The Friends of Bourne Wood, in conjunction with Bourne Borderers Morris, held their fourth Wassail in the community orchard in Bourne on Saturday. A Wassail is a traditional custom to celebrate the apple harvest of last year, to reawaken the trees, and to encourage them to bear fruit this year. The weather was very kind this year, and although windy was not particularly cold. By 4.30pm a decent crowd of around 100 had gathered to join in the celebration – a delightful way to enliven a dull January day. Everyone was welcomed to the event, and then Bourne Borderers commenced the proceedings with a traditional Morris dance. Those attending were then offered a taste of either mulled cider or apple juice and some homemade cake, before everyone sung the ‘Apple Tree Wassail’.
The gathering then proceeded into the orchard, led by the Wassail Queen, aided admirably by the Wassail princess. The trees in the orchard had been decorated with lots of fairy lights and looked lovely in the dusk, with the path down also lit. The trees were blessed with cider, and toast was placed in the branches for the robins, the guardians of the orchard, by anyone wishing to take part, while the musicians continued to play. The trees were wassailed, with the customary poem, followed by lots of noise, with everyone present banging pots and pans, and cheering!
Once back on the hard-standing the Borderers danced again, and all joined in the ‘Here we come a wassailing’. The evening ended with the Mummers play – performed by the Borderers, and some final pieces of cake and a warm drink.
The Friends would like to thank everyone for supporting this event, and especially Bourne Borderers for their help and support, and all those who provided cakes and helped out on the day.