Very unusually for me I've been out after dark on a Saturday. It turns out that the wassailing that I saw a sign for the other day was on today. Wassailing featured in the weekend magazine that comes with the paper which prompted me to check.
Ollie dog and I have been to Rivers Heritage Site & Orchard Wassailing Ceremony in Sawbridgeworth. The Rivers nursery was the oldest nursery in England, established in 1725, and was sold for development in the late seventies. The former show orchard remains and is being managed as a community resource.
I took the above image as Ollie and I returned to the main area after a walk in the orchard in the dark before the ceremony started. I found it strangely moving as my maternal grandparents were apple growers and my paternal grandmother was a nursery woman who I remember talking about Early Rivers plums which were bred here in the 1830s.
I enjoyed listening to the Ukes Of Hazzard and Ollie cocked her head at some lovely flute playing. We had a bit of a sing-song and then the flautist led us into the orchard. The children loved banging on a bucket with sticks and Ollie gobbled pieces of bread that were dropped when the children were attaching it to the branches. When cider was thrown over an apple tree Ollie licked it up. We then sang wassails from various parts of the country. I've added a montage to extras. I've also included waxwings that we shot in Hertford. I wasn't very pleased with my images of these beautiful birds.
I'll catch up with comments in due course.