FOUR new members will be sworn in to an historic body at a ceremony to be held today.

The new members will be admitted to the City of Durham Freemen at an event taking place at the Guild Hall, in Durham attended by family and fellow members of the historic organisation.

Among them will be academic Dr Alan Richardson, who has led groundbreaking research into the development of self-repairing concrete and was brought up in the family construction business in Durham City.

Judith Magee, a retired university lab technician, will follow in a family tradition in joining the Drapers’ Company, started by her grandfather, a time-served city tailor, more than a century ago.

When Michael Bulmer joins the Plumbers’ Company, the 72-year-old, will join the body chaired by his older brother Eric.

The fourth newcomer is 23-year-old Peter Bennett, from West Rainton, who has completed a three-year joinery apprenticeship at Durham Cathedral with financial assistance from the freemen and is now working as an organ builder with the internationally renowned company of Harrison and Harrison.

The historic swearing-in ceremony will take place in the Guild Hall within Durham’s Town Hall.

The event will be presided over by the Mayor of Durham, county councillor Bill Kellett.