Bracknell dancers revive old English traditions
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Members of OBJ Morris, based in Easthampstead, organised a traditional Waissal at The Boot pub last week.
MORE than 120 revellers took part in a Wassail in Bracknell with high hopes it will lead to a good harvest.
The tradition, which dates back more than 1,000 years, aims to drive away evil spirits to help apple trees grow well.
Colin Charman, from OBJ Morris dancers who helped organise the event, at The Boot, in Park Road, Bracknell, on Sunday, February 17, said the custom was gradually becoming more popular.
He said: "It was wonderful, a really good day. The music and weather was great and it was fun.
"Traditionally, a Wassail took place in every village but when I started about 20 years ago it was a very unusual thing. There are various groups, now, and it's coming back as a thing to do."
The celebrations began with morris dancing, and also featured a Mummers Play - a humorous morality play involving St George and a Turkish Knight.
The roots of the apple tree are doused with cider and pieces of toast placed in the branches of the trees, before everyone sings loudly to further banish the spirits. They make extra noise with tin trays, saucepans and anything else that could be used to frighten evil spirits.
This article appeared in Bracknell News 27 Feb 13