The Marlow and Town Regatta Festival have appointed a new chairman of the committee.

Robin Atkinson, who has been a member of the committee since 2001, took over from Nav Ali on Monday June 17, following the conclusion of this year’s festival.

And the two friends were singing each other’s praises following the new appointment.

Mr Atkinson told the Bucks Free Press: “I’m very proud and pleased to be the new chairman of the Marlow Town Regatta & Festival committee.

“I’ve inherited a great team from Nav and following the success we had this year, I believe we are in a strong position for future events.

“Nav indicated roughly six weeks before this year’s festival and regatta took place that he was thinking of moving aside, and after being the vice chairman for a number of years, I thought the time was right to move onto the stage.

“Everyone has been very welcoming and I’m enjoying it very much so far.”

Mr Ali had been the chairman of the committee for the past eight years following the tragic and sudden death of former mayor of Marlow Jim Campbell, who died in May 2011.

Since then he has seen over eight regatta festivals that have been hosted in the town, with his proudest inclusion being the introduction of the evening concert taking place on a Saturday.

And even though he won’t be steadying the ship anymore, he hopes to help Marlow in every way he can in the future.

Mr Ali said: “I would describe my time as the chairman of the committee as a rollercoaster, but I wouldn’t have changed it for the world.

“I had the role for eight years and I just believed that I have served my time and during those years, we have done a lot for the people of Marlow.

“I have made some wonderful friends, I have met some incredible people in and around the Marlow area and even though I’m not the chairman anyone more, I’ll like to still be part of the committee and help out in any way I can.

He then added: “Robin has been with us from the very start so he knows the town very well. He was the ideal candidate to take over from me.

“He is the right fit and I have no doubts he will succeed.”