People gathered around to sing to fruit trees at a Weymouth community farm in hopes of a good harvest.

A wassailing event was held at Tumbledown Farm in Southill and saw a large crowd of people of all ages gather to sing traditional songs and have fun.

Wassailing, from the Saxon greeting ‘waes hael’ meaning ‘be well’ is a tradition which involves drinking and singing to the health of the trees in the hope that they will provide a bountiful harvest in the autumn.

Dorset and Weymouth Town Councillor Jon Orrell spearheaded the event alongside the Island Voices choir and the Harmonics Choir.

Cllr Orrell said: “We are gathering for a community wassail and blessing the orchard for the coming season.

“More people come along each year and today we have been blessed with the weather.”

Dorset Echo: Cllr Jon Orrell (centre) at the wassail eventCllr Jon Orrell (centre) at the wassail event (Image: Hollie Carr)

The event started with everyone gathered in a circle as the choirs led them through some traditional wassail songs.

Visitors were encouraged to bring along anything that could make a lot of noise, whether it was pots and pans, bells or wind instruments, there was plenty of choice.

When the time came in the songs to make noise, the child in everyone was unleashed as they took the opportunity to make as much noise as possible.

Su Lewis, leader of both the Harmonics and Island Voices choirs said: “I enjoy getting everybody singing. People don’t sing much anymore.

"It’s great fun for members of both choirs to come together take part in this community event.

"I also really enjoyed getting people to join in and sing along with us. We had a great turn out today, including people who’d never taken part in this sort of event previously."

Dorset Echo: Choir leader Su LewisChoir leader Su Lewis (Image: Hollie Carr)

After the sing along, a poem was read, and a young child was given the honour of pouring cider over one of the apple trees whilst others poked toast around it – as part of a tradition.

Then it was time to head further down the farm for a warm cup of mulled cider.

Weymouth Town Council Clerk, Jane Biscombe attended the event alongside her husband.

She said: “I love coming here, it’s a really good laugh and it’s lovely to see the kids running about, having a laugh and getting muddy – we loved it.”

Dorset Echo: Weymouth Town Council Clerk, Jane Biscombe and her husbandWeymouth Town Council Clerk, Jane Biscombe and her husband (Image: Hollie Carr)

Both choirs are currently welcoming new members and if you would like to get involved, contact Su Lewis for more information on: or call 07593 063551.