PLANS have been drawn up for this year’s Assize of Ale - the annual event to raise money for the Lord Mayor and Sheriff’s charities and the charities of the Guild of Scriveners.

The assize, on Saturday August 12, is taken from a medieval custom whereby the Sheriff would summon his men to visit the ale houses in the city and taste the ale to ensure it was palatable.

The publicans, to persuade them that the ale was of a suitable quality, would offer a bribe to the Sheriff’s men.

This custom is maintained now for charity, with participants paying fines for not drinking the ale, for not being dressed in medieval costume, although this is not compulsory, and for various other reasons.

The Guild of Scriveners revived the medieval custom 25 years ago.

A brochure has been created featuring each of the pubs taking part in a map of the city of York.

Squares on the map are sold in the weeks preceding the Assize, with the lucky square drawn on the day at each pub, and the winner announced.

Half the money collected goes to the winner, the other half to the charities. Last year’s Assize raised a record £2,250, which the Guild of Scriveners presented to then Lord Mayor of York, Cllr Dave Taylor, who was ‘pleased and surprised’ that the sum was the largest ever raised.

Next month’s assize will start with the reading of a declaration outside the Mansion House at 2 pm. The day will end with a Medieval Feast in Bedern Hall, for those wishing to attend.