Pictures: villagers scare away angry spirits at Watchhouse Hill wassail

PUBLISHED: 13:52 27 January 2020 | UPDATED: 13:52 27 January 2020

Green Man Ben Newby and Apple Maid 7-year-old Lucy at Pill Wassail.       Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Green Man Ben Newby and Apple Maid 7-year-old Lucy at Pill Wassail. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Archant

Revellers gathered at a community orchard armed with with pots, pans and drums to scare off evil spirits to help ensure a successful harvest.

Pill Wassail at Watch House Hill Community Orchard.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONPill Wassail at Watch House Hill Community Orchard. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

The annual wassailing ceremony at Watchhouse Hill Community Orchard, in Pill on Saturday night, saw dozens of families congregate to take part in the traditional festivities.

It began with a lantern-lit procession, led by the Pill Ladies Morris, up the hill to the orchard.

The trees were then blessed by the Green Man, Ben Newby, and toast soaked in cider was placed on the branches by this year's Apple Maiden, seven-year-old Lucy.

Pots, pans and drums were hit, creating an almighty din, while spectators held hands and said the incantation to frighten away evil spirits from the orchard.

Making lots of noise at Pill Wassail.       Picture: MARK ATHERTONMaking lots of noise at Pill Wassail. Picture: MARK ATHERTON

Finally, cider was poured around the trees to help ensure a bountiful harvest.

The crowd was also treated to a performance on the hill from the Morris Dancing Company, and warm cider was served.

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