A whistle, a wassail about our town – part 2

Wick Court 18th Annual Wassail

In a galaxy a long time ago........Bill and Eric

In a galaxy a long time ago……..Bill and Eric

18 years, and still as popular as ever, the Wick Court Wassail has become a great regular event in our diary. Arriving early Bill took us through the house to show us a photograph of himself and Eric in their younger guise when this event was still in its infancy – as someone said, no wonder Bill knows the words so well!

People began to assemble and the side were all present for 7.30 and we set to dancing in the courtyard, endeavouring to avoid the slippy bit in the middle. Having avoided all disaster after completing 4 dances we went out to the orchard to wassail the apple tree. By all accounts it was the wettest underfoot for quite a while, pity those poor fools who forgot their wellies 🙂

Returning to the courtyard, and after a quick scrabble to change into costume, we performed our last mummers play of the season. We had Greeks playing Turks – providing humour with his dying dagger, heckling from the crowd – with a valiant repost from the Soldier Bold (or was that a bold repost from the valiant soldier?) and a new old woman with an old toothache (six years before she found it and seven since!). The treasury man was in great demand and we collected several pieces of paper as well as coins of the realm – which we duly donated to Wick Court. Our reward was great praise (best play yet!), hot soup and bread, mulled cider and an invitation to do it all again next year. Our thanks to the generosity of all who attended the wassail and put money into the hat.

Muso's on the go

Muso’s on the go

After all the merriment and food outside we retired indoors to warm our feet on the underfloor heating, and to enjoy the songs and tunes that follow such festivities where’er we go.

So ended another great season of wassailing; music, song, cider and fine company. May the orchards be fruitful again this year.

Pray don’t let the wassailers stay on the cold stones. Waes Hail!

Turkish Knight Seeks Justice in Gloucester

An Unconventional Report of Events

The Turkish Knight

The Turkish Knight

As the dust settles on the recent mumming events, the Turkish Knight speaks from the heart after suffering terrible abuse at the hands of the self-styled Valiant Soldier Bold aka Bold Slasher. Reposing in a secret location in the Fountain Inn, Gloucester (GL1 2NW), the Knight errant praises King George’s generosity and Doctor Brown’s kindness. The former for paying all fees and medical bills due and the latter for the excellent treatment.

Recalling how, as a stranger in a strange land, he stumbled haplessly into a local hostelry looking for some comfort and warmth during this festive season, he was initially greeted with suspicion and mocking. King George seemed the man to take most pleasure in taunting him. This noble Knight from Turkeyland recounts that during his heated verbal exchange with King George an obnoxious, lairy, drunken ex-soldier burst into the establishment, making extravagant claims, being abusive to King George and our honourable knight from Turkeyland. Says the Knight, “I was starting to fear for my safety at this point. This madman comes barging into the bar, yelling at the top of his voice. First he starts on King George, verbally abusing him and his people, then he turns to me. Threatens me first, accusing me of harming him. Then he challenges me to a dual – setting time and place. Of course, I agree, hoping to escape this situation, then this lunatic draws a sword and attacks me.”

On lookers watch in horror as Turkish Knight suffers unprovoked attack in crowded bar
On lookers watch in horror as Turkish Knight suffers unprovoked attack in crowded bar

The fight which ensued saw the Knight being cut-down heartlessly by the mad soldier, in front of horrified witnesses. King George, being a noble man, calls for a doctor to try and heal the wound. One Dr Brown Esq happened to be passing and offered his services to King George and the slain Turk, a moderate fee was negotiated. After applying a potion to the slain man, the doctor administered the miracle cure and resurrected the grateful knight. At this point the lairy soldier bold re-entered and called for the recently revived Turk to be departed to his homeland.

The esteemed Turkish Knight is at present enjoying the horsebrutality of the Fountain Inn, where he shall remain until the festive season is over. The knight will then repair to his homeland and will come no more nigh us until the next year.

Before he returns he invites you to join him at the Fountain Inn on Wednesday 17 December at 10pm for a re-enactment of the events and for a few songs and tunes to liven the evening before he leaves us for another year.

I shall leave you with a final quote from our honourable knight, “Valiant soldier bold! Pah! He is more Violent soldier cold. My thanks to King George and the Doctor and the generosity of the people of Gloucester. Happy Christmas one and all”.

Thanks and acknowledgments to Steve Rowley for organising the Mummers Unconvention once again this year in Gloucester and to Helen Marshall, artist and photographer, who provided permission for use of some of her photographs for this article and to the kind citizens of Gloucester who have to put up with us.

An unconvention of mummers

An unconvention of mummers