A RIBBLE Valley business boss has been sworn in as the new High Sheriff of Lancashire 100 years after an ancestor held the same post.

Ralph Assheton, of Downham Hall, is now one of the Queen's key representatives in the county.

After being sworn in at a historic ceremony in County Hall in Preston on Friday he said: "To become High Sheriff of Lancashire is a great honour for me, especially as my great-grandfather, Ralph Cockayne Assheton was High Sheriff of Lancashire exactly 100 years ago, in 1919.

"I hope that in some way I can live up to his example of public service, though I have some way to go, for he was also the longest serving county councillor from 1892 to 1949. In my year, I aim to work closely with the police."

Mr Assheton took over the post from Tony Attard, chief executive of Hapton-based textile firm Panaz, and chairman of Marketing Lancashire.

He is the founder of Bowland Bioenergy Ltd and chairman of Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership.

Each year Monarch personally appoints the High Sheriff by ‘pricking’ their name on a parchment using a bodkin, or large needle.

The role is carried out on a voluntary basis. The High Sheriff does not receive any salary or expenses.