Hello again from Rossco Baines.
On the evening of the 23rd of January we went to the 'Sandford Orchard Wassail' in Sandford.
Wassailing is an old tradition of singing (and just generally being noisey!) to apple trees in orchards which helps promote a good apple harvest. This has been done for many years across the country but this Sandford Wassail is in its tenth year so this was to be a bit of an occasion, plus we were given the opportunity to create our own Wassail song and perform it there which was an honour.
We met up with the rest of our gang at the Lamb Pub in Sandford to have a drink and catch up before the procession started. The procession came down through the town with flame torches and pitchforks, lots of folk music and morris dancing. There was then a small acted out scene which was very enjoyable. After this, a tradition of finding a Wassail King and Queen was announced which consisted of everyone eating a piece of apple and cinnamon cake, with 2 cloves hidden in 2 slices of the cake and if you had a clove in your slice you were announced King or Queen! Neither of us had a clove though!
When it was time to start the wassail we walked up to a very muddy field keeping quiet on the way up to respect the towns people in their houses with music. We arrived at the orchard and everyone gathered around the trees.
As is the tradition, toast was put into the tree and cider poured into the trees roots, and then the noise commenced. Everyone joined in with the Sandford Wassail which consisted of singing, shouting and then making as much noise as possible with shotguns being fired…all to scare the evil spirits away.
After, we were given the opportunity to perform our own Wassail which was such good fun, some people even joined in with us! We all had fun and hope its happening next year and we are invited again, many thanks to Sandford Orchards for having us!
Written by Ross Baines, published by Dom Palfreman
**photos will be added soon!**