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Wassailing and potato days a huge hit in Bridport
FAMILIES braved the weather to join in the annual wassailing and potato days in Bridport.
The potato day was held at Church House in South Street on Saturday while the wassailing extravaganza was at Bridport Community Orchard on Sunday.
More than 100 people turned up to toast the fertility of trees with a hot toddy of cider while carousing around the wet field for the ancient ceremony.
Jill Lloyd, chairman of Bridport Community Orchard Group, said the wassailing event was a great success thanks to the Wyld Morris Dancers, a generous donation by the Bull Hotel of Dorset Nectar cider made in Waytown by Oliver and Penny Strong and Leakers bread to dip in it.
She said: “It was a jolly occasion.
“People don’t turn out at 3pm on a Sunday and go and stand in a wet field unless they are going to have a good time.
“Two years ago it poured with rain and we still had 90 people.
“It was Wyld Morris who danced and played and led the singing.
“They learned all the music for the songs because we didn’t have a choir this year.
“They did a terrific job.”
She added: “We had upwards of a 100 people and what was nice was that we had young families and a lot of young people.
“People joined in the singing lustily.”
The orchard group uses its own pressing machine and pasteurises the juice.
Master of ceremonies was Andy Jefferies, whose five-year-old daughter Evelyn embraced her role as princess for the day.
- The second annual potato day was such a success it looks like a new town tradition has been born.
Marian Palmer, who organised the day with Jude Hopkins, said the day was fantastically well supported.
She said: “It was wonderful.
“We had loads of people and Pennard Plants from Somerset who came and bought about 80 different varieties of potatoes, as well as onion sets and garlic, seeds, fruit bushes and trees. We were very pleased.
“We also had a seed swap run by a local group and the community orchard had a table selling second hand books and we did refreshments of soup, bread and coffee.”
Pennard Plants donated a percentage of their sales to the day’s charity benefiting mental health charity Rethink’s Green Growers Allotment by £150.
Money was also donated to Rotary’s Shelterbox scheme.
Mrs Palmer added: “This was the second Potato Day and I am hoping it will become a permanent fixture of Bridport because it was so very popular.”