angling had asked for Mr Cundiff's autograph.

Mr Martin preferred a quiet retirement ceremony.