ONE of the highest ranking dignitaries of the Cinque Ports came to witness a special ceremony in Brightlingsea for only the third time in more than 600 years.

The new Cinque Port Deputy for Brightlingsea was named at an annual ceremony at All Saints Church.

A procession took place, led by the Rev Caroline Beckett, and other special guests including Colchester mayor Peter Chillingworth.

Mike Holden handed over his Cinque Port Deputy chains to Peter Ball.

This year’s ceremony was extra special because it was overseen by the Lord Warden, Admiral Lord Boyce.

Following the annual procession the new Cinque Port deputy was taken to Brightlingsea Hard.

From the hard he took a boat to the community centre for lunch.

Roger Tabor, who escorted the Lord Warden, said: “It was a fantastic day.

“Peter Ball will now be invited to Sandwich to be recognised as deputy there.

“It’s a nice piece of tradition and it was a colourful procession with the banner of the Cinque Port at the front.”

“It’s magnificent that we stick to these old traditions.”

The historic cinque ports are historic set of coastal towns in Kent and Sussex.

The organisation was originally formed for military and trade purposes.

The roles are now purely ceremonial.