YORK'S mediaeval Gild of Butchers has installed its first female master in the gild's 700 year history.

Sarah-Jane Trueman, who runs a well known butchers business in Thirsk, Johnsons of Thirsk, was installed at a Court Meeting of the Gild held at All Saints Church in Pavement on Shrove Tuesday.

The gild's Chaplain, the Reverend Jane Nattrass, who is Priest-in-Charge of seven York city centre churches, also dedicated a new Master's Robe which was worn by Sarah-Jane.

The Gild also held a Shrove Tuesday Feast at the Merchant Taylor's Hall in York, where a baron of beef was processed into the dining hall to be tasted by the Master.

At the Feast, an apprentice award was presented to George Clapham, who was present with his tutor James Richardson of Leeds City College.

George, 21, who is employed by Far Barsey Farm Shop near Halifax. was made Yorkshire Apprentice Butcher of the Year 2015.

He was one of a number of candidates nominated from all providers of Meat Industry Qualifications in the Yorkshire Region. The criteria for consideration was that all candidates had to be formally registered on an apprenticeship program through a approved and registered Educational / Training provider offering approved Regulated Meat Industry Qualifications.

The chaplain said the gild had a history spanning more than seven hundred years and it was the first time a woman had been Master.

"It was a delight to see history being made with Sarah-Jane becoming the first woman to be Master of the Butchers Gild and to see George receiving the apprentice award," she said.

"The Gild has been in existence since Mediaeval times and it is a pleasure to be part of such an historic organisation and to welcome them to church."