She has taken care of Helston Town Council for the past 26 years but now Jean Johns has hung up her keys for the last time.

The council’s senior caretaker has now retired, but was invited back to the council chambers for a presentation.

Describing it as “one of the nice things” about being mayor, Jonathan Radford-Gaby presented Mrs Johns with garden centre vouchers as a token of the council’s appreciation for her loyal service.

He said: “I have a personal debt of gratitude to pay to Jean. Very often we have presentations and receptions in the mayor’s parlour and sometimes those go on quite late. I look back and think, ‘Goodness me, look at the state of this room – I’ll come down first thing.’ “It doesn’t matter how early I come down, it’s always cleared up. Jean just smiles at me as she passes.”

Mr Radford-Gaby added that Mrs Johns had gone “beyond the call of duty” through her service to the council.

Speaking directly to her, he said: “I really would like to thank you Jean for all your service. You have been absolutely superb to this town and you will be a great loss. We wish you a very, very happy retirement.”