Another year has flown by and once again we greeted local friends, family and stockists to Harry’s Cider, Littlefield Farm in Long Sutton for our annual wassail all in aid of local charities and of course to encourage a healthy crop of apples for the coming growing season.
The pagan ceremony dates back hundreds of years and is intended to scare away any evil spirits that may inhabit the orchards as well as blessing the trees with a jug of Harry’s lovely mulled cider to promote a good crop for the coming season.
Wassail actually means ‘good health’ in anglo saxon.
As the rise in popularity of Harry’s Cider grows so does this ancient tradition and for our third annual wassail we saw numbers peak at over a hundred people. Long Sutton PTFA were serving up some lovely local hot dogs, as well as Harry’s Cider running the bar with the option of hot mulled cider free of charge, included in the ticket price.
All of the guests were welcomed by the master of ceremonies (Gerard Tucker from Aller) who has done a sterling job for the previous two years and did not disappoint this year either. The ceremony took place out in Harry’s young six acre orchard adjacent to the cider house, planted back in 2012 and just last year cropped nearly 40 tonnes of apples which was no doubt helped along by the previous year’s wassail.
The guests were bought back in to the cider house, which is open every Saturday 10am-4pm, for a performance by the Langport Mummers who are all from surrounding areas and each year present a great adaptation of their play which is performed at other local wassails.
After an evening of ancient tradition, blessing the orchards and drinking hot mulled cider a total of £490 was raised by Harry’s Cider which will be split between Long Sutton Primary School and Somerset and Dorset Air Ambulance. As well as this, Long Sutton PTFA were raising money for the school and a donation was made to the Langport Mummers going towards the air ambulance so all in all a total of £690 was raised on the night.