A SPECIAL ceremony was held in Grange-over-Sands to celebrate Cedric Robinson’s time as the Queen’s Guide to the Sands.

Mr Robinson has been guiding people across the notoriously treacherous beaches of Morecambe Bay since 1963.

After health issues over the last two years made it difficult for him to lead the walks, Mr Robinson is, in his own words, taking semi-retirement. He will oversee a transitional period while his successor beds in.

In a ceremony at Holker Hall’s Ilex Bar & Brasserie he was presented with a slate box made by Furness-based company Burlington Stone.

The new guide is Michael Wilson, a fisherman from Flookburgh who, like Mr Robinson, was brought up on the Bay.

On the role, Mr Wilson said: “It helps if you’ve been a shrimper... you learn to understand the Bay, you have to know it.”

He also described it as “an honour” to follow in Mr Robinson’s footsteps and added that “it’s a whole new chapter in life.”

Lord Cavendish, chairman of the trustees at the Guide over Sands Trust (who appoint the Queen’s Guide), said: “During Cedric’s period in office he has guided over 200,000 people across the Bay. These walks are very popular with charities and he will take up to 500 walkers at any one time.

In excess of £1,000,000 has been donated to numerous charities over Cedric’s long tenure, helping many good causes as a result.”

Dickon Knight, clerk at the Guide over Sands Trust, added: “The walks are very popular and have become an important feature of this area. Cedric, in particular, has been very good at establishing this over the years. I feel sure that Michael will take up the baton and will continue where Cedric left off.

“With this transition it is likely the Trust will have to be slightly more proactive, so this wonderful tradition can continue.”

A new book, which looks at how Morecambe Bay has changed during Mr Robinson’s tenure, drawing on observations by the guide himself, is being released to coincide with his departure from the role. Alongside author Lindsay Sutton - an award-winning journalist and a former TV broadcaster - Mr Robinson will be signing copies of ‘Sands of Time’ at Carnforth Bookshop, Carnforth, from 11am to 12.30pm on May 4.