PERHAPS it was the cold weather. Or the competing lure of late-night Christmas shopping.

But York's first night let off the leash of licensing limitations did not disintegrate into the feared orgy of trouble. While it was too chilly to be the continental-style evening out politicians promised, drinkers took their long-awaited freedoms in their relatively sensible stride. Of course these are early days. A more robust test of the new system will take place tonight and tomorrow.

It is to be hoped that weekend revellers will heed the warnings of police and take it steady. Now we have the whole night to party, there is no reason to hit the bars like a hurricane.

Updated: 10:43 Friday, November 25, 2005