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

Archive for May, 2022

Jack-in-the-Green 2022 – Update!

Bradford on Avon Jack in the Green

I spent a wonderful morning with the Bradford on Avon Jack-in-the-Green and his attendants and even had the honour of helping to dress Jack who was resplendent with ribbons and topped with the Bradford Gudgeon. He was awoken my a number of Morris Teams and then proceeded to parade through the town. Sadly the new knee meant I had to wave him of into the distance so any pictures of the days events would be very gratefully received.

It’s proving to be a great year for the Traditional Jack in the Green and I’m extremely happy to report that the following nineteen Jacks have appeared this year:

The Bluebell Hill (Rochester Sweeps Festival) Jack-in-the-Green
The Fowler’s Troop (Deptford) Jack-in-the-Green
The Oxford Jack in the Green
The Deadhorse Morris Jack-in-the-Green
The Hammersmith Jack-in-the-Green
The Guildford (Pilgrims Morris) Jack-in-the-Green (Guildford Bush)
The Bovey Tracey Jack-in-the-Green
The Highworth Jack-in-the-Green
Evercreech Jack in the Green
Winchcombe Jack-in-the-Green
Boss Morris Jacky-in-the-Green
Stratford upon Avon (Shakespeare’s Morris) Jack-in-the-Green
Whitstable Jack-in-the-Green
The Hastings Traditional Jack in the Green
The Bristol Jack-in-the-Green
The Knutsford Jack-in-the-Green

The Bradford on Avon Jack-in-the-Green
The Yaxley Jack-in-the-Green
The Chagford Jack-in-the-Green


I can also confirm that The Clun Green Man was sighted and defeated the Ice Queen
and The Lions Part Green Man was seen at Hastings
as was The Islington Milk Maid’s Garland

Any more pictures of any of these would be most appreciated.

And still to come on Saturday May 21st

Brentham May Day and Jack-in-the-Green

And finally in September the Carshalton Straw Jack will parade (More details nearer the time)


The Bristol Jack in the Green

I’m delighted to report that the magical Bristol Jack-in-the-Green is back! He is currently dancing through the highways and byways of Bristol spreading joy and Jacks magic in equal measure. I was honoured to welcome him back this morning after he was woken by his attendants in a beautiful ceremony. Sadly my shiny new knee meant that I was unable to follow him all day this year so I waved him off into the distance and headed back with the sound of drums, music, singing and the cry of ‘Bristol Jack in the Green’ echoing off the buildings and harbourside of Bristol. Welcome back Jack!

The Bristol Jack in the Green was revived by Pigsty Morris in 1992 and appears on the first Saturday in May starting from the historic harbourside (outside the M Shed). Jack is “awoken” by his green clad attendants in an evocative ceremony on the harbourside and then leads a magical six hour procession through the streets of Bristol. The Bristol Jack is nine feet tall and is top with a crown of flowers, he can be difficult to control, his attendants often have to keep him from chasing members of the public.

The Bristol Jack in the Green’s route varies slightly each year but he normally passes through St Nicholas Market where he dances before pausing for a well earned pint at The Crown. The day always ends on Horfield Common where large crowds gather to witness the slaying of Jack  to release the spirit of summer. Jacks leaves are then distributed to the watching crowd. In 1861, the Western Daily Press reported that: “Throughout the city and Clifton there was the usual visitation of Royalty – perhaps a more plentiful crop of Kings and Queens than in former years – and Jack in the Green, with a band of music and a cohort of gaily dressed fraternal spirits, paraded the thoroughfares and drew much attention.” A Jack-in-the-Green was also recorded in Bristol around 1865 by a lady who remembered seeing him with a sweep and a queen on the outskirts.


Jack-in-the-Green 2022 – Jack’s Alive update!

It’s proving to be a great year already for the Traditional Jack in the Green and I’m extremely happy to report that the following fourteen Jacks have already had confirmed sightings:

The Bluebell Hill (Rochester Sweeps Festival) Jack-in-the-Green
The Fowler’s Troop (Deptford) Jack-in-the-Green
The Oxford Jack in the Green
The Deadhorse Morris Jack-in-the-Green
The Hammersmith Jack-in-the-Green
The Guildford (Pilgrims Morris) Jack-in-the-Green (Guildford Bush)
The Bovey Tracey Jack-in-the-Green
The Highworth Jack-in-the-Green
Evercreech Jack in the Green
Winchcombe Jack-in-the-Green
Boss Morris Jacky-in-the-Green
Stratford upon Avon (Shakespeare’s Morris) Jack-in-the-Green
Whitstable Jack-in-the-Green
The Hastings Traditional Jack in the Green

I can also confirm that The Clun Green Man was sighted and defeated the Ice Queen
and The Lions Part Green Man was seen at Hastings
as was The Islington Milk Maid’s Garland

Any more pictures of any of these would be most appreciated.

I’m still waiting for confirmation that the following have been spotted and would love any pictures for our archive:

Ilfracombe Jack-in-the-Green (Can anybody confirm if this went ahead this year at all please?)
Oak House Museum Jack-in-the-Green

And next Saturday the 7th:

Bristol Jack-in-the-Green
Knutsford Jack-in-the-Green

Saturday May 14th

Bradford on Avon Jack-in-the-Green
Yaxley Jack-in-the-Green

Saturday May 21st

Brentham May Day and Jack-in-the-Green


Jacks Alive!

Sightings of the Traditional Jack in the Green are coming in fast – I’ll post details and pictures here today but for the most up to date sightings please follow our Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/companygreenman


Merry May Day 2022!

It is 05:32 and the sun has just risen
Jack-in-the-Green is waking up.

A Merry May Day to you all
From the Company of the Green Man.

A Riddle – Phil Lister

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

Green Man – William Anderson

Like antlers, like veins of the brain, the birches
Mark patterns of mind on the red winter sky;
‘I am thought of all plants’, says the Green Man,
‘I am thought of all plants’, says he.

The hungry birds harry the last berries of rowan
But white is her bark in the darkness of rain;
‘I rise with the sap’, says the Green Man,
‘I rise with the sap’, says he.

The ashes are clashing their bows like sword-dancers
Their black buds are tracing wild faces in the clouds;
‘I come with the wind’, says the Green Man.
‘I come with the wind’, says he.

The alders are rattling as though ready for battle
Guarding the grove where she waits for her lover;
‘I burn with desire’, says the Green Man,
‘I burn with desire’, says he.

In and out of the yellowing wands of the willow
The pollen-bright bees are plundering the catkins;
‘I am honey of love’, says the Green Man,
‘I am honey of love’, says he.

The hedges of quick are thick with May blossom
As the dancers advance on the leaf-covered King;
‘It’s off with my head’, says the Green Man,
‘It’s off with my head’, says he.

Green Man becomes grown man in flames of the oak
As its crown forms its mask and its leafage his features;
‘I speak through the oak’, says the Green Man,
‘I speak through the oak’, says he.

The holly is flowering as hay fields are rolling
Their gleaming long grasses like waves of the sea;
‘I shine with the sun’, says the Green Man,
‘I shine with the sun’, says he.

The hazels are rocking the cups of their nuts
As the harvesters shout when the last sheaf is cut;
‘I swim with the salmon’, says the Green Man,
‘I swim with the salmon’, says he.

The globes of the grapes are robing with bloom
Like the hazes of autumn, like the Milky Way’s stardust;
‘I am crushed for your drink’, says the Green Man,
‘I am crushed for your drink’, says he.

The aspen drops silver of leaves on earth’s salver
And the poplars shed gold on the young ivy flower heads;
‘I have paid for your pleasure’, says the Green Man,
‘I have paid for your pleasure’, says he.

The reedbeds are flanking in silence the islands
Where meditates Wisdom as she waits and waits;
‘I have kept her secret’, says the Green Man,
‘I have kept her secret’, says he.

The bark of the elder makes whistles for children
To call to the deer as they rove over the snow;
‘I am born in the dark’, says the Green Man,
‘I am born in the dark’, says he.