THE campaign to save York's Mystery Plays is continuing to win support - from ordinary York residents to an expatriate now living in Canada.

Keith Wood says he has been inundated with messages of support since he was asked to investigate whether the plays can be staged again in the Museum Gardens in 2005.

The former Lord Mayor chairs a feasibility working party set up last month by a new Mystery Plays Association, formed by volunteers who would like to keep the plays tradition going.

He was asked to look into a range of issues before a decision is made by the association on whether to press ahead with the project.

Mr Wood said he was to meet senior City of York Council officials shortly to discuss a possible application for funding and other support. "Progress has been made, and we are going to meet with officers to see what help can be given. They have been most accommodating so far."

He said that since taking on the role, he had been struck by the amount of support there was for the plays from the people of York.

"People from every walk of life, some of whom I would not have expected to have an interest in the Mystery Plays, have said how pleased they are that something is being done to try to keep them going." He said some people came up to offer support while he was walking down the street, while others had rung to offer their backing, and he found such comments very encouraging.

Meanwhile, news of the Evening Press campaign is continuing to spread around the world. A former York resident, Douglas Whitfield, now retired and living in Canada, emailed the paper to "wish you every success in the world".

He said: "My sister Sybil Whitfield performed in the first Mystery Plays, which I was privileged to watch," he said.

"Although my support at this time is only of a moral nature, if the plays do come to pass in 2005, I will certainly make every effort to attend.

"And I also could, in a somewhat small way, publicise the plays through various organisations I belong to and have contact with here in Toronto."