Sunday 27 November 2016

Penkhull Wassail, January 2017

Penkhull Wassail and a processional Morris in January. Apple and fruit-tree wassailing is an ancient tradition, taking the form of a New Year procession. I was pleased to see it revived recently in Stoke-on-Trent, and it's happening again in January 2017. Traditionally, the apple and fruit trees of a district are each visited in turn. The men sing to them, toast their health in cider and the boys tap their trunks with whippy sticks in a sun-wise direction, in order to ‘wake up’ the trees and ‘turn them back toward life’.

Art by Steve Shaw.

2015 route map below. Given the 2017 start time and the same starting point, it looks like the arrival times at various points will be much the same in 2017.

Friday 25 November 2016

Monday 21 November 2016


This is so very 'Stoke'! :-)

A place to sit...

A new charity report on the importance of places for the public to sit down... "The decline of basic amenities such as street benches and sofas in shops is forcing millions of older people to think twice about venturing into shopping areas".

This is the first report to quantify the decline of older shoppers on the high street due to lack of seating. Stoke is fairly well served in that regard, but more might be done. Local traders might have a standard sign made, that they could display in their shop window, indicating that they offer their elderly customers a seat inside. Given that 45% of Stoke-on-Trent households do not have access to a car, which means that many people have to walk to the shops, being able to rest before one starts shopping is especially important in the city. Also while carrying heavy bags home.