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Wassail!

Was what? Wassailing is an ancient ceremony that dates back to Anglo-saxon times, it involves toasting the health of the apple trees and scaring away evil spirits in order to ensure a bumper crop next year!

For the first time in living memory, the Weston Mummmers and the Broadmoor Lane Residents Association have got together to organise a Wassail in the Old Orchard in Broadmoor Lane on the traditional old twelth night - Saturday the 17th of January.

Meet at 7pm in the Orchard.

All are welcome.

Bring along:

A lantern or torch (to read the song sheet)
Something to make a noise (a horn, bell, drum - a saucepan and wooden spoon will do)
A cup (there will be mulled cider and hot punch)

There will be a collection which will be donated to the Dorothy House Hospice.

Any questions please drop me a line.

Hope to see you there!

Re: Wassail!

Hi,

Correct me if I am wrong but I thought the orchard didn't exist any more

Re: Re: Wassail!

Apologies Andy, I have just googled

"The Orchard, Broadmoor Lane, Weston, Bath. Orchards existed on Broadmoor Lane for many years, but a new housing development was built between 2001-2004. Ten years previously residents fought a planning battle to save the orchard. A enhanced plan was approved that allowed 37 houses leaving most of the old orchard in amongst the new estate. Once the building work was complete, Broadmoor Lane Residents’ Association held an Apple Day in 2004 and invited the new residents to take part, harvesting the apples and juicing them in a press donated by Bath Organic Group. The Association has been negotiating with Redcliff Homes and Bath & North east Somerset Council to take ownership of the orchard to secure it for the community"

Re: Re: Re: Wassail!

Thanks Ann, I couldn't have put it better myself

Yes, the 'old' orchard is still very much in existence. It's just been enhanced by new access - roads and footpaths - including a lovely brook side walk with footbridges and a formal childrens' play area plus bench. (And a few new houses ).

As 'google' says, we fought long and hard to save it.. and since we have, the motto has been 'use it or lose it'.

Hope to see you there tomorrow night.

I'll be back at some point to write a 'report'

Andy

Re: Re: Re: Re: Wassail!

The weatherman's promised severve gales and torrential rain did not deter 30 or more brave (mad?) souls gathering for the first Wassail in living memory in the Orchard in Broadmoor Lane.

The punch was especially welcome (cider based for the oldies and apple juice based for the young'uns) Karina's 'special brew' getting the thumbs up.

Out came the song sheets which quickly became sodden as we did out best to drown out the roaring wind bellowing through the trees, plus we had to sing without musical accompaniment as the rain was so heavy we had to abandon the instruments.

We formed a big circle around one of the trees, children hung toast dipped in cider from the branches (as a treat for the orchard King - the Robin) and recited the traditional 'Wassail! to the apple trees before making as much noise as possible with whistles, bells, drums and saucepans to awaken the trees from their winter slumber and scare off the evil spirits.

Daisy said it was the evil spirits who summoned the gails and rain in an attempt to put us off! We weren't deterred though!

A great time was had by all, we'll definitely be back next year. Hopefully with better weather!

There was a collection which raised a magnificent £50.62p which will be donated to Dorothy House Hospice.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wassail!

Really wanted to come to the Wasail but coulndt, I have seen this is the second activity at the orchard (apple pressing last autumn) do you have any futher idear in mind, it is a really good idea to use the orchard in this way!

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Wassail!

Hi Jane!

And everyone else!

A bit late replying..

Yes the plan is to continue to make the Orchard the centre of whatever community events anyone wants to organise.

We held an Apple Day again this year which once again proved a great hit.

And yes, the now traditional Wassail will be back for 2010. Saturday 16th January 7pm. Same format as 2009.

Several other ideas have been put forward for 2010 including an Owl Prowl, Bat Hunt and some kind of May Day celebration (probably involving a Green Man).

Watch this space!

Andy