Wassailing at Perry Hall Park Moat Orchard

On January 16, the Friends of Perry Hall Park held a wassailing event at Perry Hall Park Moat Orchard with the support of Glendale and Birmingham Parks.

Wassail is an ancient pagan festival where apple trees are blessed for a good harvest. This is done by singing, dancing, banging sticks and pouring cider on the apple trees.

The orchard was planted in the spring of 2015 by the Friends with support from Glendale and Birmingham Parks.

The event was attended by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham Ray Hassall, Councillor John Hunt, Dave Marshall from the Bulmer FOundation (the sponsors of the Urban Orchard Project), representatives from the North Birmingham Police and Glorishears of Brummagem, a group of female Morris Dancers from the local area who performed at the event.

Craig Horton, contract supervisor at Glendale Birmingham and co-orchard manager and Hazel Busby from the Friends of Perry Hall Park, met the Lord Mayor on arrival and introduced him to the Friends Group, Glendale staff, park rangers and the Morris Dancers.

The procession was led by the Lord Mayor to the orchard where the wassail song was sung, cider was poured on the trees and a toast tied to the branches.  The Glorishears of Brummagem then performed the wassail dance and apple pie and warm cider were served to all attendees.

Dave Marshall from the Bulmers Foundation was very impressed with the unique orchard design, courtesy of supervisor Craig Horton, which allows vistas of Perry Hall Park to be kept in view.

By Craig Horton

 

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