A RECORD number of revellers attended the annual wassailing ceremony at the Thatchers cider headquarters at the weekend.

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Thatchers wassilingThatchers wassiling

About 300 people gathered at the Sandford site for the tradition, which sees cider poured around the roots of the trees in the orchard.

Guests also had a first sight of the new jubilee building, before it is fitted out as a new packaging facility.

The ancient wassail ritual dates back to Pagan times, encouraging a healthy apple harvest by warding off evil spirits and welcoming good ones.

Owner Martin Thatcher said: “We’re determined to keep the traditions of cider alive here.

“The wassail is a great opportunity to invite revellers to our orchards and share the tradition, and to say a big thank you to all our guests for their support during the year.

“A good cider is all about the apples – so while we have every confidence in the expertise of our orchard team, we like to give them a helping hand with the wassail ceremony.”

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