of ceremonies, Philip Hawthorn, crowns the Wassail King and
by kind permission of, and thanks to, Steve Holmes.
images to enlarge)
Toast to thank the
Edwin Phelps at the
The ashen faggot being
prepared for the fire.
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.
of ceremonies, Philip Hawthorn, presided over the appointment of
Wassail King and Queen, selected by drawing a golden walnut from a
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.
orchards later, everyone returned to Old
Ditch Farm for the ceremonial burning of
the ash faggot,
lit from embers from last year's fire.
evening was rounded off with a mummers play, and a supper of
soup, sausages and cheese.