Category Archives: Orchard

Wassail Bourne Community Orchard 2017

The Friends of Bourne Wood held their first Wassail in the community orchard in Bourne on Saturday in conjunction with Bourne Borderers Morris.  A Wassail is a traditional custom to celebrate the apple harvest and reawaken the trees.  The event started at 4.30pm, just as it was becoming dusk with Bourne Borderers dancing.  The crowd that had gathered were then offered a taste of either mulled cider or apple juice and some cake, before everyone sung the ‘Apple Tree Wassail’.

The gathering then proceeded into the orchard, the way being lit with lots of natural lights.  The trees were blessed with cider, and toast was placed in the branches for the robins, by anyone wishing to take part.  The Wassail Queen Emily sang a beautiful solo and the trees were wassailed, followed by lots of noise, with everyone present banging pots and pans, and cheering!

crowd at wassailing ob bourne community orchard
The Wassail Queen Emily sang a beautiful solo and the trees were wassailed, followed by lots of noise, with everyone present banging pots and pans, and cheering! Photographs by Steve Goddard

Once back on the hard-standing the Borderers danced again, Emily sang a further lovely song, and all joined in the ‘Here we come a wassailing’.

“Our Wassail, jolly Wassail, joy come to our jolly Wassail. How well they may bloom, how well they may bear, so we may have apples and cider next year”

“Hat-fulls, cap-fulls, three bushel bag-fulls, little heaps under the stairs. Hip, hip… Hooray!”

The evening ended with the Mummers play, and thanks to all for their attendance and help.

The Friends would like to especially thank Bourne Borderers for their help and support with this new event.

Orchard Open Day

The Community Orchard Open Day, organised by the Friends of Bourne Wood, was thoroughly enjoyed by the many people who came.  There was live music from Bourne Folk Club, who play regularly at the Masons and Wishing Well, Dyke.  They played two sets of lively music – a real mix of Irish, Folk, Country and traditional tunes.  As there was plenty of sunshine people were able to sit and enjoy the music, which fitted in very well with the relaxed atmosphere of the orchard.

orchard open day
As there was plenty of sunshine people were able to sit and enjoy the music, which fitted in very well with the relaxed atmosphere of the orchard.

At lunch time all the seats were taken with people having picnics, supplemented by the delicious cakes from the cake stall and teas and coffees.

Children could try their hands at pebble painting or picture colouring, and while waiting for these to dry were able to hunt for bugs hidden around the trees!  There was also a lucky dip, and a guess my name competition.

Meanwhile, adults and children alike could investigate the craft stalls, jam stall or the plant stall.

The Friends had also picked some fruit from the orchard, both to show people the different types of apples and pears, but also so people could take some away with them for a small donation.

A huge ‘Thank You’ goes to Dean Hardy and the other musicians for their entertainment and to all our other volunteers who helped set up and look after the stalls on the day.

The Friends would be keen to hear from anyone who would like to join our committee to take on administrative and fundraising roles.  Further information can be obtained from Sarah on 07760468052.

Orchard Open Day

The Community Orchard Open Day was a success, thoroughly enjoyed by those who came.  There was live music from Dean Hardy and his friends from Dyke Folk Club and Spalding Folk Club.  They played two sets of lively music – a real mix of Irish, Folk, Country and good old fashioned tunes.  The weather was so good people were able to sit and enjoy the music and soak up the relaxed atmosphere.

At lunch time all the seats were taken with people having picnics, supplemented by the delicious cakes from the cake stall and teas and coffees.

Children could try their hands at pebble painting or willow weaving, both of which proved very popular.  Nicola Mclean had organised the willow weaving and she had cards and other items for sale, along with her deer and hare willow sculptures on show.

Meanwhile, adults and children alike could investigate the craft stalls, jam stall or the plant stall.

The Friends had also picked some fruit from the orchard, both to show people the different types of apples and pears, but also so people could take some away with them for a small donation.

A huge ‘Thank You’ goes to Dean Hardy and the other musicians for their entertainment and to Nicola for her help, along with all our other volunteers who helped set up and look after the stalls on the day.

Weaving Willow Sculptures – Nicola McLean

Weaving willow sculptures in Bourne Community Orchard over the past ten days has proved to be the perfect ‘office’, (as described by my visitors) the perfect setting for this kind of creativity.

Many people have asked me how I began weaving; It all started back in 2008, having graduated with a 2:1 Fine Art Degree from Anglia Ruskin University in 2006. I was awarded a commission, after putting in a proposal to Lincoln County Council, to create a twelve foot standing willow figure.

The Lincolnshire Heritage site near Bardney, hosts the ruins of Tupholme Abbey, home to the white gowned Premonstratensian monks from 1100 to the 1500s. By the moat where residents would have fished for carp and eel, standing almost camouflage against the gnarled willows which line the banks, visitors start at his sudden presence, as they walk across the footbridge

Prior to this, I had just completed a two week solo exhibition at the Sam Scorer Gallery, by the castle in Drury Lane, Lincoln. I felt tremendously proud that my large canvasses adorned every wall and my sculptures were displayed in the spacious room. The show was the result of a two year body of work which explored a theme which inspires me greatly. Entitled ‘Between Worlds’ I had produced visual thoughts and ideas, feelings, atmospheres, both representational and abstract about aspects of spiritual ancestral beliefs and our beautiful natural world.

Carvings of oak and stone, displayed on the floor, and a suspended installation, called ‘Ancient forest’ of restored and beautified bog oaks hung from the beams. Few people realise that such bog oak findings may predate Stonehenge! I was in my absolute element and imagine my delight when I saw my name and show title advertised in the Guardian listings, with an eloquent description kindly written by a Sam Scorer Treasurer Peter Moss. www.samscorer.

More recently I had been asked to sell willow pieces at a Spring Fair Hester Cresswell was holding at her newly renovated chapel in
Haconby. (Open every Friday to purchase many sumptuous items of furniture, accessories for home and garden, including smaller willow creations) Whilst working on a stag in Somerset, in a field with a beautiful view of Glastonbury Tor, the organiser of the Healing Field at Glastonbury Festival visited and asked if I would produce a willow sculpture garden in the ‘air space’.

I was elated, needless to say I have been walking on air ever since, strange too as several years before I had formed a list of things I wished ‘to do’ before I turned fifty, one of the things on there was to do an Art Installation at Glastonbury Festival.

This brings me to a few weeks ago, when I was stuck for space to work on this willow body of work. I chatted to our Bourne’s lovely Willie McLaughlin’s wife and she had spoken to Willie who said to approach Sarah Roberts. I did rather nervously enter the orchard and approached the lovely Jayne who was so friendly and helpful. She then forwarded my request to Sarah Roberts.

Thanks to Sarah, and her lovely ma and pa, I have been so happy in residency there in the orchard surrounded by hundreds of magnificent tall Ash trees, hearing cuckoo call, watching the swarms take off to their new hives, peaceful and productive. Boxing hare, who look like they are doing the tango, doe and her stag who is yet to be completed have all materialised. I can honestly boast, as seen at Glastofest too…

Thanks to my lovely visitors, Angela Adams and her gift of honey, Bob who enlightened me of a interesting geography website, he took a photo of me making the boxing hare for his grid reference. the lovely Goff leggitts, Sally Pepper and loads of other lovely folk.

Surprisingly, I did discover many towns folk are still unaware of the Orchards existence, what a pity for them. Our Community is very privileged to have this place of beauty to visit, enjoy, relax and contemplate in. I am sure you will see me lending a hand or sculpting again here in the future, what an achievement Friends of Bourne Wood, what a joyful legacy you have made and tend still.

Words by Nicola McLean

To view Tupholme Abbey willow man, Sam Scorer Exhibition as mentioned visit www.nickimclean.co.uk or e-mail nicola.mclean@live.co.uk for commission queries.