2006 Scrapbook
Wassailing at the The Bull, Stanford Dingley
22nd January 2006

Back to the lovely Bull at Stanford Dingley for our eighth wassail. The weather was beautifully sunny, although a bit chilly for those dancing in shirtsleeves. Rob the landlord and his team were excellent hosts for the day.

This year we were joined by Old Speckled Hen, Kintbury Morris, Phoenix Morris and Mabel Gubbins Rapper, plus Yateley mummers and dozens of singers, musicians and miscellaneous others with nothing better to do on a pleasant Sunday!

OBJ comprised:Alison, Colin, Chris, Dave K, Dave Y, Diane, Doug, Gill, Ian, Isobel, Jenny, Joe, Liz, Mike G, Mike S, Nikki, Pam, Susie and Vera.

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The day started with a bit of dancing. Here are Phoenix and their illustrious band.
   
Kintbury morris did a couple of dances. I'm sure one day someone will come out of that house - but it's never happened yet.
   
Old Speckled Hen dancing in the street. The road users were especially patient and helpful - it must be the residual christmas spirit.
   
Mabel Gubbins were the first Rapper side to appear at one of our wassails. Here they are dancing in the street. Later on, the pubs carpets were rolled back and they continued indoors.
   
Here are OBJ dancing the new addition to our repertoire - Much Gridlock. It's like Much Wenlock but with heavier traffic.
   
Then it was time for the wassail "ceremony". Pam had prepared huge quantities of Wassail cake, which was distributed to the assembled company. Meanwhile, appropriate songs are sung and poems read (or is it vice versa?).

A bean is secreted inside one piece of cake, and by tradition, the lucky recipient becomes King or Queen of the Bean - depending on gender, orientation and whatever.

The Queen turned out to be Queen Linda the First - or at least she thought that was her name (she appeared to be a bit tired and emotional). She selected her consort as King Paul the First.

Together, the regal couple presided over the ceremony, without falling off the table hardly at all.

We had hunted a wren (all over Woolworths) and it was duly sacrificed and buried in the roots of Diane's apple tree. Toast and Cider were added to the tree and evil spirits duly driven out.

We then sung to the landlord to be let into the pub, and immediately came back out again to watch the mummers.

(no animals were harmed during the making of this wassail - only birds!)

   
Yateley Mummers came along and produced an excellent performance. On the left, our heroes (and villains) prepare for the curtain to rise.

As the play progressed the body heap got higher and higher, until at last The Doctor arrived with his assistant (K9) and resurrected them all.

So good triumphed over evil and we all went inside the pub and played music and danced until we just couldn't carry on.

Here endeth the scrapbook entry for the 2006 wassail, except to say a big thank you to everyone who participated or just stood around enjoying it.

Click the pictures to enlarge them