IT will be an emotional day for Terry Gorse when he steps down as chairman of the Bolton National Trust Association after 25 years in charge.

Mr Gorse, who has served as chairman since 1989, will hand over the reins at next month’s annual meeting.

The 83-year-old joined the association when it was founded in 1986 along with wife Kathleen, also aged 83, who is also retiring from her role as secretary for the speakers.

His fondest memories of his time at the association include a trip to Buckingham Palace in 1995 to celebrate The National Trust’s centenary year.

Mr and Mrs Gorse will officially retire on April 24.

Mr Gorse, who along with the association has been working to preserve historic buildings and land in Bolton, said: “Twenty-five years is a long time and I’m not getting any younger.

“When you have done a job like this for so long you just feel that someone else should have a go and that is why we are retiring.

“It has been a lovely time being part of the association — very pleasant and very rewarding.

“The friendship and social cohesion is what has kept me going all these years.

“The garden party at Buckingham Palace was one of the highlights.”

As chairman, The Bolton National Trust Association donated around £4,000 towards the restoration of Lyme Park in Cheshire.

He visited various historical landmarks in Lancashire, including Rufford Old Hall in Ormskirk and Gawthorpe Hall in Burnley.

Mr Gorse was born in Brisbane and brought up in Deane. and educated at Bolton County Grammar School before studying English Language and Literature at Leeds University. He worked as a headteacher at Blackrod County Primary School, retiring in 1987.

Mrs Gorse said: “The association will always have a special place in my heart. It’s a fantastic organisation.

“Terry has worked very hard and can be proud of what he has achieved.”

The new chairman will be confirmed closer to next month’s meeting.