Why the Wicker Man in St Werburghs ?

It’s very simple, let me show you. In the last century, the islanders were starving. Like our neighbours today they were scratching a bare subsistence from sheep and sea. Then in 1868 my grandfather bought this barren island and began to change things. A distinguished Victorian scientist, agronomist, free thinker. How formidably benevolent he seems. Essentially the face of a man incredulous of all human good…
What attracted my grandfather to the island, apart from the profuse source of wiry labour that it promised, was the unique combination of volcanic soil and the warm Gulf Stream surrounding it. You see, his experiments had led him to believe that it was possible to induce here the successful growth of certain new strains of fruit that he had developed. So, with typical mid-Victorian zeal, he set to work.

The best way of accomplishing this so it seemed to him, was to rouse the people from their apathy by giving them back their joyous old gods and as a result of this worship, the barren island would burgeon and bring forth fruit in great abundance.
What he did of course was to develop new cultivars of hardy fruits suited to local conditions.

Well, to begin with they worked for him because he fed and clothed them but later when the trees started fruiting it became a different matter and the ministers fled the island never to return. What my grandfather had started out of expediency, my father continued out of … love. He brought me up the same way to reverence the music, the drama the rituals of the old gods. To love nature, and to fear it. And to rely on it, and to appease it where necessary.

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