2012 Scrapbook

Wassailing at the The Boot, Bracknell
15th January 2012

Possibly one of the best Wassails we've ever had. We were joined by Garston Gallopers, Mayflower Morris, Phoenix Morris, Ridgeway Step Clog, Wickham Morris, plus the superb Soundblast Sinfonia  streetband, and a very appreciative audience who joined in with gusto.

Special thanks are due to:

Pam, for baking the wassail cake(s)
Avis who let us use their nearby carpark
Whoever organised the lovely weather
The team at The Boot who coped brilliantly with 150 guests
Everyone who came along and joined in

OBJ comprised: Alison, Ann, Anna, Chris, Clare, Colin, Eddie, Ian, Joe, Kelly, Lawre, Liz, Lynda, Mike G, Phil and Vera

Click the pictures to enlarge them

We started off with a bit of morris

Just behind us it says "Live Music" although I doubt they had this in mind!

Vera, Joe, Anna, Colin plus other helpers get under way with Dilwyn

OBJ dancing Dilwyn.

It goes tap---tap----tap-tap-tap, whack---whack---whack-whack-whack

Phil (on the left), Lynda and Ian (on the right)

We think this must have been Dilwyn too - Chris (who took the picture) was dancing in Bay Horse, and Kelly was drumming in Worcester Monkey

The rag jackets doing what they are supposed to do

Clare in the foreground, with Ali, Kelly and Ann facing away
 OBJ dancing Bay Horse, accompanied by OBJ musicians and Soundblast Sinfonia - playing Marmalade Polka

On the left are Ann, Clare and Eddie

On the right are Kelly, Philip and Chris

Phoenix getting ready to dance

I'm not quite sure how Mike got his head stuck inside that basket!
Garston  Gallopers dancing

A few familiar faces from Kintbury plus some new friends

More Garston galloping

We were too busy to record which dances were being performed, but I'm sure they know!
 Mayflower Morris doing their bit

Despite the long shadows it was quite warm in the sunshine

Wickham Morris dancing

Accompanied by just about every musician present, including the Soundblast Sinfonia
 Ridgeway Step Clog

They bring their own mobile jig-saw puzzle which works extremely well

After we'd all had a couple of dances, we put together a massed East Acton.

This included dancers and musicians from all the sides plus Soundblast Sinfonia and the braver members of the audience!
 Soundblast Sinfonia accompanied some of OBJs dances, helped fill-in between dances, played during the wassail ceremony and in the pub afterwards

Then to the serious (!) business of the Mummers Play, ably performed by Wickham Mummers
 These morality plays demonstrate that good will always succeed over evil.

In comes I, Old Father Christmas!

Saint George and the Turkish Knight prepare for battle

That looks suspiciously like a dustbin lid!
 The battle never ends very well for the Turkish Knight.

Here he is slain on the ground (which is dry for a change!)

The Doctor appears.

I can cure the Itch, the Scritch, The Palsy and the Gout...

The fallen warrior is duly restored to health after receiving a pill and an injection that would knock over a bull elephant!
 Then it's time for the Wassail Ceremony

The wassail cake (baked by Pam) is distributed, and whoever gets the bit with the bean in it is appointed King Of The Bean and presides over the ceremony.

This years monarch is King James, duly crowned

It's normal for The King to appoint a Queen Of The Bean

In a new constitutional arrangement, King James appointed Prince Robert to accompany him

The apple tree from Joe & Ali's garden waits to be wassailed while we sing the Kings Toast

Joy, Health, Love and Peace be all here in this place.....  accompanied by the band

 We sing  the Gloucester Wassail song, accompanied once again by the band.

The tree is annointed with toast in its branches, and a good dose of cider

It was traditional to hunt a wren (The King of the Birds) and bury it in the roots of the tree

Here, King James buries the wren-substitute for us
(no wrens were harmed during this wassail)

Loud noises are made, guns fired (pretend ones!) and the band joins in to drive away evil spirits so the orchard can thrive.

 After this we adjourned to be pub for refreshment, and some more song, music and dance (does anyone have any pictures?)

First we had to arrange to be locked out, so we could sing to be let in

Diane and her team performed a small miracle by serving food and drink to all

We went home around tea-time, having had an excellent day

Thanks once again to everyone who came along and/or contributed to a lovely day


Here are some of the friends old and new who joined us for the day

Click the pictures to enlarge them