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WITH THE FRIENDLY SOCIETY
Saturday 14 January 2006
The Friendly Societyís Annual Wassailing night was held in the
orchards of the village on Saturday January 14th this year.
A crowd of 90 people participated in this traditional event on a
perfectly clear moonlit night, starting at Old Ditch Farm, courtesy of
Buffy & Mick Fletcher, and ably assisted by Sue Isherwood and
followed the crowning of the Wassailing King and Queen who, for this year
will be Louise and John Mackay, by
coincidence married to each other for real!
The master of ceremonies was our own, our very own John Barkle who, dressed in an original country yokelís smock, led us around the orchards to oversee the hanging of cider soaked toast in the trees and the pouring of last yearís cider around the roots to encourage a good harvest in the autumn. The rifle shooting of evil spirits from the trees was performed by Edwin Phelps and Peter Laws.
Five orchards later, everyone returned to Old Ditch Farm for the ceremonial burning of the ash faggot, lit from embers from last year's fire.
The evening was rounded off with a mummers play, and a supper of soup, sausages and cheese.
at home farm The
Langport Mummers entertained us to their version of The
Old Twelfth Night play.
The various characters were
colourfully costumed and so well disguised I doubt their own
mothers would have known them.
This delightful performance was followed by supper served in various locations around the farmyard and in the cosy farmhouse. On offer were pork & apple hot dogs, a choice of delicious soups, English cheeses and huge amounts of superb apple cake. Whilst supper was being consumed three Ashen Faggots were lit and everyone was asked to make a wish around the glow from the fire. A dead ember from this yearís fire will be used to start the 2007 faggot fire when Iím certain everyone will gather again to enjoy another Wassail.
The Friendly Society is grateful to Mick and Buffy Fletcher for hosting the event, co-organisers Barry Lane and Sue Isherwood, John Barkle for being master of ceremonies, accordianist Malcolm Mogford and everyone who prepared food, mulled cider and helped with everything else that had to be done to make this such an enjoyable evening.