Hundreds of cider-drinkers celebrate wassail ceremony

PUBLISHED: 18:00 22 January 2019

Wassail Queen Evie-Mae Collings is hanging burnt toast on the tree.	Picture: Ollie Woolacott

Wassail Queen Evie-Mae Collings is hanging burnt toast on the tree. Picture: Ollie Woolacott

Ollie Woolacott

More than 500 visitors flocked to Rich's Cider in Watchfield to celebrate the wassail tradition for a good harvest.

Visitors flock to attend the wassailing event at Richs Cider.	Picture: Ollie WoolacottVisitors flock to attend the wassailing event at Richs Cider. Picture: Ollie Woolacott

The farm, in Mill House Lane near Highbridge, hosted the event on Friday and provided lashings of cider and a roast dinner to its guests.

The ceremony involved people hanging cider-soaked bread on trees and shotguns were fired in the evening to ward off evil spirits.

Organiser of the event, Jan Scott, said “The size of the wassail is increasing massively each year, with people coming from places such as Manchester, London and Bournemouth to attend.”

Dorset band the SkimmityHitchers and music by Bob Darch entertained audiences on the night, and the event raised money for the St Margaret’s Hospice in Taunton.

St Margarets Hospice' volunteers helped out at the wassail ceremony. 	Picture: Ollie WoolacottSt Margarets Hospice' volunteers helped out at the wassail ceremony. Picture: Ollie Woolacott

Jan continues: “A massive thank you to all of the help we received from the Vagabonds Carnival Club and the Hospice for doing the raffle we had on the night.”

The Wassail Queen Evie-Mae Collings being escorted to the tree.	Picture: Ollie WoolacottThe Wassail Queen Evie-Mae Collings being escorted to the tree. Picture: Ollie Woolacott

Richs Cider owner Jan Scott with Bob Nicholson enjoying the event.	Picture: Ollie WoolacottRichs Cider owner Jan Scott with Bob Nicholson enjoying the event. Picture: Ollie Woolacott

Rich's Cider Wassail Queen Evie-Mae Collings being lifted towards the tree.Rich's Cider Wassail Queen Evie-Mae Collings being lifted towards the tree.

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