All things Green Man & Jack-in-the-Green

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Jack-in-the-Green Update (Sunday 17th May 2015)

Chagford JITG Poster 2015 © Virginia Lee

Chagford JITG Poster 2015 © Virginia Lee

Chagford Jack-in-the-Green © Ruth Olley

Chagford Jack-in-the-Green © Ruth Olley

 

My thanks to Andy  Letcher for sending in Ruth Olley’s picture of the Chagford Jack-in-the-Green above as well as Virginia Lees wonderful poster for the event.

I have also come across reports of either a Jack-in-the-Green or a Green Man sighted in Bovey Tracey in Devon this year with Grimspound Border Morris. I am grateful to Martyn Warren for sending me some pictures including the one posted below. I’ll post more information about this sighting as soon as I can.

It is also possible that there may still be sightings of the Yaxley Jack-in-the-Green this year and there are always rumours of a Jack appearing at the Pagan Pride Parade again one year.

And don’t forget that the one and only Autumnal Jack, the Carshalton Straw Jack goes out every September (more details nearer the time)

Many more pictures of this years Jacks will be posted on our Flickr archive over the coming weeks to accompany our ever growing free archive of pictures of Traditional Jack-in-the-Green throughout the years:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/thecompanyofthegreenman

I am always grateful for pictures of any Jacks from any years that we are missing. My aim is to be able to create a  record of images of every Jack from every year since the revival began.

If anyone knows of any other Jacks I have missed please do get in touch via the contact tab at the top of this blog.

Bovey Tracey JITG 2015 © Martyn Warren/Grimspound Morris

Bovey Tracey JITG 2015 © Martyn Warren/Grimspound Morris

Jack-in-the-Green Update

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Hastings Traditional Jack-in-the-Green 2015 © Rose Blakeley

It’s been another great year for sightings of the traditional Jack-in-the-Green across the UK. As this post is published I can confirm that so far this year at least 14 Jacks have been sighted including:

The Rochester/Bluebell Hill Jack-in-the-Green
The Oxford Jack-in-the-Green
The Dead Horse Morris Jack-in-the-Green
The Fowlers Troop Jack-in-the-Green
The Highworth Jack-in-the-Green
The Bristol Jack-in-the-Green
The Knutsford Jack-in-the-Green
The Guildford Bush
The Winchcombe Jack-in-the-Green
The Hastings Traditional Jack-in-the-Green
The Whitstable Jack-in-the-Green
The Cheltenham Sweeps Jack-in-the-Green
The Brentham Jack-in-the-Green

And a brand new Jack-in-the-Green went out this year in Chagford, Devon

It is also possible that there may still be sightings of the Yaxley Jack-in-the-Green this year.

My thanks to everyone who contacted me to confirm sightings and to send in some wonderful photos for our free online archive. Thanks to Rose Blakely for the fantastic pictures accompanying this post of this years Hastings Traditional Jack-in-the-Green.

More photos of this years Jacks will appear on this blog in the coming weeks and every picture will be added to our online Flickr archive.

If anyone knows of any other Jacks I have missed please do get in touch via the contact tab at the top of this blog.

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Hastings Traditional Jack-in-the-Green 2015 © Rose Blakeley

Jack’s Alive (Monday May 4th)

Bristol Jack-in-the-Green 2015

Bristol Jack-in-the-Green 2015

The Hastings Traditional Jack-in-the-Green was released from the Fisherman’s Museum on Rock-a-Nore Road at approximately 10am this morning accompanied by his attendant Bogies and a fantastic gathering of green folk. The Hastings Jack is a massive event now, but the release of Jack still maintains an incredible feeling of magic and wonder. Jack paraded through the town of Hastings during the day arriving at the West Hill at in the early afternoon. Various entertainments ensued before Jack was paraded down to the main stage by the bogies. There Jack was symbolically slain to release the spirit of summer for another year. The Whitstable Jack-in-the-Green Procession started from Harbour Street in the early afternoon. Jack paraded up to the castle accompanied by Oyster Morris  and various other Morris sides where he presided over the singing of the May song and dancing. This is another magical event that really must be seen. The wonderful Dead Horse Morris Jack-in-the-Green made a brief appearance in Whitstable today. The Cheltenham Sweeps Jack-in-the-Green was at Sudeley Castle Winchcombe for two outings at this years Victorian May Day. He was also  joined by the Winchcombe Jack-in-the-Green. The Company of the Green Man maintains a free to access archive of pictures of the traditional Jack in the Green. I would be extremely grateful for any pictures of any of this years (and previous years) Jacks for the archive.

Fowlers Troop Jack-in-the-Green 2015

Copyright © Paul Holman

Copyright © Paul Holman

I’m very grateful to Paul Holman for sending in some fantastic pictures of this years Deptford/Greenwich (Fowlers Troop) Jack-in-the-Green from Friday.

The Fowlers Troop Jack was revived in 1983 by Mo Johnson who made a Jack-in-the-Green in the back garden of the ‘Dog and Bell’ and Blackheath Morris (a side morphed from the Blackheath Foot’n’Death Men who used to dance at events featuring bands like Hawkwind and the Pink Fairies). Mo was inspired by one of Thankful Sturdee’s photographs c.1900 of the original troop and Jack.  The Fowlers Jack goes out on the streets of Deptford and Greenwich every May Day. Fowlers Troop try to maintain the styles of the original Fowlers Troop and wear clown costumes, fancy dress or Edwardian style clothes.

More pictures have just been uploaded to our Flickr Archive here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/thecompanyofthegreenman

The Company of the Green Man maintains a free to access archive of pictures of the traditional Jack in the Green. I would be extremely grateful for any pictures of any of this years (and previous years) Jacks for the archive.

Jack’s Alive (Sunday May 3rd)

The Winchcombe (Gloucestershire) Jack-in-the-Green will appear at the Upton upon Severn Folk Festival on Sunday 3rd May. I would be extremely grateful for any photos of the Jack.

Jack’s Alive (Saturday May 2nd)

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The Highworth Jack-in-the-Green went out this morning accompanied by the Bang to Rites Drummers. The Jack paraded through the streets of Highworth before arriving at the Maypole where the dancing began.
My thanks to everyone involved for letting me follow along this morning to take some great pictures of the event.

The Bristol Jack-in-the-Green awoke on the historic Harbourside in Bristol this morning and began a magical procession through the streets of Bristol. The day ended on Horfield Common where Jack was slain to release the spirit of summer.

The Knutsford Jack was also sighted

The Guildford Jack should also have been sighted, I would be grateful if anyone could confirm this for me please.

Jack’s Alive! (Friday May 1st)

Bluebell Hill Jack-in-the-Green 2015 copyright Ian McLauchlan

The Rochester/Bluebell Hill Jack-in-the-Green was awoken by Motley Morris on Bluebell Hill at dawn on May 1st 2015 surrounded by twelve bonfires. The Jack will take part in the Sweeps Festival in Rochester this weekend. My thanks to Ian McLauchlan for the wonderful picture above.

Shortly afterwards the Oxford Jack-in-the-Green was sighted amongst the crowds below Magdalen Tower before he lead an informal procession up ‘The High’ to Radcliffe Square, where the first dance of the day: “Bonny Green” from Bucknell, started at about 6.25am.

The Dead Horse Morris Jack-in-the-Green appeared at dawn near Whitstable on May Morning and was later seen visiting four schools around the town. The Dead Horse Morris Jack will also make a brief appearance in Whitstable on Monday after the Mayday Parade.

The Fowlers Troop Jack-in-the-Green was sighted parading through Deptford and Greenwich on May Day starting from The Dog and Bell in Prince Street SE8

I have had confirmation that a new Jack took part in the green parade in Chagford.

I would be extremely grateful for photographs of any of this years Jacks to add to our archive and share on this blog for our members and followers around the world. You can e-mail them to thecompanyofthegreenman@gmail.com

There are plenty more Jacks to come, scroll down to an earlier post for a full list of the Jacks who will be putting in an appearance today and over the coming weekend.

Merry May Day One And All!

Winchcombe 2013 55

A Riddle

I am born on May Morning by sticks, bells, and ribbons
I am the sap in the dark root
I am the dancer with his six fools
I am the tump behind the old church
I am the lost soul under the misericord
I am the oak against the stars
I am the face that peers through the leaves
I am the fear in a childs mind
I am the demon on the roof-boss
I am killed in October and laid on church altars
I am the guiser on the bright bonfire
I am the old grain sown with the seed
I am the flame in the pumpkins grin
I am the spirit in the kern-baby’s bosom

2015 Jack-in-the-Green events

wpid-img_00901.jpg.jpeg

(Updated 30th April)
Just one day to go now until the traditional Jack-in-the-Green begins to awake across Britain. Below are updated details of this years events. I estimate that at least thirteen Jacks will go out in 2015. Don’t miss out on this wonderful and magical annual tradition, go out and support your nearest Jack. If you go to see an event please do send me pictures as soon as possible to share with others. If you get the chance to forward me a picture of a Jack live from an event I will endeavour to post them here as quickly as possible to share with our members around the world.The e-mail address to send any pictures to is: thecompanyofthegreenman@gmail.com
If you know of any Jacks I have missed please do get in touch.

My best wishes to all the Jacks, Bogies, attendants, organisers and helpers at this years events!

2015 Jack-in-the-Green events

Blue Bell Hill (Rochester Sweeps) Jack-in-the-Green (Friday 1st May)

Jack is awoken by Motley Morris (the custodians of the Jack) and various other Morris sides at dawn on May Morning (approximately 5:32am) at the Bluebell Hill picnic area surrounded by twelve bonfires.

Motley Morris

Winchcombe Jack-in-the-Green (Sunday 3rd May)

The Winchcombe (Gloucestershire) Jack was revived in 2009 as part of “Marking the Year.” The Jack was then resurrected for May Day 2010 and a local May bank holiday village fete and now appears somewhere every year. On some years the Jack is woken at dawn by Happenstance Border Morris. This year the Winchcombe Jack-in-the-Green will appear at the Upton upon Severn Folk Festival on Sunday 3rd May.

Happenstance Border Morris

Oxford Jack-in-the-Green (Friday 1st May)

The Oxford Jack is usually first seen near Magdalen Tower just before 6am and leads an informal procession up ‘The High’ to Radcliffe Square, where the first dance of the day: “Bonny Green” from Bucknell, starts at about 6.25am.

Oxford Jack in the Green

Deptford Jack-in-the-Green (Friday 1st May)

The Fowlers Troop Jack in the Green goes out on the streets of South East London or the City of London every May Day. This year Jack will be going out in Deptford and Greenwich starting from The Dog and Bell in Prince Street SE8 at 11:30am (full processional route details via their website below)

Deptford Jack in the Green

Bristol Jack in the Green (Saturday 2nd May)

The Bristol Jack in the Green appears on the first Saturday in May starting from the historic Harbourside (outside the M Shed) at 10:30am and leads a magical procession through the streets of Bristol eventually ending the day on Horfield Common at approximately 4pm where he dies to release the spirit of summer.

Bristol Jack in the Green

Hastings Jack-in-the-Green Festival (1st – 4th May Release of Jack is on Monday 4th May)

The Hastings Jack-in-the-Green festival was revived by Keith Leech in 1983 and is now one of the biggest annual gatherings of Morris Dancers in the country.  The Jack is “released” from the Fisherman’s Museum on Rock-a-Nore Road at approximately 10am every year in a wonderful ceremony and is central to the festival and the parade. At the end of the day Jack is slain to release the spirit of summer.

Hastings Jack-in-the-Green Festival

Guildford Jack-in-the-Green (Saturday 2nd May)

Known as The Guildford Bush, this Jack is accompanied by the Pilgrim Morris Men of Guildford. They commence at 10am at the bottom of the High street and process to Holy Trinity Church with the Maypole. The Maypole is erected on Castle Green and the dancing involving guest Morris sides begins.

Guildford Jack in the Green

Knutsford May Day and Jack-in-the-Green (Saturday 2nd May)

The Knutsford Jack in the Green is probably the oldest continual annual Jack in the Green. Apart from the war years it has paraded every year since 1890.  May Day in Knutsford is celebrated over the May Bank holiday weekend.

Knutsford Jack in the Green

Whitstable Jack-in-the-Green (Monday 4th May)

Jack-in-the-Green is now central to the Whitstable May Day celebrations. The Jack is supported by Oyster Morris who also have their own Green Man who combines the roles of Jester and announcer dressed in white and green.

Whitstable Jack in the Green

Dead Horse Morris Jack-in-the-Green (Friday 1st May)

Dead Horse Morris have a Jack-in-the-Green clad entirely in Ivy who takes part in the Dawn Rising celebrations in Whitstable on May 1st each year. This year’s events will start at 5am at the foot of Beacon Hill then after at Whitstable Harbour

Dead Horse Morris

Highworth Jack-in-the-Green (Saturday 2nd May)

The Highworth, Wiltshire, Jack in the Green will be resurrected once again on Saturday 2nd May 2015. The procession will depart from the rear of the Saracens Head pub around 10:15 going along Brewery Street, London Road, High Street & then Into the Market Square for 11:40 when the maypole dancing will take place. After, the procession will leave the Market Square via Vicarage lane then continue along: Lechlade Road, Turnpike Road, Cherry Orchard Lane, Cherry Orchard, High Street & Brewery Street, finishing back at the Saracens Head for a celebration & some well-earned refreshment. The route & Timings are of course subject to alteration.

Cheltenham Sweeps Jack-in-the-Green (Monday 4th May)

The Cheltenham Sweeps Jack will be at Sudeley Castle Winchcombe for two outings on Monday May 4th at this years Victorian May Day.

Brentham May Day and Jack-in-the-Green (still to be confirmed)

Brentham has a big celebration every May which includes a Jack in the Green described as a walking talking bush who sometimes parades barefoot.

Brentham Jack in the Green

Yaxley (Cambridgeshire) Jack-in-the-Green (Jack will go out again at the Yaxley Festival in 2016 but may make an appearance elsewhere this year)

The Yaxley Jack-in-the-Green started in 2013 and lead the Yaxley May parade. He was accompanied by Sap-Engro and Copperface as well as an attendant wearing the original Ancient Order of the Foresters sash, worn in the village’s parades in the nineteenth and early twentieth century and a host of boggarts – the mischievous imps of Fenland lore. This is now a bi-annual event

Yaxley Jack-in-the-Green

 

City of London Jack-in-the-Green (not confirmed)

The City of London Jack-in-the-Green sometimes appears in the City on May Day (but only when May Day falls on a City working day, when it falls on a weekend he may sometimes be spotted elsewhere) the City Jack did not parade in 2013 but many of his followers joined the Deptford Jack-in-the-Green.

City of London Jack in the Green

Tunbridge Wells Jack-in-the-Green (not confirmed)

The Tunbridge Wells Jack-in-the-Green first went out on 30th April 2010 and was seen out and about beating the bounds in 2011 and 2012.

Tunbridge Wells Jack in the Green

Ilfracombe Jack-in-the-Green (Cancelled for 2015 )

Ilfracombes Jack-in-the-Green Parades on the first May bank holiday. A procession starts at approximately 11am winds its way through the High Street, along the sea front towards the harbour area. The Ilfracombe Jack finishes with the release of the spirit of summer and the distribution  of leaves on Ilfracombe Pier.

Ilfracombe Jack in the Green

Pagan Pride Parade/Beltane Bash (to be confirmed)

The Beltane Bash / Pagan Pride Parade Jack-in-the-Green has not paraded since 2011. The parade is usually led by traditional giants, the Jack-in-the-Green and Bogies. The Pagan Pride Parade will be taking place in August again this year and I would love to hear from any participants or organisers who might know if a Jack-in-the-Green will be participating.

Pagan Pride Parade

Book of the Month – April

Green Man

 

Our book of the month for April is “The Green Man” by Kathleen Basford

It is available via  The Company of the Green Man’s Amazon bookshop by clicking on the picture above or using  THIS LINK

If you buy your green man books via our Amazon links you pay nothing extra but a small referral fee may go towards the Company of the Green Man. This helps us to keep our website and membership free for all our members. In fact anything you purchase from Amazon after going through one of the links may be eligible to earn us a small referral fee so please consider doing so whenever you are planning to shop at Amazon.

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