Shelley Peters may have been mayor of Penryn for less than six months, but last weekend she was deposed and her place taken by Lally Macbeth - The Lady in Red. She needn't have worried though, as the new "mock mayor" only held office for one day.

Last year Penryn resurrected the ancient tradition of electing a mock mayor after 200 years. In days gone by journeymen tailors would travel from Falmouth and Penryn to Mylor and choose the wittiest of their number to be the mock mayor.

He was an elected as a "sham leader" chosen to mock those at the higher levels of society. These mock mayors were often named after particularly undesirable parts of town, such as the Mayor of the Quay in Penzance, and often mannerisms and phrases were adopted which mimicked the current mayor.

Once elected the mock mayor was carried in a chair upon the shoulders of four men, behind a procession of torch bearers, and two town-sergeants, who sported cocked hats and carried cabbages as maces.

They then went from pub to pub, testing the ales, where a leather trousered person would sit in a small puddle of ale on a stool and if their trousers stuck, the ale passed the test.

The Cornish Culture Association takes pride in reinstating lost festivals, and this year, Dr Theobald PhD of the Splendid League of Physicians, a guild of quack plague doctors, hosted the Penryn election. Candidates for the title of mock mayor included: John Dudding of Falmouth; Tony the Sheep Worrier of Old Hill, Falmouth; Prof Ben Dover, Doctor of Proctology; Mickey Shagtown, Poet Laureate of Penryn; Lally Macbeth, the Lady in Red; and Arthur Spear.

After much "mayhem and misrule," including a disqualification and use of the Penryn stocks, Lally was declared the winner and she was paraded in a chair wearing hazelnut chains of office made by Robert Padfield, and colourful robes made by Suki Haughton.

The group visited various pubs and establishments in the town, accompanied by a piece of turf from the Parish of Mylor, as well as the "real" mayor, Cllr Peters, who sported a convict costume. This was a nod to a particular incident where the mayor, unamused at the tradition, ordered constables to confront the mock mayor, who duly ordered the constables to imprison the Mayor and his supporters overnight, an order which was honoured.

The Cornish Culture Association have thanked Penryn Town Council, Cllr Peters, all the volunteers, all the spectators and, of course, the candidates.