A HUSBAND and wife have become mayor and Deputy of Brightlingsea for the first time in its history.

The town held its Choosing Day ceremony during which Tony Chapman was declared Deputy at the All Saint’s Church.

The Choosing Day tradition goes back to the days where Cinque Ports provided defence against invasion.

Brightlingsea is the only Cinque Port outside of Kent and East Sussex and is a Limb of Sandwich, one of the original five head ports.

At the ceremony the men of the town chose Mr Chapman, who will be the representative of the Mayor of Sandwich, and will be responsible for maintaining law and order in the town.

His wife, Jayne, is already Brightlingsea's mayor, making them the first couple to hold the combined titles.

Mr Chapman said: “It feels good to be chosen after having been an assistant for five years leading up to this.

“It’s a real privilege and it’s the first time ever the town Mayor and Deputy have been husband and wife, it’s quite unique.”

During the ceremony, Mr Chapman was robed, presented with his chain of office and took an oath of allegiance to the Crown, Sandwich and Brightlingsea.

A colourful procession from the lych gate to the church was led by the Town Sergeant of Sandwich, followed by various mayors.

Men who have lived in the town for at least a year and a day are also declared Freemen of the town.