POMP and ceremony were the order of the day, as York's new Lord Mayor and Sheriff took up their positions.

Councillors donned their finest robes and were joined by civic dignitaries and guests for the annual ritual.

The new office holders were formally elected at the city's historic Guildhall, before a procession to a special event at the Merchant Adventurers' Hall, where The Press editor Kevin Booth was guest speaker.

Outgoing Lord Mayor Janet Hopton opened the day's proceedings by calling a minute's silence in tribute to late councillor John Clout, and former Lady Mayoress Beryl Fairclough, before moving on to the formal exchange of chains.

Irene Waudby replaced Coun Hopton as Lord Mayor, becoming the fourth woman in a row to hold the post, and the first to do so twice.

Coun Waudby said: "I know what a joy it is to be involved in all that makes this city such a friendly, welcoming and cosmopolitan one."

Popular Huntington councillor Keith Hyman succeeded Richard Baldwin as sheriff, and told the assembled crowd: "York holds a special place in the hearts of all those who live here or have worked here."

Coun Hyman is from Nottingham originally, and Clifton councillor Ken King joked: "Keith is like everyone else who comes from Nottingham - they all want to be sheriff."

Coun King seconded the nomination by Christian Vassie, who said: "Keith Hyman seems to know and get on with everyone he meets."

The outgoing Lord Mayor, Janet Hopton, reflected on a "wonderful year" in office, in which she had welcomed members of the Royal family to York; celebrated a raft of anniversaries in the city; nurtured York's relationship with its twin cities Dijon and Munster; and even been a judge at Miss York.

But, she said: "The highlight has undoubtedly been meeting so many interesting, dedicated and remarkable people at out various engagements, and we have sensed the great pride people have in our city."

She said she was pleased to have been able to raise much-needed funds for the Lord Mayor's charities, and also The Press's Guardian Angels appeal and the Minster restoration fund, and she was also glad the first step had been taken towards making York a World Heritage Site.

In his speech at the Merchant Adventurers' Hall, Mr Booth said York was a "vibrant, forward-thinking, modern city, forging a future in the sciences, computer technology, commerce and business."

He added: "It has a successful tourism industry but is not content just to accept the mantle of living museum."