Snowy scene for annual Kilmersdon wassailing ceremony
The hope of a warm summer seemed a million miles away from snowy Kilmersdon in Somerset over the weekend, but like many villages around the county there was a good turnout for the annual wassailing ceremony.
Dozens enjoyed a ploughman’s lunch in the village hall, accompanied by the village’s band and the Cam Valley morris dancers, before Wassail Queen Cara Johnson-Pompey, 16, led the procession to the communal orchard.
There, the assembled wassailers circled the tree, and the ancient ceremony took place, with organiser Martin Horler firing a 12-bore into the branches to scare off the evil spirits.
The wassail cup’s hot spiced cider was more welcome than ever as it was passed around, after a piece of toast was stuffed into the branches and last year’s cider was poured around the base to give back something of what the trees provided in 2012.
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“It was the first time I can remember that we’d had snow on the ground,” said Martin. “We’ve certainly had lots of rain in years past, but never snow.”