THE annual handover of the president’s role at a local rotary club took place this year - however, without the usual traditional handshake.

Miles Middleton was confirmed as the new president of Hexham Rotary Club as he met up with outgoing president Andrew Rigg in front of the town’s bandstand.

The handover was witnesses by club members who kept to social distancing measures, and the chain of office was laid on a table and disinfected before being hung around Mr Middleton’s neck.

The role was reversed as Mr Middleton carried out the same procedure to present Mr Rigg with his past president’s badge.

A couple of days prior to the hadover, Mr Middleton, who is well-known throughout the area, spoke at the club assembly via Zoom and outlined his thoughts on the year ahead.

He promised the club an enjoyable programme but emphasised the need to recruit younger members and to use the experiences of the lockdown to make changes to work more efficiently and to make the club even more attractive.