The new High Sheriff of Suffolk has made her declaration to the crown at a ceremony in the Guildhall in Bury St Edmunds.
On Thursday April 2, Judith Shallow was passed the badge of office from the previous High Sheriff Nicholas Wingfield Digby of Newmarket.
Mrs Shallow, who was born in Suffolk and who has lived most of her life in the county said: “It is a huge honour and thrill to become Her Majesty’s representative for law, order and justice in our county.
“I greatly look forward to working with the courts, police, emergency services and all the agencies and charities involved in keeping Suffolk safe and crime free. “I’m especially keen to support the very many, often unsung heroes who give freely of their time towards the prevention of crime, build positive and inclusive communities, helping to make our country such a special place to live and work.
“As a country girl, and knowing something of the pressures of living in remote areas, I also want to support those dealing with issues such as rural deprivation, isolation and loneliness.”
The Office of the High Sheriff is the oldest secular post in the United Kingdom after the Crown and dates from Saxon times.
Judith is the fifth woman to take on the role in Suffolk.
At the brief ceremony, witnessed by Chairman of the Suffolk bench of magistrates Susan Hughes, Judith was welcomed into the High Sheriff’s role on behalf of the judiciary by Judge David Goodin, who presided, and Simon Spence QC on behalf of the Bar.
Judith said the Guildhall in Bury St Edmunds was the perfect place to make her declaration.
“Given this year is 800 years since the sealing of the Magna Carta - which was all about curtailing the powers of the Sheriffs as well as the King - and the historical significance of that in Bury and Clare, I wanted to make my declaration in an equally significant place, she said.
“The ancient Guildhall with its lovely court room gives us just that.”
“It was wonderful - I was very pleased with how it went,” she added.
“I had asked if I could do it in the Guildhall so it was very kind of the judges to humour me, coming down from Ipswich to be there. It really added to the history of the event and made it very special.”
Judith said she recognised the importance of the poitiion and was looking forward to getting stuck into her new duties.
She said: “I am very aware of what the role entails and the hard work involved.
“With it being Easter time I have actually had quite a quiet week this week but have spent a lot of it filling up my diary with events.
“Next week is going to be the start of a very busy year.”