Residents from Totterdown came together to enjoy the traditional Westcountry ceremony, wassailing, at the Community Orchard and Park Street Community Space on Sunday. Wassailing is an ancient tradition thought to help ‘wake up’ fruit trees for spring, to ensure good growth in the common year. It involves making as much noise as possible, so adults and children alike enjoyed banging pans and drums and singing a traditional wassailing song. After that, the participants ‘toasted’ the trees – drank hot cider or apple juice, and then put actual pieces of toast onto the branches… again, this is part of the tradition and is thought to help the fruit trees grow well.
After the wassailing, Councillor Jon Wellington (expertly helped by a young participant) opened the new Community Space shed, which has been purchased by TRESA with a grant from Tesco Bags of Help fund. With the small houses in Totterdown, many residents find it hard to store items used in community events and projects, so we are looking forward to the difference this shed will make.
A BBQ was enjoyed by all attendees, despite the freezing January temperatures. The BBQ is available year-round in the Park Street Community Space for any residents to use – just bring charcoal and BBQ tools, and take your litter home with you.
Situated on Park Street, Totterdown, the Community Orchard has a number of apple trees (including one variety which experts have never found anywhere else, which we nickname Totterdownius Juicius.) We hope they grow well this year as a result of the Wassailing.
Our thanks go to Anne Silber for organising this highy enjoyable annual event, now in its 5th year.