THE Richmond Conservative Club has elected its first woman president in its 121 year history.

Valerie Blease, who has been a member of the club for more than 30 years after joining with her late husband, Cllr Oliver Blease, was elected last month to take on the honourary position.

Mrs Blease said she was delighted to have been nominated and was looking forward to her tenure as president.

Committee member David Johnson said it was a unanimous decision by the committee to elect Mrs Blease.

He said: "Oliver Blease had been chairman and president of the club in previous years, before he died last September. Valerie has always worked hard for the club so we thought she would be a great president.

"The motion was put forward by Jorge Hermanis and seconded by me, supported by our chairman Paul Westerman said. She is our first woman president since the club formed in 1898."

Mrs Blease said: "I was very surprised but quite honoured to be the first woman president. I was touched and I think Oliver would have been too."

"I have been a member for more than 30 years and it is a lovely club. I enjoy being involved in decorating, flowers and a bit of catering.

"I think I will really enjoy my time being president."