Wassailing a huge success!
We once again opened the
gates to St Laurence Orchard situated near Southend Airport and invited local people to join us in
the ancient tradition of Wassail, a phrase that literally means ‘be of good
health’. Although Wassailing is an ancient folk custom to awaken the trees, coming together in a beautiful outside space is also good
for personal wellbeing, especially through the winter months when the cold
deters many from going outside.
Local folk musicians kindly led guests
around the orchard and all were invited to join in with singing and playing
music to reawaken the trees in the hope of a good harvest. Guests were also
invited to impale toast upon the trees to attract birds who then help to
fertilise the buds. The orchard dates back to the 1920’s when the land was
leased to local soldiers, and now, almost 100 years later, the orchard boasts a
variety of apples, greengages, pears, and berries too, and is a local haven for
the people that we support.
Trust Links Trustee, Ron Bates,
plants a tree at our Wassailing event each year and invited guests to help him
to replenish the orchard and bring the old and new together. Ron said "as a traditional orchard it has
always been valued and I have enjoyed being part of its community development
over the last decade. We were delighted
to see so many people enjoying the orchard at the Wassailing event, connecting
with nature and each other.”
Hot spiced apple juice was
provided to keep guests warm thanks to a generous donation from the Co-op food
stores in Great Wakering and Southend-on-Sea, and the day enjoyed by all!
For more about the work we do, visit www.trustlinks.org