Jack in the Green 2016 Update
This years Jack-in-the-Green season has got off to a brilliant start. My thanks to Ross Parish for the fantastic picture of the Hammersmith Jack-in-the-Green above, more to come soon.
I have had confirmed sightings of the following Jacks:
- Bluebell Hill/Rochester Sweeps Jack-in-the-Green
- Dead Horse Morris Jack-in-the-Green
- Hammersmith Morris Jack-in-the-Green
- Highworth Jack-in-the-Green
- Oxford Jack-in-the-Green
- Deptford/Fowlers Troop Jack-in-the-Green
- Cheltenham Sweeps Jack-in-the-Green
- Hastings Traditional Jack-in-the-Green
- Whitstable Jack-in-the-Green
- Ilfracombe Jack-in-the-Green
- Winchcombe Jack-in-the-Green
I would love to be able to gather photographs of all of this years Jacks for our online Flickr archive. Please send any pictures via the Contact Us tab above. All pictures are copyrighted to the original photographer.
I’m still awaiting confirmation that the following Jacks have been sighted, please do contact me if you can confirm any of the below:
- Guildford Jack-in-the-Green
- Hever Castle Jack-in-the-Green
- Kentwell Hall Jack-in-the-Green
- Chagford Jack-in-the-Green
- Bovey Tracey Jack-in-the-Green
There are also a few Jacks that put in occasional appearances but have not been seen for a while. These include:
- The City of London Jack-in-the-Green
- The Beltane Bash/Pagan Pride Jack-in-the-Green
I would love to hear if they have been sighted at all.
If you haven’t seen a Jack-in-the-Green yet this year there are still at least four more to come as detailed below:
Bristol Jack in the Green (Saturday 7th 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. A Jack-in-the-Green was recorded on the outskirts of Bristol around 1865 by a lady who remembered seeing him with a sweep and a queen. The revived Bristol Jack in the Green is a descendant of the Hastings Jack.
Knutsford May Day and Jack-in-the-Green (Saturday 7th 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 almost every year since 1889. May Day in Knutsford is celebrated over the May Bank holiday weekend. The person who plays Jack is chosen each year and is now played by a youngster rather than an adult as it used to be.
Yaxley (Cambridgeshire) Jack-in-the-Green (Saturday May 14th)
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.
Brentham May Day and Jack-in-the-Green (Saturday 14th May)
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’s May Day tradition became established in 1919 after the end of the First World War and expanded considerably for 1921 when the first Jack-in-the-Green appeared.