All Things Green Man & The Traditional Jack-in-the-Green

Archive for May, 2013

The Company of the Green Man e-newsletter 8 June 2013

e-newsletter 8

The Company of the Green Man’s eighth e-newsletter  has just been published and is available free to all our members via the members area tab at the top right of this page. You should have recieved an e-mail with details of how to access the  e-newsletter. If not please don’t hesitate to contact me at greenman@virgin.net

If you would like to join The Company of the Green Man (it’s completely free) just use the join us tab at the top of this page.


Yaxley Jack-in-the-Green 2013

I’m delighted to confirm that the Yaxley Jack-in-the-Green was spotted at 11am today (Saturday 18th May) parading through the village of Yaxley from Great Drove, along Main Street and up Middletons Road to the recreation ground. Jack 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. Photographs should follow soon.

The Yaxley Jack-in-the-Green is the 14th confirmed Jack-in-the-Green to go out this year. The others are: Winchcombe, Deptford/Greenwich,  Bluebell Hill/Rochester, Lands End, Oxford, Guildford, Bristol, Knutsford, Highworth, Hastings, Whitstable, Ilfracombe and Brentham.

I’m still waiting for confirmation that the Tunbridge Wells, High Wycombe and the City of London Jacks went out this year. I would love to hear from anyone who sighted these Jacks and would be very grateful for any pictures for our archives, please contact me at greenman@virgin.net

I’m also still trying to get hold of photos of the following Jacks: Bluebell Hill/Rochester, Highworth, Ilfracombe and Oxford. If anybody has pictures they could kindly send me or could put me in touch with someone who can I would be very grateful, it would be great to be able to publish pictures of every Jack of 2013.

If anyone knows of any other Jacks I may have missed I would love to hear about them. The Beltane Bash Bash event didn’t take place again this year but the Pagan Pride Parade looks like it will take place in August. I would be grateful if anyone taking part in the parade who is aware of a Jack-in-the-Green participating would get in touch.

More information and links to any available websites for events can be found on our events page at:

www.thecompanyofthegreenman.co.uk


Brentham Jack-in-the-Green 2013

Brentham Jack-in-the-Green 2013  ©  Murray Fortescue

Brentham Jack-in-the-Green 2013 © Murray Fortescue

I’m delighted to report that the very unusual Brentham Jack-in-the-Green went out yesterday (Saturday 11th May) making a total of thirteen confirmed Jacks so far this year. My thanks to Murray Fortescue for allowing us to post his photos. More will be posted on our Flickr archive.


Jack-in-the-Green update

Hastings Jack-in-the-Green 2013  ©  Rose Blakeley

Hastings Jack-in-the-Green 2013 © Rose Blakeley

So far this year I can confirm that twelve Jacks-in-the-Green have been sighted in the UK!

They are: Winchcombe, Deptford/Greenwich,  Bluebell Hill/Rochester, Lands End, Oxford, Guildford, Bristol, Highworth, Hastings, Whitstable, Knutsford and Ilfracombe.

I’m still waiting for confirmation that the Tunbridge Wells, High Wycombe and the City of London Jacks went out this year. The Brentham Jack should be out and about as I write this and I will add confirmation as soon as possible.

I would love to hear from anyone who sighted these Jacks and would be very grateful for any pictures for our archives, please contact me at greenman@virgin.net

There is still one to come:

Saturday 18th May

Yaxley (Cambridgeshire) Jack-in-the-Green

I’m also still trying to get hold of photos of the following Jacks: Bluebell Hill/Rochester, Highworth, Ilfracombe, Oxford. If anybody has pictures they could kindly send me or could put me in touch with someone who can I would be very grateful, it would be great to be able to publish pictures of every Jack of 2013.

If anyone knows of any other Jacks I may have missed I would love to hear about them. The Beltane Bash Bash event didn’t take place again this year but the Pagan Pride Parade looks like it will take place in August. I would be grateful if anyone taking part in the parade who is aware of a Jack-in-the-Green participating would get in touch.

More information and links to any available websites for events can be found on our events page at:

www.thecompanyofthegreenman.co.uk


Highworth Jack-in-the-Green 2013

Highworth Jack-in-the-Green 2013  © Kay Brown

Highworth Jack-in-the-Green 2013 © Kay Brown

I’m pleased to report that the Highworth Jack-in-the-Green was indeed seen out and about on May Day this year at the Highworth annual market, this year with a Roman theme….what did they ever do for us?


Hastings Jack-in-the-Green 2013

Hastings Jack-in-the-Green 2013  ©  Rose Blakeley

Hastings Jack-in-the-Green 2013 © Rose Blakeley

It is with much happiness (because it happened) and sadness (because I couldn’t be there this year) that I announce that the Hastings Traditional Jack-in-the-Green was (fairly) safely released from the Fisherman’s Museum on Rock-a-Nore Road for the 31st year in a row. He was attended as always by his honour guard of Twelve Bogies who I am reliably told this year smelt faintly of a combination of Turkish Delight and Vimto. Jack led the procession and was followed  by Black Sal, Mad Jack’s Morris, The Sweeps, The May Queen, Hannah’s Cat, The Lovely Ladies, The Gay Bogies, The Hastings Giant (and other Giants), Sambalanco and many, many other followers (mostly in green). The procession finished at it’s new location on the West Hill where Jack was slain to release the spirit of summer. My thanks to Rose Blakeley for her wonderful pictures and my JITG gift. Details of Rose’s wonderful book “A Pathway Through The Seasons” which features the Hastings Jack can be found at:  http://www.apathwaythroughtheseasons.co.uk/


Whitstable Jack-in-the-Green 2013

Whitstable Jack-in-the-Green 2013 © Pixyledpublications

Whitstable Jack-in-the-Green 2013 © Pixyledpublications

I’m happy to announce that the Whitstable Jack-in-the-Green was spotted today taking part in the Whitstable May Day celebrations. Jack was accompanied as always by  Oyster Morris and their Green Man dressed in white and green. My thanks to Pixyledpublications for some fantastic photographs and runs a brilliant calendar customs blog at http://www.traditionalcustomsandceremonies.wordpress.com


Ilfracombe Jack-in-the-Green 2013

I am very pleased to be able to report that for the 14th year the Ilfracombe Jack-in-the-Green has been spotted. Jack joined the Town Crier and the May Queen and was attended by his Merry Men.

Jack traveled along the High Street, down Fore Street, along Broad Street and St James’ Place and arrived at the ‘Clapping Circle’ near the Landmark Theatre. Later the ‘Stripping of Jack’ ceremony took place on Wildersmouth beach, symbolising the release of the spirit of summer.

I would be extremely grateful for any photos or accounts of the Ilfracombe Jack-in-the-Green. I can be contacted at: greenman@virgin.net


Knutsford Jack-in-the-Green 2013

Knutsford Jack -in-the-Green 2013 © Andrew Warman

Knutsford Jack -in-the-Green 2013 © Andrew Warman

I’m pleased to announce that the Knutsford Jack-in-the-Green was sighted in Knutsford yesterday (Saturday 4th 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. My thanks to Andrew Warman for sending us pictures of this wonderful Jack.


Jack’s Alive!

Fowlers Troop Jack 2013 copyright © Mark Duncan

Fowlers Troop Jack 2013 copyright © Mark Duncan

As you can see from the posts below Jack-in-the-Green events have been sprouting up all over the country with a fantastic eight Jacks confirmed as sighted already in 2013! These are: Winchcombe, Deptford/Greenwich, Bluebell Hill/Rochester, Lands End, Oxford, Guildford, Knutsford and Bristol.

I’m just waiting for confirmation that the Highworth, Tunbridge Wells, High Wycombe and the City of London Jacks went out. I would love to hear from anyone who sighted these Jacks and would be very grateful for any pictures for our archives, please contact me at greenman@virgin.net

But there are many more to come and I would encourage anyone who hasn’t experienced the magic of Jack-in-the-Green to have a look at the events page on the main website www.thecompanyofthegreenman.co.uk to see if there is going to be a Jack near them this year.

Jacks still to come are:

Monday 6th May

Hastings Jack-in-the-Green
Whitstable Jack-in-the-Green
Ilfracombe Jack-in-the-Green

Saturday 11th May

Brentham May Day Jack-in-the-Green

Saturday 18th May

Yaxley (Cambridgeshire) Jack-in-the-Green

If anyone knows of any other Jacks I may have missed I would love to hear about them. The Beltane Bash Bash event didn’t take place again this year but the Pagan Pride Parade looks like it will take place in August. I would be grateful if anyone taking part in the parade who is aware of a Jack-in-the-Green participating would get in touch.

More information and links to any available websites for events can be found on our events page at:

www.thecompanyofthegreenman.co.uk


Bristol Jack-in-the-Green 2013

Bristol Jack -in-the-Green 2013 © Martyn Gaunt

Bristol Jack -in-the-Green 2013 © Martyn Gaunt

I am very pleased to be able to report that the Bristol Jack-in-the-Green was seen yesterday accompanied by his Bogies leading a magical procession through the streets of Bristol from the Harbourside, via St Nicholas Market out of the city to Horfield common where in the evening he died and released the spirit of Summer. I am indebted to COTGM member Martyn Gaunt for his wonderful pictures of the event which will be uploaded to our Flickr Archive shortly


Guildford Jack-in-the-Green 2013

Guildford Jack -in-the-Green 2013 © Mark & Naomi Iliff

Guildford Jack -in-the-Green 2013 © Mark & Naomi Iliff

The Guildford Jack-in-the-Green (or Guildford Bush) was sighted at the Summerpole festivities in Guildford yesterday (Saturday 4th May) accompanied by Pilgrim Morris and guest Morris sides.

My thanks to Mark and Naomi Iliff for their kind permission to reproduce their photo. More on our Flickr archive shortly http://www.flickr.com/photos/thecompanyofthegreenman


Oxford Jack-in-the-Green 2013

The Oxford Jack was seen near Magdalen Tower just before 6am on Wednesday 1st May. After the choir had sung and the blessing given he lead an informal procession up “The High” to Radcliffe Square. At around 06:25 Jack oversaw “Bonny Green” the first dance of the day performed by The Oxford University Morris Men. I would be extremely grateful if anyone who witnessed this fantastic event and took some pictures of Jack would contact me at greenman@virgin.net


Lands End Jack-in-the-Green 2013

Lands End Jack-in-the-Green 2012  ©  Shane Davies

Lands End Jack-in-the-Green 2012 © Shane Davies

I am extremely happy to announce that The Lands End Jack-in-the-Green greeted the Dawn on May Day accompanied by Boekka Border Morris and Penkevyll, the Lands End Obby Oss at Chapel Carn Brea.  My thanks to Shane Davies for the above picture of the Jack in 2012. Any pictures of this years Jack would be very welcome for our archive.


Bluebell Hill Jack-in-the-Green 2013

I am very pleased to report that the Bluebell Hill (Rochester Sweeps) Jack-in-the-Green was awoken by Motley Morris at dawn on May Morning on Bluebell Hill surrounded by twelve fires (and no rain for a change) Jack will be parading in the sweeps festival on bank holiday Monday. I would be extremely grateful for any photographs (please contact me at greenman@virgin.net)


Fowlers Troop Jack-in-the-Green 2013

Fowlers Troop Jack -in-the-Green 2013 © Mark Duncan

Fowlers Troop Jack -in-the-Green 2013 © Mark Duncan

I am very happy to confirm that the Fowlers Troop (Deptford/Greenwich) Jack-in-the-Green paraded through the streets of Deptford and Greenwich on May Day this year. It was also wonderful to find that many of the the followers of the Hastings Jack including some of the Gay Bogies (did anyone warn London?!) participated in the procession. Jack departed from the Dog and Bell pub in Prince Street at noon and arrived at the Ashburnham Arms just after 4pm after visiting a number of other Public Houses (it’s tradition!) and passing the Royal Naval College through Greenwich Park. Jack also visited the Cutty Sark.

My best to all those who organised and took part. I couldn’t make it this year but I have great memories of following the Fowlers Troop Jack and will definately head over to see their wonderful Jack another year. I am indebted to Mark Duncan for allowing me access to his fantastic photographs of the event, more on our Flickr archive soon.


Winchcombe Jack-in-the-Green 2013

Winchcombe Jack 2013

The Winchcombe (Gloucestershire) Jack in the Green went out at dawn today to greet a glorious May Day sunrise.

The Winchcombe Jack was revived in 2009 as part of “Marking the Year.” A Jack was recorded as visiting a local school by Emma Dent of Sudeley Castle in the 1890’s.

I joined Happenstance Border Morris this morning at the Roel Gate to welcome the Beltane Dawn with song and dance and a fantastic atmosphere. My thanks to all those involved for their wonderful hospitality.

I have posted lots more photos in our Flickr archive at http://www.flickr.com/photos/thecompanyofthegreenman/

04/05/13 A quick update – The Winchcombe Jack will visit the Upton on Severn festival for the Sunday procession as well as the nearby Woodmancote fete on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon.

Winchcombe 2013 55


MERRY MAY DAY ONE AND ALL!!

Hastings Jack

The Coming of Jack 

Oh the time of the yearly gathering is near!
To the Old Town of Hastings the masses they’ll steer,
Colour collaged with leaf and spring flowers will enlace
Robes, gowns and garlands below each painted face;
The gathering they’ll come and for One they’ll await,
They’ll dance, they will sing, for him they’ll elate
As he stirs in the shadows awaiting to be seen
Beckoning the sun behind his bright mask of green. 

By Rose Blakeley