March 14 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Hunting the wren may be a new “traditional” custom in Weybourne but it has certainly become a popular New Year’s Day attraction.
Almost 30 walkers and dogs set out to track down the “Webbun Wren” this year – despite forecasts of bad weather ahead.
The wintertime folk custom, practised in many parts of the British Isles for hundreds of years, can often mean battling against the elements.
And sure enough, the walkers and dogs who set off from the Ship Inn, Weybourne, at lunchtime, soon ran into driving wind and stinging rain.
A few walkers abandoned the outing part way around but the majority completed the route of about two miles which took them to Weybourne beach, along clifftops and country lanes and finally through the village allotments back to the pub.
And along the way they paused, in true unaccompanied traditional style, for a poaching song from Glyn West and a seasonal The Holly and the Ivy from Tony Baylis.
The walk was the third on New Year’s Day organised locally by Mr Baylis. The first hunt in “Webbun” for Britain’s smallest bird was held three years ago but the second, last year, transferred to Blakeney.
This year the only wrens spotted through the driving rain were those decorating the hats of some of the walkers and in a seasonal display carried by Mr Baylis.
Back in the village many of the walkers went home to change into dry clothes and then returned to The Ship for an afternoon of folk music and song.
As well as traditional and contemporary folk songs, the session featured hurdy-gurdy, piano accordion and flute tunes, carols, a morris dancing duet, music hall material, Americana and popular standards.
■ Free folk sessions organised by Mr Baylis are held at The Maltings Hotel, Weybourne, each third Sunday of the month, from 3pm-6pm.