As night fell Paul Conneally led a Topping Out ceremony for the new Shed at Landscaping and Gardening Society. Topping Out – Kissing the Gable is based on the ceremony of Topping Out that builders undertake when the highest point of a building is completed. In Conneally and Culhane’s version, switches of tree and other plants are bound together and placed at the apex of the shed. The hanging plant material includes rowan, holly and bay twigs to ward of bad spirits and bring good luck to the shed and all who use it.
In the half light, one by one visitors climbed the ladder and blessed the group and the shed with humour and joy. They too were blessed by Paul who flicked apple juice from a hazel branch onto their heads as they ‘kissed the gable’.