Eastleigh civic chiefs hailed a remarkable score of 50 not out when they made a special presentation to Councillor Godfrey Olson, pictured, for completing half a century of unbroken service.

The man they call "Mr Eastleigh" was given a crystal decanter and glasses engraved with the borough crest plus a framed citation at the 2005 mayor making ceremony.

He was first elected as a councillor for Chandler's Ford in May 1955, went on to become mayor of the borough on three separate occasions and was council leader from 1976 until 1986.

In 1977 he was made one of the first freemen of the new borough and in 1994 received an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

Outlining 75-year-old Cllr Olson's distinguished career in local politics, Conservative colleague Councillor Colin Davidovitz praised him for shaping the future and prosperity of Eastleigh.

He added: "The key to his success was his personal integrity, his vision for the future, his respect for council officers and his devotion to the welfare of the people of this borough."

Tributes and congratulations for a lifetime's service also came from Liberal Democrat councillor Philip Spearey and Labour representative Councillor Gillian Connell.

Cllr Olson told the meeting: "I have enjoyed my service. I have only ever tried to do my best.

"I would like to think I have played some part in the prosperity and success of Eastleigh."