YOU won't see the offer in any of York's tourism leaflets, but a whole range of new attractions has been opened for visitors to the city.

Rat catching, drain clearance and rubbish collecting are among the new activities competing with Jorvik, the Castle Museum and Clifford's Tower.

These unusual occupations are all part of the Lord Mayor's auction of promises, on the internet auction site ebay.

Councillor Janet Looker is hoping people from all over the world will bid for the exciting lots during the auction, to help raise hundreds of pounds for her chosen charities - York and North Yorkshire Community Foundation and York One World Linking Association.

She said: "This is a first for us because it will get international coverage. We are hoping that people from all over the world, perhaps people who used to live in York and are returning for a visit, or people who are coming to York for the first time, will bid for an item.

"They can spend the day as Lady Mayoress at a number of upcoming events such as the races, they can take a ride in the cab of a GNER train or people out there who have always dreamed of riding a dustbin van can also bid.

"We have no idea how much money they are likely to raise, we are not putting any sort of reserve on them, but all the money will go to our charities." The auction of promises runs until April 3, with the last sale open until shortly before midnight on that day.

Items up for grabs are:

A footplate ride of a GNER train to London or Edinburgh

Spend the day as a Press Association reporter

Become York's Lady Mayoress for the day

Spend two days on an archaeological dig

Two tourism passes to York attractions

A day in the drains van in York, examining underground drainage system

Become a bin man or woman for the day

Two tickets for the Lord Mayor's St George's Day Ball

A year's supply of Nestl chocolate.

Spend a few hours with environmental health, perhaps dealing with the city's rodents

Two VIP tickets for York races and a chance to walk the course with the clerk during his pre-race examination.

Councillor Looker said: "I'm very excited about it. There are lots of people out there who would love to ride the GNER train, and some men never stop being little boys, so they might want to ride the dustbin van. They are unusual lots but I'm sure there are people out there, somewhere in the world, who will bid for them."

To bid for items visit

Updated: 10:05 Saturday, March 26, 2005