Ap­p­ley days...

First tra­di­tional was­sail

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Kather­ine Cle­men­tine

CRAN­FORD Park let res­i­dents en­joy the fruits of their labour with a first ever ‘Ap­ple Day’. Around 80 peo­ple came to­gether to take part in a tra­di­tional or­chard ‘was­sail’, or­gan­ised by Hilling­don Green Spa­ces and Cran­ford Park Friends.

A hun­dred years ago or more, peo­ple would come on days out from Lon­don to go fruit pick­ing in Har­ling­ton, and or­gan­is­ers wanted to cre­ate a cof­fee morn­ing with a dif­fer­ence, bear­ing ear­lier cus­toms in mind.

Tea, cof­fee and cakes were served in the park’s Se­cret Gar­den in aid of Macmil­lan Can­cer Sup­port’s World’s Big­gest Cof­fee Morn­ing on Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 17.

Bob Bar­ton, Sec­re­tary of Cran­ford Park Friends thought the Ap­ple Day was a “great suc­cess”.

He said: “We weren’t ex­pect­ing so many as it was our first ap­ple day but we had about 80 peo­ple turn up.

“A lot of peo­ple went to the or­chard and we did the was­sail with fid­dle play­ers who came from Sip­son and Heathrow. We had great fun.

“We did the was­sail chant around one of the trees, har­vested the ap­ples and toasted the trees with some cider, which is the tra­di­tional way of hop­ing for a good har­vest.”

Was­sail­ing is a tra­di­tional cus­tom cel­e­brat­ing the ap­ple har­vest and was once be­lieved to pro­tect fruit trees from harm.

20 dif­fer­ent va­ri­eties of ap­ples from the or­chard were on dis­play and could be sam­pled, in­clud­ing Lon­don Pear­main and Broad Eyed Pip­pin ap­ples.

Mr Bar­ton added: “Peo­ple en­joyed them­selves and raised £260 for Macmil­lan Can­cer sup­port so we’re very pleased with that.

“We pressed a lot of ap­ple juice from our fruit press, we couldn’t go with­out try­ing the juice!”

Vis­i­tors could bring their own ap­ples to juice in the tra­di­tional press af­ter en­joy­ing a short guided Or­chard Walk.

Macmil­lan Can­cer was cho­sen as the char­ity to sup­port as can­cer pa­tients from Hilling­don Hospi­tal use the ‘se­cret gar­den’ to aid their re­cov­ery.

n SUC­CESS: Ali­son Ship­ley and Bob Bar­ton

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