Participants

You

The Wassail only works because you, or people like you, come along and join in. Some people come once, some people have been every year since we started. Whether you’re a regular or a newbie, you’ll find a warm welcome here at the Walthamstow Wassail.

Lucy Gibson

Lucy is the Musical Director of the Walthamstow Wassail, and had the idea in the first place. She was previously Musical Director of Maspindzeli – a choir specialising in songs from Georgia in the Caucasus – for five years, and more recently has been working locally, leading sessions for the Rose and Crown Singers in Walthamstow. Trained as a classical musician, she is equally at home with more traditional natural voice practices, and has worked for many years in this field, performing, leading community choirs, transcribing songs, and learning about how the voice, as well as the eyes, can be a window into the soul. As a performer, she has sung with Joglaresa, OSJ Voices, and the Dessibelles Bulgarian trio.

Scribble and Smudge

Scribble and Smudge have provided the community art element for the Family Wassail each year, as well as professional poster art-work for the whole Wassail Weekend. They offer arts projects for families, children and community groups, and develop family learning through participating in one off events and projects. Their projects are inclusive for families with children of all backgrounds and abilities. They believe in families enjoying participating and creating together – encouraging play and creative thinking. Scribble and Smudge projects include collaborations with other artists, experts and professionals to bring variety to the programme.

Local residents

Several brave local residents have opened their homes to the wassailers as we wander round the area, providing much-appreciated sustenance in return for songs and blessings for the coming year.

Vestry House Museum, E17 9NH

Vestry House Museum have given us space each year in which to host workshops for the Wassails. In 2015, they are kindly giving us a small grant, which will enable us to reduce the cost of entry to the Family Wassail.  It was constructed in 1730 as a workhouse, and among other things now houses the first motor car to be driven in London and the first built in Britain. For more information about events currently running at the museum, see

The Nags Head Pub, E17 9LP

The Nags Head pub has given us space each year in which to begin the “grown up” wassail with our afternoon workshop, and also the first performance space, just ahead of their regular Sunday evening live jazz slot. It has a lovely walled garden at the back with fairy lights, and serves real ales, lagers, wines, soft drinks and Italian food.

BEE17, E17 9LG

BEE17 have welcomed us to their hive and hearth, giving the wassailers sweet treats in return for their songs and good cheer. They are a local beekeeping project which aims to support bees and plants, and to provide the local public with an insight into the lives of bees and role that beekeepers play. It is a not-for-profit organisation, and any money made from honey sales goes towards new equipment or maintenance of hives.

Walthamstow Folk Club, Rose and Crown Pub, E17 4SA

Walthamstow Folk Club have welcomed us each year at the end of the “grown up” Wassail on Sunday evenings. They have been running since 1991 in various different venues, and play host to the top names in the Folk world, as well as providing a space for amateurs to perform and just have a sing. They have supported the Wassail since its inception, and provide a special entrance deal for Wassail participants, allowing them to perform for free.

Wingfield Park, E17 9PD

Wingfield Park children’s playground has been the final stop on our Family Wassails each year. The youngest members of the wassail seem to be developing a new tradition of dragon-wassailing, as there is a large dragon in the park!

Chestnuts Farm Allotments, Forest Road, E17

In 2014 we wassailed the trees and beehives in the orchard at Chestnuts Farm allotments behind the Town Hall, and shared songs and refreshments in their community shed.

 

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