A wassailing took place at Polmear Community Orchard in Par last week.  

Wassailing is the annual tradition of blessing apple trees to ensure a bumper harvest for the year to come. 

Dating back to Anglo-Saxon times, it involves music, songs, dancing and creating plenty of noise to ward off evil spirits. 

The tradition was revived in Tywardreath and Par with the help of local history group In Search of Tywardreath (ISOT). The event was organised by Dave Quorrell – who also took on the role of the Green Man – with contributions from the Tywardreath Morris Dancers, Catseye Morris and local musician/dancer Jo Tagney.  

First stop was an exuberant display of dancing at the Ship Inn at Par, and a chance to sing the wassail song to the ancient apple trees in the pub garden. 

The troupe of musicians then led dozens of wassailers in procession to the orchard, where apple trees were planted by Tywardreath and Par Parish Council for the benefit of parishioners. 

More dancing at the orchard included the challenging Boscastle Breakdown, performed to the delight of the gathered wassailers who were led on a Serpent Dance amongst the trees.  

Libations of mulled apple and cider were poured on the roots and everyone was encouraged to join in and make a noise to ward off the evil spirits. 

Toast dipped in cider was hung on the branches of all the trees in the orchard to encourage a bumper crop in 2024. 

ISOT chair Helen Barden declared the village’s first wassailing event a huge success. “We’re delighted that so many people, young and old, turned out to toast the apple trees,” she said.   

Dave Quorrell who leads the Tywardreath Morris Dancers, said: “Bringing wassailing back to the village has been a dream for me for quite a few years – it’s been a real joy to make it a reality at last.”  The wassailing song went as follows: “Old Apple Tree, we wassail thee and hope that thou will bear hats full, caps full, three bushel bags full and a little heap under the stairs!”