Midland Montage: 29.09.1960: Wassailing the Cider Orchard

On September 29th 1960 Peter Brown reported from Herefordshire on the good apple crop and remembers the last winter’s traditional wassailing ceremony.

The item starts with a Peter Brown piece to camera: “Last Christmas we revived for Midland Montage an old Herefordshire custom by wassailing the cider apple trees” Via a film zip we flashback to the earlier item (24 December 1959) – Peter Brown piece to camera: “No we’re not bird scaring and we’re not drunk either we’re wassailing the cider orchard” Behind Brown a group of people are seen running around the apple trees chanting and banging drums. As his commentary continues off camera we see details of the wassailing ceremony: A branch is dipped in a cider jug. Salt is rubbed onto a branch and the group of people are seen drinking cider in a toast. We then zip back to the present where Peter Brown interviews Mr Savage who owns the orchard were the wassailing took place. He discusses the good crop this year, the method of harvesting and the popularity of cider. During the interview there are cut-aways to show ripe apples on the trees.

The Orchard-Visiting wassail refers to the practice of singing to trees in apple orchards in cider-producing regions of England to promote a good harvest for the coming year. Source: Wikipedia

Are you a fan of cider?


3 thoughts on “Midland Montage: 29.09.1960: Wassailing the Cider Orchard

    • Thanks Jim. I hope your community of cider lovers pops by to our website to see the other Cider footage we have:
      http://www.macearchive.org. It would also be great to hear from members of the cider community who’ve watched the clip on ‘wassailing’, especially if they know more about this, or have done it themselves.
      Best wishes

  1. Hi Emma, will let you know if I see anything.

    There were some videos on youtube and vimeo, may be worth seeing tif they are still there.

    Keep up the good work!


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