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** Please note:  The pictures below were all taken at the old venue for the Holly and Mistletoe auctions.
In 2016 the venue will once again be ....
Burford House Garden Store, Burford, Tenbury Wells, WR15 8HQ.**

The Mistletoe Auction at Tenbury Wells ©vcsinden2011

Holly ready for the auction at Tenbury

Held at Tenbury Wells in Worcestershire, the annual Mistletoe and Holly Auctions have become something of a national institution. - but many people still don't realise that, provided you don't just need a little snippet of greenery, anyone can be a buyer there.

Florists, Stately Home owners, Grocers, Market Stall holders, Hoteliers, Garden Centres and ordinary mortal visitors (as well as the odd fae!) flock to buy the huge bundles of fresh-cut greenery in the weeks leading up to the Yule Festival.

Mistletoe ready for the auction at Tenbury

  There are three auction days - at present they are the final Tuesday in November and the following two Tuesdays in December.

Dates for 2016

National Mistletoe Day is Thurs. December 1st

Auction: Tues 29th Nov 10.00am
Auction: Tues 6th Dec 10.00am
Auction: Tues 13th Dec 10.00am

Druids Thanksgiving Ceremony
2016 T.B.A

Festival Day & Procession
Saturday 3rd December
Tenbury Wells Town Centre

The exact auction dates for the year, directions, and the results of the previous year's auctions can be found on
Auctioneer Nick Champion's website.
          Mistletoe Festival Events here.

     *** If you are wishing to SELL Mistletoe or Holly, all the details that you need to know about registration, venue, sales etc. can be found at the auctioneer's website. Comprehensive downloadable instructions and forms are included.***   www.nickchampion.co.uk/auctions/holly-and-mistletoe/

 

Pictures of Teme Street and The Pump Room in Tenbury from 'Virtual Shropshire'

The ancient market town of Tenbury Wells, on the River Teme is well worth a visit.

       Sales will be held at 
             Burford House Garden Store, Burford, Tenbury Wells, WR15 8HQ. 

Rows of mistletoe waiting to be auctioned at Tenbury ©vcsinden2011

 

     If you'd like to buy one of the large bundles of mistletoe or holly, you must register at the 'Office Van', a simple form which gives you a buyer number. Or, you could do this in advance of the visit at the Auctioneer's website (link above). You don't have to use it!

    The bundles are sold singly, but the buyer of the first in a group from one farmer will get the option to buy any or all of that group at the same price if he wishes. One buyer might take just one bundle or he may take all eight or twelve. But don't worry - there are hundreds of bundles for sale!

 

The auctioneers at work at Tenbury Mistletoe Auctions ©vcsinden2011
Selling sets of made-up wreaths in the marquee -
auctioneer Nick Champion is on the right.


     Each auction begins at 10.00am sharp, when the Auctioneer sounds his bell !  At its old venue, it started in the white marquee with sales of made-up Yule wreaths, rings and crosses.

   If you're a buyer, it's as well to get there before time to get a good look. Glimpse into the tent, then walk along the many long rows of bundles laid out with much care outside.

   Each is tied or laid on top of sacks, labelled with the suppliers details and numbered - make a note or two about anything that particularly catches your eye. They are wonderfully fresh and most are laden with berries. The wreaths in the marquee are not sold singly of course - the price bid is the price for one of a group - but you must buy all items in that set, say ten.

Tenbury Mistletoe Auctions ©vcsinden2011 Christmas trees at Tenbury Mistletoe Auctions ©vcsinden2011

   The sale goes outside when the wreaths are all sold, and the Auctioneer moves down the rows of mistletoe and holly, followed closely by crowds of would be customers. The whole sale is finished by lunch-time!

     Locally grown Christmas trees of many sizes and varieties are for sale too, but again you'll need to buy the whole small group!
Once you have bid for your mistletoe or holly, most people take it away and put it aside quite quickly. The most expensive and sought after holly is the gold and silver variegated. With mistletoe, it's the least woody bunches that are most popular. Muddypond here wanted a heavy, woody bunch - she likes to make wands!

Tenbury Mistletoe Auction ©vcsinden2011
The freshest of mistletoe ©vcsinden2011
 
How fresh would you like it?
 
Years of expertise go into the growing, harvesting and choosing of the greenery.

     It's impossible to buy just a sprig of mistletoe - only large 'wraps' are on offer - Muddypond knew that - but I do think she might've got a bit carried away! (See below! Mopsy - loaded and ready for home).

Mopsy
Good old 'Mopsy' loaded beyond her expectations and ready for home.

There are more pictures of our Mistletoe auction spree on my Diaryblog entry for December 19th 2011 here

               Tenbury is also the setting for a fine Mistletoe Festival, held on National Mistletoe Day - the nearest Saturday to December 1st every year. To quote from their website - link here ...

  'Tenbury's Mistletoe Festival began in 2004, when the traditional Mistletoe Auctions, held in the town for over 100 years, seemed threatened with closure. Local people were determined Tenbury's Mistletoe legacy would continue, and so the Festival was born.'

Here too you can find links to The Mistletoe Foundation, and read about their ceremonies.

Now, that festival will be a treat to see - a treat that this hedgerow fae has promised herself for next winter - or perhaps the one after?

Mistletoe awaiting sale ©vcsinden2011
My mischievous mistletoe men are adapted from 'Floral Fairies - The Mistletoes' Pranks' by Gertrude Robinson. Ill F.A.Carter 1913

   You will find plenty of  folklore, customs and magick relating to the Mistletoe plant here on my website.