Published: January 12, 2014
In photos & video: Crowds flock to cider farm's wassailing ceremony

Hundreds of people braved icy temperatures to watch the centuries-old tradition of Somerset wassailing near Burnham-On-Sea on Saturday night.

The traditional ceremony at Rich's Cider Farm in Watchfield saw good health wished on apple crops for the coming year.

Queen Molly Scott, 14, was carried aloft on a specially-made chair to an orchard where a piece of cider-soaked toast was hung from the trees to ward off evil spirits.

The evening, organised by Burnham Rotary Club, also included entertainment from The Mangled Wurzels with proceeds going to B.U.S.T, the Breast Cancer Unit Support Trust.

One of the organisers, Ashley Edwards, told "We had a great turnout with over 130 pre-booked tickets and many more people on the night. It's great to see this time-honoured Somerset tradition alive and well."

Jan Scott from Rich's Cider Farm added: "We are delighted to have seen such a big turnout and thank everyone for supporting the event. Over the past seven years, the wassailing has raised almost £20,000 for charity."

A piece of cider-soaked toast was hung from the trees to ward off evil spirits

Three gun shots were fired during the traditional ceremony

BUST's Jenny Wookey, Jackie Pask, Jan Biagioli with Jan Scott, Martin Rich and Bernard Raines of Burnham Rotary Club

Rotary members oversaw ticket sales at the popular event

Many pints of Somerset Cider were served up for the attendees

The event was once again with local people of all ages

The crowd enjoyed a fun evening of tradition, music and cider

Cheers! The marquee was at full capacity for the annual tradition


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