FOR the past 60-plus years, the York Citadel Band has concluded their Christmas activities by playing carols to the Lord Mayor of York at the Mansion House.

This year, due to inclement weather, the service was held in the ancient Guildhall, conducted by the Majors Sheila and Andrew Dunkinson.

During December, the band (with Neil Smith) made their usual visit to a high-security prison, where more than 100 people enjoyed the singing of carols, then had mince pies.

At one of the many events, the band recalled that while playing in the city centre the previous year, a young man asked if the band would play his girlfriend’s favourite carol.

While the band did this, the young man knelt on his knee and asked his young lady if she would marry him – we wonder if they are now happily married. Another recalled that 60 years before, prior to the Mansion House Carol Service, he and his wife became engaged.

The full calendar of carol services ended on Christmas Day when more than 100 people were invited for Christmas lunch. During December the women of the Corps wrapped many children’s toys and distributed Christmas food parcels to the needy of York every day.

Bernard Hewitt, Montague road, Bishopthorpe, York.