York's ales have received their yearly official seal of approval granted by tasters who toured the city centre in the proper official robes.

One party led by a man with a horned hat and a sheepskin cast their critical eye over six hostelries starting in St Helen's Square while a second group, also in mediaeval wear, started their tour of six alehouses in Coney Street.

They were following the orders of the Sheriff of York, John Kenny, to carry out the annual Assize of Ale, a centuries-old tradition in the city.

After Mr Kenny told them to make sure that the quality of ale was up to the proper standard, the Master of the Guild of Scriveners, John Latimer, asked if the assembled tasters were ready.

On their shouted "Yes," he extorted them to "grade, process, drink and and sell for charity."

Both groups were collecting money on behalf of the Lord Mayor's, the Sheriff and Guild Master's charities. Cllr Ian Gillies in red robes led the entire civic party who joined the tasting groups.

To mark the day, the Guildhall was open to the public with free seal-making workshops. The Assize day ended with a mediaeval feast at Bedern Hall.