Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Wassail at Ferry Boat Inn apple orchard: Saturday 19 January

this event is still going ahead, despite the snow - it should help make it a magical evening!

Email rec'd from Katy Andrews (local activist & historian) 

A Wassailing visit will be made to the ancient apple orchard at the Ferry Boat Inn on Forest Road N17 (bus 123, 230, nearest station Tottenham Hale 8 minutes walk), to bless the trees and encourage them to grow and bear a good crop of apples in the coming year. 

Wassailers will meet from 5.30pm at the Inn for apple tree wassailing this coming Saturday 19th Jan, with the ceremony starting at 6.00pm with Morris dancing. There will be singing, dancing, toasting the apple trees, making a lot of noise, etc. 

Behind the Inn is one of the oldest surviving orchards in north-east London, but it’s now quite small so the event will be fairly short. Wassailing hasn't been done at the Ferry Boat Inn within living memory, so the ceremony will be based on other traditional Wassails which have been carried out annually for centuries in the cider-apple orchards of Kent and the West Country. 

The Blackhorse & Standard Morris dancers will give a short display, then a wassail (“waes hael!” is Old English for “Be healthy!”) will be given to the pub. Then the apple trees in the orchard will be wassailed by singing to them and toasting them individually. Everyone will then make as much noise as possible, to dispel any lurking evil spirits in the branches! 

The Wassailers will then return to the Inn for hot mulled cider and any other refreshments they care to buy. Please come along and join in to watch; accompanied children are also very welcome. 

Song-sheets will be provided. Bring a pocket torch and something to make a noise with! Please wrap up very warm and wear sensible shoes and thick socks!! 

Katy Andrews

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