KING of a porridge empire and Tarporley resident John Lea will be the next Sheriff of Cheshire.
Mr Lea, of Alpraham, will take office next year as one of the latest holders of the oldest continuous secular office under the Crown in Britain.
Mr Lea is the current managing director of Mornflake, one of the biggest employers in Cheshire.
He is head of a family business which goes back generations and moved to its current Gresty Road site in Crewe in 1941.
Since then the factory has been remodelled many times and is one of the most technically advanced in the country.
Through Mornflake and on his own Mr Lea has done a great deal for the local community, charities and businesses. Mornflake also currently sponsors football team Crewe Alexandra, also based at Gresty Road.
Mr Lea wrote his name into history at a glittering, tradition packed, nomination ceremony at London’s High Court.
He will take over the role from Diana Barbour of the Bolesworth Estate.
Although Mr Lea will not start his official duties until April next year he was nominated as part of a time-honoured tradition staged in the Lord Chief Justice’s Court at London's Royal Courts of Justice, before the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, the Lord Justice Goldring, Mr Justice Roderick Evans and Mr Justice Holroyde.
Mr Lea’s role is unpaid but high sheriffs rank among top dignitaries in their area.
He will be expected to attend at royal visits to the county, as well as being entitled to act as returning officer in parliamentary elections.