Crowds gathered in between the branches of the trees at Stamford Community Orchard to celebrate the old English custom of wassailing.
The annual event, organised by the Stamford Community Orchard Group, took place after dark on Saturday (January 10), with more than 150 people joining together to awaken the apple trees and, by scaring away evil spirits, to encourage them to fruit well this coming season.
“It was enormous fun,” said Annie Hall, chairman of the Stamford Community Orchard Group. “We made a whole lot of noise by banging pans and letting off party poppers.”
Despite the miserable weather, a great time was had by all and this year’s event has been described by the group as the ‘best year ever’.
The members of Woven Chords were on hand once again to sing traditional songs for all to join in, and this year were joined by the Bourne Borderers, who performed colourful dances around the orchard.
“Having the Bourne Borderers at this year’s event was great fun,” said Annie. “It gave that extra something and everyone enjoyed the performance.”
This year, the event also had its very own ‘wassail queen’ - Robina Hill, who had the honour of pouring cider into the bed of the apple trees to encourage growth.
Plenty of cider and apple juice was also available for the crowds to enjoy, which was kindly provided by Fynburys Cider.
“This event has definitely become a big part of the Stamford calendar,” said Annie. “But, it’s not just local people that come to these events. This year we had people from as far away as Edinburgh, Liverpool and Sheffield - who come all this way as they have never experienced such an event as wassailing.”