A PENSIONER and her daughter have told of their delight after spending a VIP afternoon at York's Mansion House - courtesy of a charity auction organised by The Press.

Suzy Brown and her mother Muriel Grey, 89, of Clifton, successfully bid to visit the Lord Mayor's residence in the auction, which raised funds for the City of York Afghanistan Commemorative Appeal.

The Lord Mayor, Cllr Ian Gillies, arranged for them to be picked up from home in his chauffeur-driven limousine and taken to the Mansion House in St Helen's Square for a tour, followed by afternoon tea.

Suzy, of Dunnington, said her mother, who had lived in York all her life, had been 'absolutely thrilled' by the treat.

"The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress welcomed us and we had tea and cakes," she said. "We were shown around the Mansion House which was very interesting.

"She talked to them about her living in Walmgate in the early 1920s, and also working at Rowntrees during the Second World War, when she had to work on ammunitions. The Lord and Lady Mayoress were interested in hearing her stories."

She said the highlight for her mother was being shown the Sword and Mace, which were made in the 1400s.

"!It was a walk down memory lane for me because I worked at the Guildhall in the 1960s and went into the Mansion House frequently with my job.

"We were driven back to my mum's in the limousine and she said she would remember that day for a long time."

The auction, which raised £1,500, taking the appeal past the £16,000 milestone, offered readers the chance to bid for once-in-a-lifetime treats which could not normally be bought, ranging from riding on the footplate of a steam loco to 'flying' on a Tucano flight simulator at RAF Linton-on-Ouse.

The appeal will pay for a stained glass window to be installed at All Saint's Church in Pavement to recognise the service of thousands of York men and women in Afghanistan over the past decade – including three servicemen who were killed in action.

*Anyone wanting to make a donation to the appeal, which has a £17,000 target, should send a cheque, payable to The City of York Afghanistan Commemorative Appeal, to: Mike Laycock, The Press, 76-86 Walmgate, York YO1 9YN, accompanied by their name, address and contact details.