VILLAGERS have celebrated 40 years of parties for the elderly in Sheriff Hutton.

Since it began four decades ago, the annual new year party has become a village institution, attracting dozens of over-60s.

Organisers marked the milestone by baking a special commemorative cake - cut by three of the founding committee members at this year's party, held over the weekend. One of them, Charles Megginson, said: "Our traditional party has even lasted longer than the village hall. We moved out of the old one about 20 years ago. Almost every house in Sheriff Hutton gets involved in some way, whether it's serving the food, helping out with transport or playing in the band."

Money for the event, which is organised by the United Christian Churches, is raised at a bi-annual village auction.

Mr Megginson added: "Sheriff Hutton itself hasn't changed too much in the last 40 years. We have had many new people come into the village in that time, but a good proportion of them have been very helpful and generous in raising money and supporting all the different activities."