Well over a hundred people were treated to a wonderful Wassail celebration in Bridport’s Community Orchard on Sunday afternoon. The earlier rain miraculously cleared to give reasonably dry if cloudy conditions, and people were able to celebrate the age old tradition of Wassail in grand style.
Martin Maudsley led the ceremony with his apple themed story, and was very ably assisted by the Wassail King and Queen in their decorated capes and crowns.
A special tree, chosen by the Wassail Queen, was blessed in the traditional way with cider poured onto the roots, and the audience was invited to place cider soaked bread on all of the other trees to bring good luck and encourage a bumper crop of apples in the autumn. Then everyone was then encouraged to create an almighty din, using drums, trumpets, whistles and voices to frighten away any evil spirits that might be lurking. Three new songs were sung, led by Wyld Morris from Monkton Wyld, who also entertained with some lively Morris dancing.
Hot mulled cider, provided by West Milton Cider, and apple juice pressed by orchard volunteers, were served, and a fire helped to keep the revellers warm. All in all, a wonderful and enjoyable winter celebration to lift the spirits of the people of Bridport!
Click on the image to enlarge and scroll through (7 photos).