St Albans Mayor’s Twelfth Night charity fundraising evening on Friday 6 January has raised just over £2,000 for Herts Young Homeless (hyh).
Guests at the fun-filled event at St Michael’s Manor Hotel were treated to entertainment from The Mummers and a slice of a beautiful Twelfth Night themed cake.
In years gone by, the Twelfth Night after Christmas was a time for celebration and large parties to mark the end of winter. The tradition dates back to medieval and Tudor times when the roles in society were often reversed with rich masters serving a feast for their servants. As part of the festivities a Twelfth Night cake, similar to the modern Italian Panettone, was eaten. A dried bean was buried inside and whoever found the hidden bean went on to lead the night’s celebrations as the Lord of Misrule.
In line with these Twelfth Night traditions, guests at the Mayor’s charity fundraiser appointed a Lord or Lady of Misrule for each table. Dressed in an apron and crown they were tasked with leading the table’s festivities for the night.
A bean was also hidden in the Twelfth Night themed cake. Lucky Evelyn Cassin who found the bean in her slice of cake was awarded a prize of tea with the Mayor.
The 110 guests at the charity fundraiser also watched St Albans Mummers perform a folk play about George and the Dragon. After performing their play, the troupe of amateur actors donated £180, raised from their Boxing Day performances, to the Mayor’s charity, Herts Young Homeless.
Cllr Frances Leonard, the Mayor City and District of St Albans, said: “Everyone had great fun getting into the spirit of Twelfth Night. I want to thank them all for helping to raise money for my mayoral charity for the year, Herts Young Homeless. I am also grateful to St Albans Mummers’ for their entertaining performance and to the generous donors of the raffle prizes.”
Hyh Head of Fundraising Kathryn Salmon attended the fundraiser. She said: “It was a fabulous event. Thank you to everyone who attended and helped make it such a fun evening. The funds raised will help Herts Young Homeless to support our vulnerable young people locally.”
The Right Worshipful the Mayor of the City and District of St Albans, Councillor Frances Leonard.
Contact for the Mayor’s office:
Alison Orde, the Mayor’s Civic Officer
Tel: 01727 819544
Contact for the media:
Senior Communications Officer
St Albans City and District Council
Tel: 01727 819317
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Mayoral charity – Herts Young Homeless
When the new Mayor of the City and District of St Albans is selected each year they choose a charity to support during their period in office. The current Mayor, Cllr Frances Leonard, has selected Herts Young Homeless (hyh)
as her mayoral charity for the year. The charity provides support and advice to young people aged 16-24 years who have had difficulty in securing safe and secure accommodation. More information is available on the Council’s website
St Albans Mummers
Mummers plays are folk plays performed by troupes of amateur actors. St Albans Mummers were formed fifty years ago by a group of friends, who were mainly members of St Albans Morris Men. They decided to put on play in the City every Boxing Day. The term ‘mummers’ dates back to the middle ages and has been used loosely to describe performers of several kinds. No scripts survive from that era, but mumming traditionally involved annual performances in the street or more usually during visits to houses and pubs. The earliest evidence of mummers’ plays as they are known today is from the mid to late 18th century.
Above: The Mayor of the City and District of St Albans, Councillor Frances Leonard, pictured with St Albans Mummers.
The Mayor of the City and District of St Albans, Councillor Frances Leonard, pictured with the Twelfth Night themed cake