Westbury-sub-Mendip

Wassailing 2005

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Wassailing

Women’s Institute

Wassail05-lanterns.jpg (8053 bytes)

WASSAILING WITH THE FRIENDLY SOCIETY
Saturday 15 January 2006

 

 

 

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Master of ceremonies, Philip Hawthorn, crowns the Wassail King and Queen. 

Pictures by kind permission of, and thanks to, Steve Holmes.

 

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(Click images to enlarge)

Wassail05-toast.jpg (7243 bytes)
Toast to thank the trees.

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Edwin Phelps at the ready.

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The ashen faggot being
prepared for the fire.

Wassail05-mummers.jpg (11186 bytes)
Mummers play.

After the success of last year's wassailing, organised by Mick Fletcher and Barry Lane, it was decided that it would make an ideal event to include in the Friendly Society's programme for 2005. And so it turned out to be, as a large crowd assembled at Old Ditch Farm to drink mulled cider made from apples spurred on by last year's wassailing efforts.

Master of ceremonies, Philip Hawthorn, presided over the appointment of Wassail King and Queen, selected by drawing a golden walnut from a bag. 

Wassail05-tree.jpg (17695 bytes)Their main job was to hang toast, soaked in cider, on each apple tree and to sprinkle cider on the roots. As wassailers sang a song written by Sue Cayola, the MC danced manically around the tree, after which he presided over the chanting of "Wassail, wassail." This prompted Edwin Phelps to blast both barrels of his shotgun into the branches to ward off evil spirits.

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.

The Friendly Society is grateful to Mick and Buffy Fletcher for hosting the event, Philip Hawthorn for being master of ceremonies and everyone who prepared food, mulled cider and helped with everything else that had to be done to make this such an enjoyable evening.


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