AFTER at least 200 speeches and many more public engagements, the outgoing Lord Mayor of York is set to pass on the civic chains.

David Horton said his year in office had been "tremendous," rounded off with a very special personal event, as he was recently married.

Coun Horton said: "I have enjoyed every second of being Lord Mayor. There has been such a variety of things to get involved in."

Coun Horton said two events stood out from his year in office, one the honorary freedom of the city being granted to composer John Barry and actress Dame Judi Dench.

He said: "The other was less high profile, but it was the highlight of my year.

"We travelled to Barnsley where the Disport Games, for people with physical and mental disabilities, were taking place.

"A load of other civics were there, and our job was to give out the medals. The look of pleasure on their faces as they were handed the medals was really moving, they were getting real satisfaction from what they were doing."

Coun Horton said his aim from his year as Lord Mayor was to sell and promote York to its residents, tourists and potential investors.

He said: "Being Lord Mayor gives a lot of opportunities to sell York by virtue of the fact you are invited to a lot of dinners, conferences, all places to meet people and put across what a beautiful city we have got, but also the fact we are not living in a museum, this is a 21st century city.

"Any influence I had, I wanted to use it to encourage people to come to York and invest in the city."

Coun Horton paid tribute to his fellow Acomb Ward councillor Tracey Simpson-Laing, who he said had worked extremely hard while he was busy with the mayoral role. His only advice to Coun Hall was to enjoy his time in office.

He added: "It is a real honour and it flies by. Just enjoy it, there's no point doing it otherwise."

Coun Horton carried out his final duties last night, when he welcomed dignitaries from York's twin cities, Dijon, in France, and Munster, in Germany.

The civic parties were meeting to celebrate York's 50th twinning anniversary with Dijon and its 46th anniversary with Munster.

Updated: 09:23 Wednesday, May 21, 2003