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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Play Information

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TitleWassail song
Alternative Title
WordsKennett, Andrew
Collected FromPritchard, Dennis
Occupation
Age
Date
LocationSherston
CountyWiltshire
Source Primary
Source Secondary
Recording
 
The Play
 
Print Play Verse
 
Notes
Note 1

Mr Dennis Pritchard (born about 1902) told Andrew Kennett on 1 September 1973 that he saw the group of about twelve wassailers going around at Christmas time in about 1910. The wassailers had no special dress but wore their normal clothes with holly and mistletoe in their hats and button holes. They carried a bowl was shaped like an ordinary pudding basin with a single hoop on which holly and mistletoe were twined and from which they drank. The festivities started about a week before Christmas and went on for as long as the men could stay the course. It started with about 12 men and dwindled as the week went on. The wassailers did not appear on Christmas but did so again on Boxing Day they all turned out for a glorious finished ending with much drink being consumed.

Note 2

The details of the Sherston wassail were collected by Andrew Kennett and passed to me by Gwilym Davies, of Gloucestershire who has been researching wassailing in that county. My thanks to both for their permission to reproduced the text.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2012.

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