Friday, 3 February 2017

Wassailing at the Secret Garden

Wassailing in the Secret Garden in Queens Park wasn't blessed with such wonderful weather as the previous week's event at Twigs, however there was the same sort of jubilant feeling in the air because the days are getting longer and we were seeing people we hadn't seen since last summer.
I took some photos of the event, and then discovered as ever, much better ones online.
 It was good to have Farmhouse Kitchen on hand, their motto is lovely: 'Free range food for free range people'
 The event started with a wander around the garden behind the wonderful Bang to Rites drummers. Below here's Paul encouraging people to begin the ceremony

 The tour round the garden above, and then below drumming beside the chosen apple tree
 Below Chantelle Smith, Mistress of Ceremonies leading us through the driving out of evil spirits and then the waking up of Old Man Apple by shouting loudly three times. The Wassail King Reuben and Queen Nicole were very sweet children seen here with hats covered in twigs and ivy making crowns.
There were the usual songs to sing, led by Chantelle singing a verse unaccompanied to give us the tune which was very impressive.
 And then these are photos from the Secret Garden Facebook page which are far superior to mine:
Above Bill Cox looking very professional banging a drum, below Chantelle with some toast about to be hung on the tree
Action shot

Above a lovely group photo.There was also cider available from Circle Cider there, they are apparently Swindon's only craft cider makers. It was also possible to have mulled cider. I haven't mentioned that yarn bombing was also going on, this involves making pom poms and tieing them on to trees.


  1. It was at least a MUCH better day than it had been all week - which had been grey and raw and simply horrid.

    A super write up of a super community event. I blogged about this last year on Born again Swindonian so didn't do it again - so good to see yours.

    1. True it was a beautiful day, after dullness. Thank you for your praise, I do love writing about community things like the Secret Garden events, so lovely to see people after the winter hibernation.