2017’s theme was the Guardians of the Orchard, and specifically Robin Redbreast. The Family Wassail made Robin costumes for a parade along Orford Road, bringing best wishes for 2017 to everyone around. Traditionally, Robin Redbreast was seen as a protector of the Apple Orchards during the long winter months, and he is celebrated in the Jacobstowe Wassail, which the adults learned in the Parts workshop, before performing it and other wassail songs at the Nags Head, Bee17 and venues along Orford Road, spreading best wishes for the coming year.
Both wassails started at Vestry House Museum, and joined together at 3pm in the Museum garden to bless the mature apple trees. After that we paraded along Orford Road, finishing the Family Wassail at Froth & Rind. The “grown up” wassail continued learning songs in parts, ready for an evening of singing at the Nags Head, BEE17 , and other venues on Orford Road, before ending at Walthamstow Folk Club at the Rose and Crown on Hoe Street.