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WYENOT NEWS - ROSS-ON-WYE
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Wyenot News - The weekly News Magazine for Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire
Issue No. 129 - 10th January 2007
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This Week - [Hatfulls! Capfulls! Three Bushel Bagfulls] [The Traditional Apple Wassail - Blog]
[Local Satellite Navigation Thefts - Ryefield New Year - Macmillan In The Birches - Peace Poster Contest - Nature Photos]
[Ross Rogues - The Status Quo - Weather (or the lack thereof)]

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The Traditional Apple Wassail

The Apple Wassail is a traditional form of apple fertility ritual which is practised in English cider orchards during the winter. There are many well recorded instances of the Apple Wassail and the possibility exists that the practice may have derived directly from pagan tradition.

During the traditional wassail ritual men would go into various orchards performing the rite for a reward. The practice was sometimes referred to as 'howling'. On Twelfth Night, men would go with their wassail bowl into the orchard. Slices of bread or toast were laid at the roots and sometimes tied to the branches of the apple trees. Cider was also poured over the roots. The idea of the ceremony was to 'bless' the trees so that they would produce a good crop during the coming season.

As with many Old English traditions, the modern day approach to the Apple Wassail is often to drink vast quantities of cider and party all night. Broome Farm certainly makes no exception to this rule and even heats and mulls the cider, which makes it taste fantastic!


Johnny Payphone from Chicago, USA makes an unusual fiery entrance to the Wassail. Ref: DSC_2322

Taking offerings to the apple tree. Ref: DSC_2328

'Our bowl it is made of the white maple tree'. Ref: DSC_2332

A wassailing tune. Ref: DSC_2340

A warm welcome with mulled cider back at the barn. Ref: DSC_2366

Some lively entertainment to round off the evening. (Which continued to be rounded off until about 1:30 am.) Ref: DSC_2394

Wyenot News Blog

From one extreme to the other this week. After total panic prior to the Christmas and New Year period, trying to be in a dozen places at once to take photos, I've hit the usual January news photography lull. I have been busy with this and that but it's all been general updating on the main web site and doing the chore type stuff - accounts etc..

Tina and I did get to a great Wassail at Broome Farm on Saturday evening and this event is covered but that just about sums up this week's photographic journalism, so I have padded out with some material from my archive. Mike Arnison has also sent in some great nature shots. I had intended to go nature watching myself on Sunday but an event involving a rock and my car window made that pleasure impossible. I spent the morning talking to the police and arranging for the window to be fixed instead.

Remember Ross ROGUES? Great parties back in the good old youthful days of the '70s and '80s! I took a few photos at one ROGUES event and you can see them in this issue. If anyone else out there has archive Ross-on-Wye photos they would like to share, please send them in.

Last week's Wyenot News:

Some weeks when I finish putting an issue of Wyenot News together I feel a sense of satisfaction at the result. Other times, I feel a little disappointed with the overall look of the completed issue. Last week's issue was one of those for me. Although it took ages to put together, it did not actually cover many different events. I was amazed however by the amount of readers that particular issue generated! Whether it was New Year revellers and their families looking for themselves or their relatives, I'm not sure but readership of last week's issue hit the big time and was one of the largest ever recorded. I would like to think it was due to the popularity of The Zebras. 'The Zebras at the Prince of Wales' pages were certainly the most visited.


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