Stroud Wassail 2018 will be on Saturday 13 January, and plans are afoot to make it bigger, brighter and more colourful than ever before. There will no doubt be many a pint of ale consumed at planning HQ, Stroud’s Little George micropub, before the day, but already the ideas are coming thick and fast. Keep checking back for updates.
Wassailers Robin and Susan plus friends. (Photo (c) Robin Burton)
We’d watched, waited and prayed, desperately hoping that it wouldn’t rain…. and we had a wonderful day of bright winter sunshine, with mumming, morris and music everywhere, plus our two Wassails at the Subscription Rooms and at the Museum in the Park, and finally an evening of dance, storytelling, comedy, song and… er… singing sheep.
Click on the images below to share in some happy memories of the day.
As the day begins, Stroud Farmers’ Market is eerily quiet. And then…. (Photo (c) Kardien Gerbrands)
…. the festivities begin. Bakanalia Border Morris came all the way from Leicester for the Wassail. (Photo (c) Kardien Gerbrands)
With their blue faces and creative flair, Bakanalia proved popular. (Photo (c) Mike Finn)
Jo Durrant from BBC Radio Glos prepares to interview Morris & Mumming Co-ordinator Chris Lee. (Photo (c) Robin Burton)
Robin from the Gloucestershire Morris Men enjoys a rest while watching Clocs Canton. (Photo (c) Deborah Roberts)
The brand new Gloucestershire Mixed Morris at their first public performance. (Photo (c) Deborah Roberts)
There were hobby horses wandering round the town… (Photo (c) Robin Burton)
… and this little girl brought her own. (Photo (c) Deborah Roberts)
Wassailers Robin and Susan plus friends. (Photo (c) Robin Burton)
Host morris side Styx of Stroud Border Morris stepping out at the Queen Vic. (Photo (c) Mike Finn)
Ragged & Old Morris from Stroud. (Photo (c) Mike Finn)
Strange beasts begin to gather on the Subscription Rooms forecourt around lunchtime…. (Photo (c) Deborah Roberts)
Is it a lion? Is it a sheep? Perhaps it’s a bit of both. (Photo (c) Mike Finn)
The Mari Lwyd looked dramatic in the winter sunshine. (Photo (c) Deborah Roberts)
A visiting Mari Lwyd was very popular with the kids. (Photo (c) Deborah Roberts)
A hobby horse and a Mari Lwyd wonder if they might be related. (Photo (c) Deborah Roberts)
Brafront Guizers’ sword-wielding dragon was a fearsome sight. (Photo (c) Dennis Kelly)
The Stroud Broad is the symbol of our Wassail. (Photo (c) Deborah Roberts)
The Mari Lwyd makes friends with a youngster. (Photo (c) Deborah Roberts)
More strange creatures gather outside the Sub Rooms.
Jayne Kirkham multi-tasked as the lady of the house, the maid and a morris dancer! Here she meets the Broad and Wassailer Robin. (Photo (c) Deborah Roberts)
Colourful local women’s morris side Boss seem unaware that the Cotswold lion is pursuing them. (Photo (c) Dennis Kelly)
Open Morris Chairwoman Nicki Pickering was a VIP visitor, and enjoyed a solo spot outside the Sub Rooms. (Photo (c) Mike Finn)
Foxs Morris from Worcestershire are frequent (and popular) visitors to Stroud. (Photo (c) Mike Finn)
The Forest of Dean Morris Men put on a great performance in the High Street. (Photo (c) Mike Finn)
Merrie Morgana brought some medieval glamour to the day. (Photo (c) Mike Finn)
Tattered Court from Cheltenham in fighting form. (Photo (c) Mick Finn)
Here’s Stroud’s own Boss Morris getting ready to do their thing.
Winterbourn Down adding a bit of colour to the High Street. (Photo (c) Mike Finn)
Malmesbury Morris. (Photo (c) Mike Finn)
Jacob from Tattered Court ponders the next piece of music. (Photo (c) Mike Finn)
The Happenstance musicians from Cheltenham. (Photo (c) Robin Burton)
Pipe and tabor from a Forest of Dean musician.
Clocs Canton from Cardiff have always enjoyed coming to our Wassail. Here they are outside the Sub Rooms. (Photo (c) Mike Finn)
The Chippenham Morris Men put on a lively performance outside the Sub Rooms in the afternoon. (Photo (c) Mike Finn)
Children always warm to the magic of the Wassail. These little girls are certainly getting into the spirit of the dance. (Photo (c) Deborah Roberts)
Shrewsbury Mummers were a highlight of the day. (Photo (c) Sue Jones)
Then in the afternoon, we gathered to wassail at the museum. The master and mistress of the house (aka Stroud’s Museum in the Park) read the riot act to the peasants. (Photo (c) Ann Taylor)
‘Gosh, the peasants can be jolly amusing, can’t they, darling?’ The Brafront Guizers at the Museum in the Park. (Photo (c) Ann Taylor)
Stroud Morris put on a colourful display at the Museum Wassail. (Photo (c) Ann Taylor)
The Stroud and Winchcombe Broads prepare to cause chaos. (Photo (c) Ann Taylor)
Beanie Morgan was crowned Wassail Queen at the Revels in the evening, after finding the lucky coin in her slice of Wassail cake. (Photo (c) Beanie Morgan)
Flash Candy cancan dancers entertained at the Revels. (Photo (c) Richard Rowley)
Stroud Wassailers are reviving the tradition of house and pub visiting.
Lookout – The Broad is about!
Tickets are now on sale for the evening Stroud Wassail event
Learn the art of wassailing.
Learn the Stroud Wassail song
Have a go at the Stroud Mummers Play
Sunday 27th November 11am
Stroud Museum in the Park
There will be follow up workshops in December.
Become a Stroud Wassailer!
We are forming a group to perform the Wassail songs and a Mummers Play – come along and have a go…
Workshops Sundays 20th and 27th November
We are gearing up for the 2017 Stroud Wassail. It will once again involve the Mummers Festival, morris dancing, wassailing and mid-winter jollity.
The programme is still under construction. There will be dancing and mumming on the Saturday morning and a Huge Stroud Wassail at Lunchtime. A smaller wassail at the museum in the afternoon, and evening Revels.
Put it in your diary and look out for announcements.
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Stroud Wassail 2016 was a great success. The organisers would like to express a HUGE Thank You to all who came- the Dancers, the Mummers, the Wassailers, the helpers, the people who came to watch, the kids who made costumes, the 12th Night Revelers. You all played your part.
Please send us photos or links.
We would like to find out what you thought about it.
Please let us know, what you liked, what we could do better, and your ideas for next year.
Stroud Wassail is only a few days away…
Time to learn the Stroud Wassail Song.
You can download the PDF song sheet here
Then sing along with the video…
Stroud Wassail Song Video
Stroud Wassail Workshops book now!
Learn how to sing a wassail
Make a Raggy Coat for the wassail procession