THE sun may have been absent but there was plenty to cheer about as crowds of people lined the streets today to see the new Mayor of Bolton take part in her first civic duties.

Councillor Hilary Fairclough led the annual mayor’s parade through the town centre as part of the Civic Sunday celebrations.

She has taken over the chains of office from Councillor Elaine Sherrington.

At 2.30pm Cllr Fairclough left the town hall and proceeded down the steps onto Victoria Square, accompanied by a host of civic dignitaries, to meet the parade.

She then led the column as it made its way to Bolton Parish Church along, Hotel Street, Mealhouse Lane, Deansgate and Churchgate, cheered on by waving residents.

The parade was commanded by the 216 Battery Bolton Royal Artillery, the town’s Territorial Army unit, who were joined by flag bearers and members of a number of other uniformed groups and organisations including Scout and Girl Guide Troops, members of the Boys Brigade and Sea Cadets.

At the head of the column was the Lancashire Artillery Band who performed military marching music as the parade proceeded through the town.

Once the procession reached the Parish Church a special service was held.

A selection of hymns, prayers and readings preceded the address made by the Vicar of Bolton, Rev Chris Bracegirdle.

Choirs from High Lawn Primary School and The Oaks Primary School also entertained those in attendance, before the service was concluded with The National Anthem.

Participants then enjoyed refreshments in the church to round off the celebration.

Cllr Fairclough said: “It was a lovely day, and the weather was very kind to us.

“I was a little nervous having to lead the parade, but I was so pleased that so many people had come along to support my first Civic engagement, the service was lovely and children’s choirs from High Lawn and The Oaks were wonderful .

“I was pleased to be able to have a chat with so many people after the service. All in all it was a wonderful day”