Villagers enjoy wassail at Blagdon orchard

PUBLISHED: 09:00 16 January 2020

Blagdon Wassail in the Community Orchard.       Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Blagdon Wassail in the Community Orchard. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Archant

Cider and singing kept villagers entertained at a wassail in Blagdon.

Rifleman Alan Barwick, Apple Queen Lesley Barwick and organiser Julie Chamberlain at Blagdon Wassail in the Community Orchard.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONRifleman Alan Barwick, Apple Queen Lesley Barwick and organiser Julie Chamberlain at Blagdon Wassail in the Community Orchard. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Scores of families met at the New Inn to take part in the unusual tradition, which involves blessing the trees for this year's harvest.

Somerset Morris put on a lively performance to kick off the festivities.

Lesley Barwick was crowned apple queen, and the villagers made their way to Eldred's orchards to take part in the ceremony.

Cider-soaked toast was hung from the branches of the apple trees, and children banged their pots and pans to scare away any spirits.

Rifleman Alan Barwick at Blagdon Wassail in the Community Orchard.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONRifleman Alan Barwick at Blagdon Wassail in the Community Orchard. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Rifleman Alan Barwick let off some shots before the trees were blessed, and the ceremony held.

Villagers passed around the friendship cup to sample the cider made from last year's fruit.

The celebrations continued at the New Inn, in Park Lane.

Wassailing is a pagan tradition to ensure a good cider apple harvest for the following year.

Apple Queen Lesley Barwick at Blagdon Wassail in the Community Orchard.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONApple Queen Lesley Barwick at Blagdon Wassail in the Community Orchard. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

The Friendship Cup at Blagdon Wassail in the Community Orchard.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONThe Friendship Cup at Blagdon Wassail in the Community Orchard. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Sharing the Friendship Cup at Blagdon Wassail in the Community Orchard.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONSharing the Friendship Cup at Blagdon Wassail in the Community Orchard. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

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