Make some noise - wassailing is back!

After a break last year due to the pandemic, Bridport Community Orchard Group presents the 2022 Wassail where people are invited to chase away evil spirits from the orchard and welcome the good ones for a fruitful year and bountiful harvest.

Wassailing is a traditional and ancient winter celebration. Wassail derives from the Anglo-Saxon 'waes haeil' - to be healthy - so wassailing apple trees was a way of encouraging a good apple crop the following season.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News:

Alison Todd from Bridport Community Orchard Group said: "We will be wassailing on the afternoon of Sunday 16th January starting at 2pm. The event will be held in the St Mary’s Field Orchard, just off South Street in Bridport (behind the church) and everyone is welcome.

"The wassailing will be led by Martin Maudsley supported by Wyld Morris and others. We will be crowning the Wassail King and Queen, blessing the trees with bread and cider and making some noise - bring a drum, trumpet, pan lids or anything noisy - to scare away the orchard demons.

"Cider will be on sale and we invite cash donations for delicious hot apple juice from last summer’s apple crop.

"Come and enjoy seeing old friends and making new ones in our wonderful community orchard."

The last big wassailing event held at the orchard was in 2020 when a record number of people turned out.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News:

Wyld Morris started proceedings with a selection of traditional wassail songs, and renowned storyteller Martin Maudsley, pictured below, took on the role of master of ceremonies, or 'Wassail Butler'.

He introduced another folklore character, the Dorset Ooser, which is a horned-face mask and another element to frighten away any dark spirits from the orchard. The crowd joined in making noise with drums, whistles, pans and spoons.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: