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Friday February 28 2020

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In Full . . .

High spirits at Lickey Wassail

Posted on January 29 2020 at 3:44:54

wassail

Revellers enjoyed music, poetry, dancing and a topical Mummers Play.

Despite the slightly damp weather, spirits were high as around 150 people attended this year’s Lickey Wassail in the Lickey Hills Country Park.

As the light started to fail, the revellers met in the Visitor Centre where Step on Board Appalachian Dancers tapped their stuff to Bob Bignall and his thirsty musicians.

Once Head Ranger Steve Hinton had surprised two in the audience by crowning them King Bean and Queen Pea, all paraded down the track to the Lickey Community Orchard.

Having formally invited everyone to gain entrance through the special arch, all marched around the perimeter making as much noise as possible to scare off evil spirits, thus ensuring a bountiful harvest from the fruit trees.

There followed two poems by local poet Spoz, the hanging of sodden toast on the branches, singing and drinking of warmed apple juice.

This year’s annual Mummers Play, entitled Old Oss, had “Porridge Johnson” with sidekick “Slivey Tove” attempting to trick the Old Man O’ the Woods to allow their “Poor Old Oss” to munch all the apples then sell back the result at a great profit and plant 50,000 new trees.

However, they hadn’t accounted for the people’s champion “Robin the Blacksmith” to thwart their dastardly plans. After Robin was attacked with light sabres (you had to be there), all was saved.

Tributes were paid to Steve Hinton for all his hard work in the park with two presentations – the first from The Lickey Hills Society with a specially commissioned picture by Simon Woolford, and the second was a tankard made of horn from the Rangers.

Above: Head Ranger Steve Hinton with ‘Queen Pea’ and ‘King Bean’ (Photo/ Keith Woolford – see more at http://www.thelickeyhills.uk)

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