Last Sunday, Trust Links once again opened the gates to St Laurence Orchard and invited local people to join us in the ancient tradition of Wassail, a phrase that literally means ‘be of good health’.
Last year Trust Links were granted a 25-year lease on the Orchard, which was originally planted in 1920. We were especially thrilled, on this special anniversary year, to have over 300 people join us for hot spiced apple juice and live folk music as part of our annual Wassailing celebrations.
Matt King, Trust Links CEO, said: “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. We were thrilled to have raised over £480 on the day thanks to our supporters’ generous donations, which will help further our work in and around Southend.”
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 boasts a variety of apple, greengage and pear trees as well as berries, and each year we plant another tree to replenish the Orchard. The Mayor and Mayoress of Southend were delighted to help plant a new fig tree, and many families embraced the outdoor activities despite the frost. Thank you to everyone who supported another successful event at Trust Links!