MARLOW'S elder statesmen belatedly ushered in the new year as they enjoyed a lavish lunch funded by the town council.

The annual party for the town’s over 65s took place at the Higginson Room at Court Garden, with nearly 100 of Marlow oldest and longest-serving residents coming together to celebrate.

The event sees members of Marlow’s senior community chosen from a list of registered names on a rota system due to its popularity.

Different residents are picked each year to enjoy the hospitality of the town council, with Marlow Mayor Suzanne Brown hosting the event.

This year’s party featured three new couples, who had become eligible and registered in the last 12 months.

Cllr Brown said: "It was a great day and this time we had 92 guests. We started off with a quiz then they have a three course lunch, which everyone enjoyed.

"It’s great to give something back to our senior citizens, and it was lovely to see some new couples there.

"It is really good fun and they had a great time, as did I. I was mainly going around the tables telling terrible jokes!"

As well as taking home a gift, a free raffle saw people go home with goodies such as photo albums, cushions, pot plants and crockery.

It is the fourth event of its kind laid on by the town council, which also hosts an annual lunch for war veterans.

Town councillors are urging anyone who is eligible and has not put their name down for the lunch to get in touch.