A RETIRED bank manager with long farming connections is the 2014 president of the Westmorland County Agricultural Society.

Robert ‘Bob’ Bond, from Bolton-le-Sands, was voted in at the society’s annual meeting held at its Lane Farm headquarters at Crooklands.

Mr Bond joked that he had only joined the society as a member because he worked for the bank and had intended to leave when he retired.

“The problem is,” Mr Bond said, “once you join the society you only leave in a box.”

But he praised it for offering ‘fun, pleasure and friendship’ and said he would do all he could to uphold its aims and ambitions.

He takes over from Tom Gorst, who said the role of president had been an ‘honour and a privilege’.

“I’d like to pay a special thanks to chief executive Christine Knipe, for her encouragement and advice, and the girls here past and present for all they do,” said Mr Gorst, who was made a life member and praised as a ‘great figurehead’.