Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Leominster Morris Wassail - Tram Inn, Eardisley

So its Wassail season, the time of year when we prune our apple trees and get wasted in the orchard. Or in this case - the pub. I was asked by CAMRA to shoot the Leominster Morris Wassail in Herefordshire and this year they decided to hold it at the Tram Inn, Eardisley - a lovely country pub that seems to be in safe hands. It was a fantastic night and the first one of the year for me so its a great start in breaking the winter lull and getting the grey matter fired up (they are notoriously difficult to photograph and it took me a few years to start getting half decent results.)

I don't want to write about it thoroughly or post too many photos (I do, but shouldn't) but I wanted to put something up for our American and Antipodean cousins many of whom are here in spirit and insanely jealous (apparently) and so will be following vicariously and maybe even doing holding their own. Wassailing is a phenomenom that is catching on around the English speaking cider world, so its nice to offer up some samples- tis the seaon and all that. They are all so wonderfully different although they all have similarity of purpose - to give thanks for this years apples/cider and to ask for another season of plenty.

So far as wassails go, I thought it was great and unlike any other I've been to (and I've been to a few.)
Firstly, this one was was based around our greatest British institution -the Pub and secondly, it involved a torchlight procession with countless flaming torches held aloft by about 350 people as they processed to the orchard for the ceremony. Really atmospheric...

Unusually - they also had a bonfire surrounded by 12 smaller bonfires as well as fire breathers, a mummers play, blah blah... I could go into more detail but I sharen't as I don't want to spoil the write up for the kind people that employed me to document it (thanks Tom at BEER.)

The Leominster Morris choose a different pub to do it at each year and I thoroughly recommend going to one year - they know what they are doing, are alot of fun and are a very genuine bunch. If you do - wrap up warm...

A full version is due in BEER Nov 2012 ahead of the following seasons festivities.

WASSAIL- Bring it on!