Girl power was the order of the day today when York's first all-female civic party was sworn in at a ceremony in the city's Guildhall.

The mayor-making saw Coun Irene Waudby take over from Coun Shan Braund as Lord Mayor of York amid amusing anecdotes from Coun Mick Bradley, who proposed her nomination for the post.

As well as detailing her long and energetic commitment to the city, he revealed she and her husband, Derek, had once appeared as extras in the film Omen III.

Meanwhile, Coun David Wilde warned that she could encounter the odd ghost coming out of the Mansion House lift in her new role.

Coun Janet Greenwood was then proposed and accepted as Sheriff of York with Coun Shan Braund making up the first all-female civic team by becoming Deputy Lord Mayor.

The new Lord Mayor announced this year's official charities as Age Concern and St Leonard's Hospice.

Robes and chains of office were exchanged and then it was time to remember Peter Dodd, last year's Lord Mayor-elect, who died before he could take up the office.

Then Coun Braund spoke of her experiences as Lord Mayor.

She said: "Wow, what a year. I want to thank members of the council for giving me the opportunity to experience the most memorable and wonderful year of my life. I have met four members of the Royal Family, been taught how to use chopsticks by the Japanese Ambassador in London, and went on board HMS York and travelled overnight with 250 sailors. What can beat that?"

She said a special thank you to all the people of York and said some of her sweetest memories were of meeting them individually.

Thanks were also expressed to the outgoing Sheriff and his lady, Barrie and Linda Ferguson, and to the retiring Lord Mayor's Consort, Martin Braund.

The Civic Party and councillors then left the Guildhall and processed through the city.

Updated: 14:35 Thursday, May 24, 2001