Saturday, 14 January 2017

On into 2017

New Moon Morris started 2017 by wassailing an ancient apple tree in Piccotts End on Saturday afternoon.  The building is famous for the unique medieval wall paintings, and we were given a guided tour before we went outside to wassail the tree, which is of an unknown type, despite investigation by experts.

Apple tree wassail
We played a few tunes to wake the tree up, Martin, one of our drummers, read a wassail prayer to the tree, and we sang apple wassail songs.   It is a quiet spot, and only a few, slightly bemused, people drove past, although someone came from the church a short way up the road to take some photos and to wish us well.

Wassailing the tree

Wassailing the cows
Then a brief stop at home before setting off for Tring, where we wassailed Tring Brewery, and then the cows at Dunsley Farm behind the brewery.  According to drummer Martin this was a 19th C Hertfordshire tradition - the cows didn't seem phased by it.

We were due to wassail at Jeacock's Orchard in Tring at 7:30, so we set off for the Robin Hood, where we got to play, sing, and wassail the pub.  There is a short VIDEO on Facebook courtesy of the Robin Hood - although the band is sideways for some of the recording.  

After that it was straight off to Jeacock's Orchard and wassailing the trees - with the wassail cup, wassail songs and a shotgun and 'air cannon' to keep any 'evil spirits' from the trees.  Afterwards, hot soup, fresh bread, drink, good company, and - yes - yet more music!

We were lucky enough to have the excellent Tring photographer Stephen Kitchener taking photos of our exploits in Tring. You can find these HERE.

On Plough Tuesday we were invited to a meal by Whitchurch Morris Men.  They provided an excellent hot meal - and dancing until late.

Here they are teaching us a new dance...

That was all in the first ten days of 2017 - more wassailing next weekend!


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