A LONG-SERVING parish council duo have been recognised for their years of volunteer service.

Adrian Corder-Birch became the youngest parish council clerk in the country back in 1971.

Now, 51 years on, he is still serving the rural community of Little Yeldham, Tilbury Juxta Clare and Ovington.

Meanwhile, fellow stalwart and parish councillor Robert Nott has racked up a staggering 64 years of service to his community.

Mr Nott says he may currently be the longest-serving parish councillor in the country because when he joined you had to be at least 21 and so was one of the youngest.

He was first elected to Gestingthorpe Parish Council and in more recent years has been a member of Little Yeldham, Tilbury Juxta Clare and Ovington Parish Council.

He has served as chairman of both.

Mr Nott said: “I don’t regard myself as privileged, but I have been lucky in life and I have always wanted to help others. I have always got a certain level of satisfaction out of that.”

As well as helping his immediate community, Mr Nott served as a district councillor on Braintree Council for 17 years and was chairman of housing for many years.

Mr Nott is now 86 and although he hasn’t ruled out retiring at some stage, he is not ready yet to hang up his hat.

Mr Corder-Birch and Mr Nott were presented with long service awards for their work in their communities by Braintree Council chairman Andrew Hensman.

“It is quite a milestone,” said Mr Corder-Birch.

“I don’t know anyone else locally who has achieved 50 years as clerk - one or two have done 30 years.”

He continued: “My father was a member of the parish council and he twisted my arm to become clerk when there was a vacancy.

“At 17, I was the youngest parish council clerk in England when I was appointed.”

He retired in 2005 but then found himself a job as clerk to Sible Hedingham Parish Council, while still continuing at Little Yeldham, Tilbury Juxta Clare and Ovington.

Mr Corder-Birch lived in Little Yeldham for many years, but moved to Halstead a few years ago.

At 68, he has no plans to retire yet.

In 2013 Mr Corder-Birch was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Essex, so his service to the community continues.