5 January 2014

What a great Wassail

What a fantastic start to a new celebration for Brightwell!  From what people said on the day, we will certainly be wassailing next year.

About 170 people, of which at least 50 were children, followed the procession around 4 orchards and took part in all the traditional rituals and ceremonies as part of the first village Wassail. Everyone made plenty of noise to wake the trees in the orchards of Pauline Emerson, Nick Spence, David Ebbs and Rhod Baker; Doug Miles blasted away the evil spirits with shotgun fire through the boughs; Robert Field made a fine Master of Ceremonies; Janice Chilton read a prayer and a blessing for the crops to come; Myron Edwards and his band processed singing the village Wassail song; Alison Hedges made fantastic Lambswool mulled cider using John Bloomfield's superb cider; Mark hosted all the hardy souls for more cider and songs in the pub and, finally, Armaleggan, Border Morris, sang and danced their way around the village. 

They were astounding.  Fantastic costumes, blackend and painted faces, incredible feathered headdresses, flares, musicians, and plenty of heartened cheer. 

The event wouldn't have been possible without the talents of Andy Gordon.  This talented musician composed the music to accompany Robert Field's lyrics which now form the Brightwell cum Sotwell Wassail song for ever more.  Andy is brother of Bruce Gordon, the creative in our Orchard Group. Thank you Bruce for introducing us and to Helen Gordon for the fabulous publicity designs.

We couldn't have done it or had such a good time without all of you.

Master of Ceremonies, Robert Field
Robert Field and Mark Roberts

Gathering for Wassail

Master Shotgun, Doug Field

Armaleggan's dancing at Brightwell Manor

Armaleggan's torchlit dances at the Red Lion


More dancing at the Red Lion Brightwell cum Sotwell