WASSAIL 2023, 19th January

On Saturday 14th January 2023 we opened our gates for our second annual Wassail event. This year we started the evening with the Hobo Border Morris team and their fantastic band. We then saw the Purbeck Mummers give a splendid performance with their traditional mumming play and they then led us in a torchlit procession to one of our main bush orchards for the blessing. Kate performed the toast as Wassail Queen and Joe the shotgun firing as Wassail King. The congregation sung and united to ward off the evil spirits with WASSAIL calls and much noise and clatter. The evening was brought to a close with the musical talents of Jim Etherington, a local legend and excellent one-man band.
Wassailing is an ancient British tradition believed to have begun in Anglo-Saxon pre-Christian times. People from the local community gather at the orchard both on Christmas Eve and on the traditional twelfth night, 17th January. A blessing is made to the orchard with toast, soaked in cider, hung from the boughs of a chosen tree and cider poured around the base to feed the roots. The congregation then sing and the custodian of the orchard fires a shot with the congregation banging, clattering and making loud noises to ward off the evil spirits and bring a good harvest for the coming season.
The term wassail comes from the Anglo-Saxon phrase waes hael meaning good health.


Here we come a-wassailing among the leaves so green
Here we come a wand’ring so fair to be seen

Chorus: Love and joy come to you
And to you your wassail too
And God bless you, and send you
A Happy New Year
And God send you a Happy New Year

A fantastic evening only made possible by the efforts of our Cider Team (who flipped burgers, poured pints, checked tickets and did just about everything they could in preparation and on the night) and our wonderful customers who came along to support us in eating, drinking and merry making. Thank you one and all.