Muskets, Morris dancing and general merriment were the order of the day at the Alvechurch wassail.
Aelfgythe Border Morris’s annual traditional Wassail was a huge success, writes Pam Morley. The evening started with dancing at The Crown pub, Withybed, where Aelfgythe were joined by Alvechurch Morris Men and Step on Board – an Appalachian dance group from Bromsgrove. They were also joined by John Bright’s Regiment of Foote from the English Civil War Society.
The dancers, musketeers and audience were led in a torchlit procession through the village by the “Green Man”, who was an impressive sight with his costume and staff topped with a set of antlers!
After arriving at The Weighbridge, the crowd were treated to a Wassail carol sung by Alvechurch Community Choir. The Green Man then explained the purpose of the Wassail and read out a poem written by Jennie Diplock, forewoman of Aelfgythe, with the crowd joining in the chorus.
The musketeers then fired their guns creating a spectacular sight of musket muzzle flash and gunsmoke, and the noise will surely have “woken the trees” from their mid-winter slumber. After the audience hung toast in the branches, the choir closed the Wassail with another traditional song. There was more dancing afterwards and it was a treat to watch Nancy Butterfly – a north-west clog dance side from Redditch.
Aelfgythe would like to thank everyone involved in this event, the groups who attended and our supporters who helped to make the evening go so well, Jo and his team at The Crown and John and the staff of The Weighbridge. Thanks must also go to ABC Leisure for their kind sponsorship of the event.
Next year’s Wassail will be held on February 1, 2020, so put the date in your calendar for another fantastic evening. Waes Hael to you all.
Additional photography by Adrian Bigland