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Wassail brings cheer to the town

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: January 08, 2014

TOPPING TIME: Wassailers, looking dapper in their top hats and evening dress, are seen off on their journey around Bodmin by town councillors and staff.

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A CENTURIES-OLD tradition was maintained on Monday when a group of well-dressed gents made merry in Bodmin, spreading goodwill around the town.

The Bodmin Wassail began almost 400 years ago and is now only one of two such events still practised in the UK on the 12th day of Christmas.

The wassailers were seen off by members of Bodmin Town Council on Monday morning with an appropriate glass of wine.

The Wassail began in Bodmin back in 1624 when the town clerk, Nicholas Spry, provided a drinking cup and wine for a group of men to visit all the homes owned by the mayor.

The original cup was lost decades ago, but a new wassailing bowl was provided three years ago by a past mayor, John Chapman, whose father and grandfather supported the tradition.

The town clerk, Paul O'Callaghan, now begins the proceedings every year by filling the bowl with suitable refreshment at the town council's offices.

The wassailers travelled across town, visiting shops, pubs, care homes and private addresses for almost 12 hours, raising money for good causes.

Last year they collected the sum of £500, which was donated to Bodmin Town Museum and St Petroc's Messy Church for children.

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