THE Queen's association with York Minster continued in the 1980s. After celebrating the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Kent there in 1961, and distributing the Maundy Money there in 1972 she toured the great church again in November 1988.

This was a particularly special visit for the city and its greatest building. It was the moment the world celebrated the remarkable resurrection of York Minster.

In 1984 the Minster had nearly been destroyed by fire. As the Queen paused to glance up at the ceiling, restored to its former glory only four years later, she must have considered it a modern miracle.

Dedicated royal watchers braved sub-zero temperatures overnight to ensure they had the best view of the Queen. The first glimpse came when she stepped off the train at York Station.

Accompanied by the Duke and Duchess of Kent, she was soon meeting the crowds and collecting bouquets proffered by children.

From there they travelled to the Minster for the dedication of the roof and vault of the South Transept. She was met by the Dean, the Very Rev John Southgate. Inside 1,500 people were gathered for the ceremony.

The Dean opened the service with these words: "We are here to give thanks to God for the restoration of the roof and vault of the South Transept and to dedicate them to the praise of His holy name.

"We give thanks for those who, by their skill and bravery, rescued this Minster from fire and disaster.

"We give thanks for those whose gifts and labours have helped rebuild this holy place and to make it again an image of the glory of heaven."

The Evening Press royal souvenir of the time described the highpoint of the day as "when the Queen looked up, lost in contemplation, at another majesty - the restored South Transept.

"She stood, momentarily entranced, beneath the beautiful and delicate roof so proudly resplendent above her."

The Queen had previously visited York in 1983. This time blue skies and sunshine greeted her as she made the familiar trip through Micklegate Bar.

She had flown into RAF Linton-on-Ouse, to be met by the Lord Lieutenant for North Yorkshire, the Marquis of Normanby, who accompanied her on her journey to the city.

About 5,000 people were in Micklegate to greet the Queen. Her walkabout lasted 18 minutes - twice as long as planned. She received many floral tributes plus a more unusual gift - a tube of pastilles from a five-year-old York schoolboy.

"Thank you very much, I think I might need those," she told him.

A royal car, specially delivered the day before, then took the Queen to Imphal Barracks. She was there to welcome home the men of the 2nd Infantry Division who had just returned to England after 41 years service abroad.

She was also honouring the parade to mark the 75th anniversary of the Territorial Army. After the pomp and the ceremony, she met veterans, five of whom had enlisted in the TA's first year, 1908.

The military displays were timed to the second and went without a hitch.

An Army spokesman said: "It went better than anyone would have hoped for. If it hadn't been for the wind blowing a few hats off it would have been 100 per cent."

Things hadn't gone so smoothly for hundreds of well-wishers who missed the Queen. A suspected burst water main blocked traffic on Fulford Road forcing the royal procession into a last minute detour, taking the Queen away from her expected route.

Two years later the Queen was in North Yorkshire again, distributing the Maundy Money at Ripon Cathedral.

It was quite a moment for the city. The last official visit by a monarch had taken place in 1604.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh later visited the Studley Royal estate and Fountains Abbey.

Updated: 16:36 Tuesday, May 28, 2002