THE retiring High Sheriff of North Yorkshire has spoken of her pride in the county as she handed over her office to her successor.

At a ceremony in York Crown Court, Richard Compton, of Newby Hall, near Ripon, was sworn in to succeed York magistrate Francesca Horsfield.

In her farewell speech, Mrs Horsfield revealed that as part of her duties, she had gone on patrol with police in York on the coldest night of the year.

She had also visited voluntary organisations, emergency services, related groups such as the RNLI at Filey and many “unsung heroes” who carried out work for their community.

She said: “I am incredibly proud of my county and very respectful of the many people who quietly do so much for their fellow citizens.”

During her tenure, the High Sheriff of North Yorkshire’s Fund was set up. It will shortly give its first certificates recognising unsung heroes who contribute to their communities in their free time.

Mrs Horsfield said she had also benefited from sitting on the Bench with judges in York and Teesside Crown Courts. She took a year’s sabbatical from her duties as a magistrate so she could concentrate on her duties as the Queen’s representative in judicial circles.

Mr Compton spoke of his father and his regret that he could not be present. Robin Compton, who was High Sheriff of North Yorkshire in 1978/79, died a few months before the ceremony. Among his son’s duties as High Sheriff will be acting as a returning officer in the forthcoming general election.