Merton’s first ever Wassail festival has taken place in Mitcham.

Over 250 people attended the event, which included Morris dancers, folk musicians, a barbeque and plenty of costumes and dancing, at Mitcham Community Orchard in Field Gate Lane.

The ceremony, led by the Wassail King and Queen, includes the pouring of cider around the base of a tree and hanging cider-soaked toast in the trees.

 It also proved to be a fiery evening, with bonfires, fire pits, log torches, fireworks and plenty of candles to keep visitors warm.

The ancient winter festival aims to promote a good harvest in the coming year, and was held on Saturday, January 28, and now Mitcham Community Orchard are hoping to make it an annual event.

The organisers of Mitcham Community Orchard are looking for volunteers to help with its upkeep. For more information email