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2015 Jack-in-the-Green Update

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(Updated 27th April)
Just 4 days 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. Please 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 (Friday 1st 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 every year. His is awoken at Dawn on May 1st

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 Saturday May 2nd this year

 

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.

Jack-in-the-Green 2015

Winchcombe 2013 55

For regularly updated information on this years Jack-in-the-Green events please go to the home page.

Not long to go before the traditional Jack-in-the-Green awakes. Below are the most up to date details of this years events. Sadly a few Jacks won’t be going out this year but there will still be plenty of wonderful events taking place. Don’t miss out on this wonderful and magical annual tradition, go out and support your nearest Jack and please send us in your pictures and experiences of the event to share with others. If you know of any events I have missed please do get in touch.

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 (Friday 1st 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 every year. His is awoken at Dawn on May 1st

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

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) and leads a magical procession through the streets of Bristol eventually ending the day on Horfield Common 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 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

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

Brentham May Day and Jack-in-the-Green (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 in 2016)

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

Highworth Jack-in-the-Green (to be confirmed)

Highworth (Wiltshire) has a Jack in the Green that parades through the town in early May each year as part of their Medieval Market.

Tunbridge Wells Jack-in-the-Green (to be 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

Historical Jack-in-the-Green – April

jack green

Each month I publish a  newspaper article that featured the traditional Jack-in-the-Green along with a picture or photograph from the archive. Each of these articles is a fascinating window into a bygone era. For more information about the Jack in the Green both current and historical visit our main website at: www.thecompanyofthegreenman.co.uk

1st May 1855: MAY DAY

The old English spectacle of “Jack o’ the Green,” with his attendant swarthy and sooty satellites, was pirouetting gaily through the city streets to-day in celebration of the 1st of May, with an eye to erratic tributes from those stopping to observe the somewhat indescribable dance. The “most respectable master sweep in the colony,” yclept Gordon, astonished the native youth by a grand display of glazed pink, yellow, red, and silver ribbons of a retiring colour, with which he and his “mates” were unlimitedly adorned, and merrily did they dance in mysterious steps to the accompaniment of one fife, one fiddle, and one tambourine, a perambulating orchestra, most effective in attracting the attention of passers-by, and shy quadrupeds. The “morrice dancers” we suppose are not out, as we have not heard of them, and so the sweeps win the stakes of the day.

The Courier, 1 May 1855, page 2.

The picture featured this month is by an unknown artist (any information would be appreciated)

Book of the Month – March

The Hidden Green Man in Essex

 

Our book of the month for March is “The Hidden Green Man in Essex! by Susan Hedegus

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.

Historical Jack-in-the-Green – March

Red Set Girls and Jack in the Green by Isaac Mendes Belisarion 1837 8 3

Each month I publish a  newspaper article that featured the traditional Jack-in-the-Green along with a picture or photograph from the archive. Each of these articles is a fascinating window into a bygone era. For more information about the Jack in the Green both current and historical visit our main website at: www.thecompanyofthegreenman.co.uk

1st May 1886: MAY-DAY IN LONDON

May-day was yesterday observed in the metropolis in the usual manner….the day, as usual, was kept as far as possible by the chimney sweeping fraternity as a holiday. At an early hour several of the sweeps resident in Westminster, Chelsea, and other parts of London turned out with their “Jack in the green,” but their shows were nothing to those of previous years, in some cases only being got up by apprentices. The shows were only in a very few instances accompanied by the traditional fairy on stilts, and the “Black Sall” and “Dusty Bob” of bygone days were conspicuous by their absence.

Reynolds’s Newspaper, 2 May 1886, page 1

The picture featured this month is Red Set Girls and Jack in the Green by Isaac Mendes Belisarion (1837 -38)

The Holly Man

Holly Man copyright © Damian Frost

Holly Man copyright © Damian Frost

 

David Risley sent us this picture of his latest manifestation of the Greenman at the Lions part Twelfth Night festival that took place on 4th Jan. For this festival the Holly man, his winter guise, was rowed up the Thames and landed at the Bankside where much Wassailing ensued. The picture is by Damian Frost.

Book of the Month – February

41f1E6vYABL

 

Our book of the month for February is “In Search of the Green Man” by Peter Hill

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.

Historical Jack-in-the-Green – February

Samuel Collings May Day in London1784

Each month I publish a  newspaper article that featured the traditional Jack-in-the-Green along with a picture or photograph from the archive. Each of these articles is a fascinating window into a bygone era. For more information about the Jack in the Green both current and historical visit our main website at: www.thecompanyofthegreenman.co.uk

May 1st 1832: A WET MAY-DAY

The rain of yesterday morning wholly damped the spirit of the May-day. Melancholy and miserable looked “Jack-i’-the-green,” as his laurels dripped over his black forehead ; one of these spectacles in Whitehall was a sad lesson to that sport which so frequently ends in mourning. The chief sweep and his lady, in all their glistening finery (by the way, they understand the jeweller’s rule of contrast admirably, setting “barbaric pearl and gold” in black), slinked along one side of the street in the manner of an ejected dog, beneath (oh, march of intellect!) a silk umbrella ; close behind came a Falstaffian regiment of beardless sweeps, melancholy, miserable, and muddy, vainly striving to look sedate and sober – your wet day is a great gin provoker – and the rear was brought up by “Jack” – at least “the green,” moved along but danced not, neither did it rejoice as of old on May-day ; twirl gave it none, and but that it did move, bore no other sign of tenancy.

The True Sun, 2 May 1832, page 1.

The picture featured this month is May Day in London by Samuel Collings (1784)

Green Man

copyright © Albion James

My thanks to Albion James for sending us this wonderful picture. You can see more of his work here:

http://albionart.wix.com/albionjames

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