FORMER Lancashire swimming champion and magistrate Cllr Stella Brunskill has been installed as the new Mayor of Ribble Valley.

The Mellor Conservative was born in County Sligo in the west of Ireland to an Irish father and Lancashire mother, who moved to Ireland in the 1940s to open a shoe factory for Rossendale firm Lambert Haworth.

The family returned to Rossendale in the mid-1950s and Cllr Brunskill become a Lancashire county swimming champion.

She trained as a hairdresser, before marrying her late husband, John, a naval officer, and having sons Michael and Charles.

After living in locations around the world, the family settled in Ribble Valley where Cllr Brunskill became a magistrate and borough councillor.

She has served on the bench for 20 years.

In 12 years as a councillor she has served on the personnel, licensing, community, health and housing committees, and is children’s champion. Her consort is son Michael and her chosen charity is ‘VIC: Veterans in Communities’, which helps East Lancashire military personnel return to civilian life.