VIDEO: Banging the drum for old custom

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People of all ages joined in the annual Wassailing event at the Fairfield Community Orchard in Lancaster on Saturday.

Wassailings are traditionally held in the cider making counties of southern England, but since Lancaster boasts its own public orchard the Fairfield Association decided to bring the tradition to the north west.

There was a range of activities for children and adults, beginning with a noisy procession, which people were encouraged to take along pots, pans and drums to join in with.

The procession is intended to scare away any evil spirits who might blight the crop in the year to come. Included in the afternoon’s proceedings was the choosing of an Oak King and Apple Queen to rule for a year, so people were requested to attend in fancy dress if they wanted to be considered for these prestigious roles.

The Oak King and Apple Queen then made the traditional offerings of cider to the trees and begin the passing round of a Wassail Bowl.

The event finished with the performance of traditional wassailing songs around a bonfire.

All funds raised will go towards the upkeep of the orchard.




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