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Saturday, 7 January 2017

Slindon Wassail – Saturday, 14th January 2017

Update 10th February 2017: Here's an update from John C (actually provided by John on 20th January, apologies for the delay in posting it here).

Thanks to much help and support from our trusty N.T. volunteers, the SDF Singers, 'Said the Maiden', 'Kadia', Mythago Morris and the Prize Old Mummers, the Rangers are delighted to report that last Saturday’s Wassail evening was a huge success. Katie is really pleased it all turned out so well (phew!), helped of course by the rain limiting its appearance to the afternoon, then pushing off to leave us with a perfect clear and chilly evening.

As you now-veteran wassailers will know, the flaming torch walk from the College entrance, taking in the orchard behind the yard, before heading down through the village, was a first time experiment. It turned out to be splendid. The atmosphere and jolly conviviality was highly contagious, and we have photographic evidence for those who weren’t around to experience it! Unexpectedly, but nevertheless very welcome, the Irish News came up with a Slindon Wassail report, note the local photographer's credit. Mention of it has also been posted on the Trust's national volunteer website as part of a post entitled 'Apps, Apples, Archaeology & Kipling' by John.

Some of you may have also seen the photograph in the Daily Telegraph on Monday, the fame of Slindon village eh!

The Ranger Raffle made £400, four bean sticks bundles were sold plus numerous log candles. After expenses the event made approximately £600 profit, so some funds to plough back in to buying tools, plus also to covering the Apple Day expenses deficit.

Amazingly around 500+ people attended, so in view of this year's national coverage, the chances are we might have even more punters next year (weather permitting), so maybe some things to work on (extra parking; additional lighting for the straw arena; further field event co-ordination with the procession timings).
Update 10th January 2017: additional information from John C has been added, please scroll down below the map to see this.
Songs from the list below will be chosen on the night, as circumstances allow.
  1. Wassail, Wassail (Gloucestershire)
  2. Oak, Ash and Thorn
  3. Sugar Wassail
  4. Coppers’ Christmas Song
  5. West Sussex Drinking Song
  6. Here We Come A Wassailing
  7. The Woodcutter’s Song
  8. Apple Tree Wassail
  9. The Magpie
  10. Thousands or More
  11. Rounds?
  12. Jolly Good Song

If enough Singers can confirm to be outside Slindon College at 5.45pm we could do a couple of songs before the Wassailing of their orchard, if not then this set is at 7.30pm in the field behind Slindon Forge in Reynolds Lane.

Ranger Raffle prizes:
  • Trailer load of logs
  • Guided personal Slindon Safari tour
  • Three bags of Slindon Charcoal
  • Tractor ride
  • Two-course dinner for two at The George, Eartham
  • Cream tea for two at Motte and Bailey, Arundel
  • Family stay at Gumber Bothy
  • Two log candles
  • Personal guided tour of East Head, in Chichester Harbour
  • Surveying for dormice with the Rangers
  • Up close and personal Badger experience
  • Wild camp experience in the woods with the Rangers

Suggested areas for car parking:
  • Top Road between Slindon College entrance and the Catholic Church, also further east
  • Church Hill
  • School Hill leading up to Gaston Farm
  • Reynolds Lane
  • Mill Road, south of the A29



Further information added 10th January:

Finally you can make this a date in your shiny new 2017 diaries and calendars, and ensure you read this properly because the N.T. & Villagers have  made the decision to take one step closer to Wassailing tradition. Hold on to your Wassailing hats! The N.T. Staff & Volunteers will be setting it up in the days beforehand.

Part 1. The Villagers, NT, SDFS and Mummers

By 5.45pm: Meet at the entrance to Slindon College, where the mysterious masked Mythago Morris will take us to our first Wassail behind the NT Estate Yard at 6.00pm. Those participating can park alongside the College wall in Top Road.

6.15pm (ish): We will parade down to the Jubilee Orchard (behind the Forge Shop / Café / Village Hall) via Church Hill, with flaming torches held aloft and once there greet our guests and  light the Wassail Bonfire. Mulled cider, pork and apple hot dogs and a licenced bar will be on site.

Part 2. Not just for locals

6.45pm: The merriment begins in the Forge Field and Jubilee Orchard. With ‘Said the Maiden’ and ‘Kadia’ performing their first set.

7.30pm: The South Downs Folk Singers perform their set, with audience participation in two simple ‘Rounds’ at the end.

8.00pm: Mythago Morris will Wassail the Jubilee Orchard accompanied by the other revellers, who can make a 2017 wish and hang it on the oldest apple tree, after dancing in and around it in circles.

8.30pm: The Prize Old Mummers will perform a short topical 15-minute play and invite you to join in and heckle as it progresses.

8.45pm: ‘Said the Maiden’ & ‘Kadia’ will perform their second set.

9:30ish: Time to go home

What you need to bring:
  • £1 per person for entrance
  • £3 per person who would like a flaming torch to hold (over 18s only)
  • Wear warm clothes.
  • A hat decorated with winter greenery and anything else that takes your fancy (there’s a prize for the best).
  • Pots, pans and wooden spoons to be noisy at the Wassailing times.
  • A thought or a wish that you might like to cast upon the oldest tree.
  • Money for drinks, food, CDs, a Wassail mug souvenir and other surprises.
  • Parking will be at a premium so try to car share. There should be  spaces along the College Wall on Top Road, between the A29 and the Village Hall and south of the A29 cross roads in Mill Road  but it will be first come first served.
  • Those Singers who can’t make the earlier time up at the College can meet the rest of us at Forge Field at 6.45pm.
  • Any updates will be added to this post
  • Please email me if you are coming, southdownsfolksingers@gmail.com

John C.


Further information on external websites:
Slindon Village
National Trust

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