When: 28th & 29th May 2016, 10am – 5pm on Sat and 1.30pm – 5pm on Sun
Where: The Commandery, Sidbury, Worcester WR1 2HU
£: Admission costs £5.50 for adults and £2.50 for children, and includes entry to The Commandery. Entry to Oak Apple Weekend is free for Worcester City residents.
What is it?
Re-enactors, dancers and entertainers will bring Oak Apple Day to life at Worcester’s historic Commandery museum over the weekend of Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th May.
The 350 year-old spring tradition will be revived for a whole weekend this year at The Commandery, where a celebratory 17th century fete will be thrown to remember the day that Charles II was restored to the throne.
Visitors welcomed during the weekend can meet civilians from the restoration period in a 17th century coffee house and learn more about Oak Apple Day’s origins, cheer on the traditional maypole or Morris dancers, and learn some showy skills with the Entertainer’s tuition.
The weekend will culminate in a humorous performance of Charles II’s escape after losing at the Battle of Worcester on the Sunday.
Oak Apple Day arose from events on the 29 May 1660, when Charles II returned from exile to London to reclaim the throne. He had escaped enemy soldiers after The Battle of Worcester by hiding in an oak tree. Charles, who loved an excuse for celebration, declared the day a public holiday. The Commandery will be befittingly covered in oak leaves on the anniversary of these events, which are closely tied into Worcester’s civil war past.
‘Oak-and-nettle Day’ is another name for the festival. Children would once shout “Show your oak!” to each other, and those found not to be wearing a sprig of oak leaves risked being whipped with stinging-nettles.
The Meemee café at The Commandery will also be open all weekend serving tea, coffee, cakes and lunch with peaceful (and nettle-free) seating in the canal-side gardens.