Thatchers Cider celebrates wassail with singing, dancing and mulled cider

PUBLISHED: 10:00 27 February 2018

Wassail Queen Olivia Damerell, with Leigh Damerell (manager of the Railway Inn), The Green Man, and Rik Brock from the Mendip Morrismen.

Wassail Queen Olivia Damerell, with Leigh Damerell (manager of the Railway Inn), The Green Man, and Rik Brock from the Mendip Morrismen.

NEILPHILLIPS

Apple trees were blessed and cider-soaked toast was hung from branches during a lively wassail at Thatchers Cider in Sandford.

The annual ceremony, which was held in the orchards at Myrtle Farm, aims to wake the trees from their winter slumber to ensure a good harvest for the year ahead.

Led by The Green Man and the Mendip Morrismen, the celebrations include hanging cider-soaked toast in the branches of the wassail tree, pouring cider onto the tree’s roots and firing shotguns into the upper branches to scare away the evil spirits. The festivities included singing, dancing and mulled cider.

Martin Thatcher, fourth generation of the Somerset cidermaking family, said: “The wassail is a great tradition which reminds us that orchards and cider have been a part of West Country life for hundreds of years.

“Despite the rain, everyone had a fun-filled evening, and warmed up with a delicious supper in the Railway Inn to round off the celebrations.”

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