Whimple Wassail

Whimple Wassail - Whimple Heritage Centre

By: John Aiton
Added: 02 March 2016

Wassail 2016
This year’s wassail was blessed with excellent weather on the night despite the prolonged spell of wet weather. Saturday night was chosen rather than the 17th to avoid any clashes with church services, this again proved popular with the revellers as about 150 people turned up to enjoy the festivities. Mr. Ed Hitchcock started the evening with all his flamboyant style, humour and gusto and then due to illness handed over his smock to understudy Mr. Nick Bloomfield who then led the procession around the orchards and executed his duties as master of ceremonies. The Queen, Miss Annabel Courtney and The Prince, Master Ben Heywood-Rose, performed their tasks with great confidence. Again, this year the Prince was chosen as a result of a competition held at the local school and through the Village News. The music was provided by Jim Causley and his friends, special thanks are also due to Jim who has always led the singing with great enthusiasm. Ceremonies were conducted at sites kindly provided by Mr. & Mrs. I. Hardcastle, Mrs. M. Burrough, and Mr. J & Miss M. Chard and as well as at the tethering stone in the Village Square where past members : Mr. R. J. Shepherd, Mr. R.W. Webber and Mrs. E.M-L. Grout were remembered for their contributions to The Whimple History Society. We were also grateful to Mrs. M. Burrough who kindly donated the cider and prepared the wassail cup that was used at all the sites, as well as the people who heated the wassail cup. Mr. Ray Horn yet again illuminated the wassail sites with his flaming torches and fires. We were also indebted to the members of the gun party under the leadership of Mr. Alan Smith for their help in awakening the trees.
The festivities continued at the Whimple Cricket Club with the traditional Wassail Supper kindly provided by Mrs. M. Wallis and her willing band of helpers. The Committee would like to express their thanks to her and her helpers for all their efforts. The Committee would also like to thank all members who provided apple cakes and soup for the feast, as well as all the people who entered into the spirit of the occasion. The supper was followed by the now traditional ‘impromptu’ folk session led by Jim Causley and a whole host of his friends. An excellent evening was had by all who attended both the procession and the supper. Thanks are also due to the Cricket Club for coping with such an influx of wassailers and to Roger and Judy Smith for decorating the Club.