School pupils help ward off spirits at wassail

PUBLISHED: 13:00 19 January 2011

Thatchers Director Martin Thatcher with Sandford Primary School pupils and the Mendip Morris Men

Thatchers Director Martin Thatcher with Sandford Primary School pupils and the Mendip Morris Men

Thatchers

SANDFORD residents and school pupils took part in a centuries-old tradition to encourage a health apple harvest for the year ahead.

Part of the ceremony in the Thatchers orchards

Pupils from Sandford Primary School were joined by the Mendip Morris Men at Thatchers Cider on Friday to take part in the annual Wassail ceremony.

As part of the ceremony, pupils crowned a Wassail king and queen, hung toast in the apple trees to attract good spirits, and banged pots and pans to ward off evil spirits.

Thatchers director Martin Thatcher said: “This is a great way for the children to learn about rural traditions, and relate it to their local environment.

“We are delighted that the school is able to join us for our Wassail ceremony and keep tradition alive.”

On Sunday around 200 residents from the village held a community wassail and hog roast in the company’s orchards.

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