A SPECIAL service of thanksgiving was held in York Minster as the Yorkshire Countrywomen’s Association celebrated its pearl anniversary.

Members of the organisation which was originally formed to help women in rural areas forge friendships and have fun attended the service yesterday morning.

The association is still going strong, with its head quarters on Tadcaster Road in York, and more than 4,000 members throughout Yorkshire.

Its aims include furthering the skills, knowledge and social activities of its members and to preserve the heritage of Yorkshire.