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

Author Archive

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.


Annual Events 2022 Update 30/04/22

It’s nearly here and I am very pleased to say that the list of confirmed events that feature The Traditional Jack-in-the-Green or The Green Man throughout the UK is looking extremely full!

The list is HERE and I will be updating it regularly. You will find links to each events own websites or Facebook pages on our annual events page so that you can check details on times and locations.

Confirmed events so far are:

April 29th -May 1st
Hastings Traditional Jack in the Green – Friday 29th April – Monday 2nd May
Highworth May Market and Jack in the Green – Saturday 30th April
Guildford Summerpole and Jack in the Green – Saturday 30th April
Bovey Tracey Green Man Festival and Jack in the Green Saturday 30th April
Ilfracombe Jack in the Green – Sunday May 1st
Hammersmith Jack in the Green – Sunday 1st May
Bluebell Hill (Rochester Sweeps) Jack in the Green – Sunday 1st May (and at the sweeps festival)
Fowler’s Troop (Deptford) Jack in the Green – Sunday 1st May
Oxford Jack in the Green – Sunday 1st May
Boss Morris Morris Jacky-in-the-Green – Sunday 1st May (will be seeing dawn in at Butser Ancient Farm)
Winchcombe Jack in the Green – Sunday 1st May
Evercreech Jack in the Green – Sunday 1st May
Oak House Museum Green Man Day – Sunday 1st May
Stratford-upon-Avon (Shakespeare Morris) Jack in the Green – Sunday 1st May

May 2nd Monday
Whitstable Jack in the Green – Monday 2nd May
Clun Green Man Festival – Monday 2nd May

May 7th Saturday
Bristol Jack in the Green – Saturday 7th May
Knutsford May Day – Saturday 7th May

May 14th Saturday
Bradford on Avon Jack in the Green – The Green Man festival is now back on! – Saturday 14th May

Yaxley Jack-in-the-Green – Saturday 14th May

May 30th Monday
Castleton Garland Day – Monday 30th May

July
Pilton Green Man Festival – Saturday 16th July



The Islington Milk Maid’s Garland will not be out on May Day this year but will be attending Hastings JITG

Please do get in touch if you are an organiser or follower of a particular event and can confirm that it is going ahead and I will ensure that I promote your event within these pages.

A brand new knee limits my travel plans this year so please, please do send me photographs of as many Jacks as possible.

If you are new to these pages and are wondering just what on earth a Jack in the Green is then your whistle stop tour of the history of the Traditional Jack in the Green can be found right HERE.
And everything that you need to know about the modern revived Jacks can be found HERE


Help out a Green Man

Can anyone with Hastings knowledge help out David please? He’s the Lions Part Green Man – a true Green Man and friend of The Company of the Green Man. I’ll pass on any messages that come via this blog.

‘Please can anyone help us out, I am coming to Hastings for the JITG festival, with a couple of mummer’s to help. I could do with somewhere near the old town to park a small van and get changed into costume. We have left it to late to book accommodation so will be coming down in the morning, arrive, get into costume and get to the meeting point for 9am. If any one can offer 3 beds for the Sunday we could come down then. It’s a big ask I know’

David Risley


Annual Events 2022 Update 23/04/22

I am very pleased to say that the list of confirmed events that feature The Traditional Jack-in-the-Green or The Green Man throughout the UK this late April and all of May is looking extremely full!

The list is HERE and I will be updating it regularly. You will find links to each events own websites or Facebook pages on our annual events page so that you can check details on times and locations.

Confirmed events so far are:

April 29th -May 1st
Hastings Traditional Jack in the Green – Friday 29th April – Monday 2nd May
Highworth May Market and Jack in the Green – Saturday 30th April
Guildford Summerpole and Jack in the Green – Saturday 30th April
Bovey Tracey Green Man Festival and Jack in the Green Saturday 30th April
Ilfracombe Jack in the Green – Sunday May 1st
Hammersmith Jack in the Green – Sunday 1st May
Bluebell Hill (Rochester Sweeps) Jack in the Green – Sunday 1st May (and at the sweeps festival)
Fowler’s Troop (Deptford) Jack in the Green – Sunday 1st May
Oxford Jack in the Green – Sunday 1st May
Winchcombe Jack in the Green – Sunday 1st May
Evercreech Jack in the Green – Sunday 1st May
Oak House Museum Green Man Day – Sunday 1st May

May 2nd Monday
Whitstable Jack in the Green – Monday 2nd May
Clun Green Man Festival – Monday 2nd May

May 7th Saturday
Bristol Jack in the Green – Saturday 7th May
Knutsford May Day – Saturday 7th May

May 14th Saturday
Bradford on Avon Jack in the Green – Green Man festival cancelled but Jack will be out – Saturday 14th May

Yaxley Jack-in-the-Green – Saturday 14th May

May 30th Monday
Castleton Garland Day – Monday 30th May

July
Pilton Green Man Festival – Saturday 16th July



The Islington Milk Maid’s Garland will not be out on May Day this year but will be attending Hastings JITG

Please do get in touch if you are an organiser or follower of a particular event and can confirm that it is going ahead and I will ensure that I promote your event within these pages.

A brand new knee limits my travel plans this year so please, please do send me photographs of as many Jacks as possible.

If you are new to these pages and are wondering just what on earth a Jack in the Green is then your whistle stop tour of the history of the Traditional Jack in the Green can be found right HERE.
And everything that you need to know about the modern revived Jacks can be found HERE


Annual Events 2022 Update – Jack’s Back!

The list of confirmed events that feature The Traditional Jack-in-the-Green or The Green Man throughout the UK this late April and all of May and beyond is growing day by day!

The list is HERE and I will be updating it regularly. Confirmations of events are beginning to come in thick and fast and it looks like things will get back to something like normal after the events of the last two years. You will find links to each events own websites or Facebook pages on our annual events page so that you can check details on times and locations.

Confirmed events so far are:

Hastings Traditional Jack in the Green – Friday 29th April – Monday 2nd May
Bluebell Hill (Rochester Sweeps) Jack in the Green – Sunday 1st May (and at the sweeps festival)
Fowler’s Troop (Deptford) Jack in the Green – Sunday 1st May
Oxford Jack in the Green – Sunday 1st May
Bristol Jack in the Green – Saturday 7th May
Winchcombe Jack in the Green – Sunday 1st May
Knutsford May Day – Saturday 7th May
Evercreech Jack in the Green – Sunday 1st May

Highworth May Market and Jack in the Green – Saturday 30th April
Whitstable Jack in the Green – Monday 2nd May

Ilfracombe Jack in the Green – Sunday May 1st
Clun Green Man Festival – Monday 2nd May
Bradford on Avon Jack in the Green – Green Man festival cancelled but Jack will be out – Saturday 14th May

Guildford Summerpole and Jack in the Green – Saturday 30th April
Yaxley Jack-in-the-Green – Saturday 14th May
Castleton Garland Day – Monday 30th May
Pilton Green Man Festival – Saturday 16th July

Oak House Museum Green Man Day – Sunday 1st May
Bovey Tracey Green Man Festival and Jack in the Green Saturday 30th April
Hammersmith Jack in the Green – Sunday 1st May (Technically still TBC but pretty likely unless Daleks invade or Ragnarok occurs) 
The Islington Milk Maid’s Garland will not be out on May Day this year but will be attending Hastings JITG

Please do get in touch if you are an organiser or follower of a particular event and can confirm that it is going ahead and I will ensure that I promote your event within these pages.

A brand new knee limits my travel plans this year so please, please do send me photographs of as many Jacks as possible.

If you are new to these pages and are wondering just what on earth a Jack in the Green is then your whistle stop tour of the history of the Traditional Jack in the Green can be found right HERE.
And everything that you need to know about the modern revived Jacks can be found HERE


Annual Events 2022 – Jack’s Back!

The Hammersmith Jack-in-the-Green 2019

It’s finally that time of the year when I begin the task of updating the list of annual events that feature The Traditional Jack-in-the-Green or The Green Man throughout the UK.

The list is HERE and I will be updating it regularly. Confirmations of events are beginning to come in thick and fast and I really hope that things will get back to something like normal after the events of the last two years. You will find links to each events own websites or Facebook pages on our annual events page so that you can check details on times and locations.

Confirmed events so far are:

Hastings Traditional Jack in the Green – Friday 29th April – Monday 2nd May
Fowler’s Troop (Deptford) Jack in the Green – Sunday 1st May
Bristol Jack in the Green – Saturday 7th May
Winchcombe Jack in the Green – Sunday 1st May
Knutsford May Day – Saturday 7th May
Evercreech Jack in the Green – Sunday 1st May
Whitstable Jack in the Green – Monday 2nd May
Clun Green Man Festival – Monday 2nd May
Bradford on Avon Green Man Festival – Saturday 14th May

Yaxley Jack-in-the-Green – Saturday 14th May
Castleton Garland Day – Monday 30th May
Pilton Green Man Festival – Saturday 16th July

Oak House Museum Green Man Day – Sunday 1st May

Please do get in touch if you are an organiser or follower of a particular event and can confirm that it is going ahead and I will ensure that I promote your event within these pages.

If you are new to these pages and are wondering just what on earth a Jack in the Green is then your whistle stop tour of the history of the Traditional Jack in the Green can be found right HERE.
And everything that you need to know about the modern revived Jacks can be found HERE


The Moss Maidens awake

These wonderful Moss Maidens have been made by the very talented Mistress Hulda Crowsigh of The Hookland Doll Emporium. The perfect Beltane gift. They are available to purchase from www.feralfibres.co.uk
as are the wonderful tatters and felt Jack-in-the-Green pictured below. Wonderful gifts for the May Queen or King in your life.


Happy New Year

Carshalton Straw Jack September 2021 Copyright Charlie Waters

I would like to wish all members and followers of The Company of the Green Man a Happy New Year and all the very best for 2022.

I would also like to thank everyone for their continued support and best wishes whilst The Company of the Green Man continues in a temporary semi-dormant state whilst I concentrate on starting my own business and becoming one of the great self-employed. I was made redundant just prior to the start of the pandemic at the end of 2019. not a great time to start your own business but things are going well and I love what I do.

Whilst I don’t have the time to update the gazetteer, Flickr archive or produce the e-newsletters I am still trying my best to keep my finger on the pulse of the Green Man and the Traditional Jack-in-the-Green and hope to be attending as many events as possible (fingers crossed) this year. I will also do my best to keep this blog as fresh as possible and try to provide the most up-to date information on this years events as well as Green Man sightings. I have updated our events page ready to start providing dates for this years events HERE

My thanks to Charlie Waters for posting the above picture of the 2021 Carshalton Straw Jack and allowing it to be shared, what a great record of the event.

Whilst it was another very unusual year there were still a wonderful number of Jacks sighted during 2021, they were:

  • The Hammersmith Jack-in-the-Green
  • The Hastings Traditional Jack-in-the-Green
  • The Boss Morris Jacky-in-the-Green
  • The Whitstable Jack-in-the-Green
  • The Bradford on Avon Jack-in-the-Green
  • The Winchcombe Jack-in-the-Green
  • The Carshalton Straw Jack (September)

The Oxford Jack was reproduced in collage form again last year.
The Evercreech Jacks head was decorated by the local community and displayed for all to see.
The Lions Part sadly had to cancel their 2021 October Plenty and 2022 Twelfth Night Celebrations but as always provided some wonderful online content.

There were also many mini Jacks who appeared last year including ones from

  • The Deptford Fowler’s Troop Jack-in-the-Green
  • The Dead Horse Morris Jack-in-the-Green
  • Lots of Hastings based Mini – Jacks

As always if you spot any that I have missed or have any pictures of last years Jacks please do send them in.

Hopefully this year will see many more Jacks come back to life and I very much hope to attend some much missed annual events and meet up with some old friends again.

All the very best

Chris Walton


Foliate Faces

Artist Lois Cordelia created this wonderful film on Foliate Faces.

You can find out more about Lois amazing art using the links below:

Website: http://www.loiscordelia.com

Twitter: @LoisCordelia twitter.com/LoisCordelia

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LoisCordeliaArtist/

Instagram: @loiscordelia https://www.instagram.com/loiscordelia/

Linked-In: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/loïs-cordelia-894181b4

You-tube: https://www.youtube.com/c/LoisCordelia


Boss Morris Jacky in the Green 2021

A few more pictures of the Boss Morris Jacky in the Green from Mayday this year. It does currently seem that this years Jacks did their job and helped bring in the Summer!

Boss Morris took Jacky up onto Rodborough Common & danced around her at dawn as part of Martin Green’s May Day Dawn Dance which was featured on Radio 4.

They then took Jacky down to Stroud Canal & did a small dance & Covid compliant procession.

The Boss Morris Jacky in the Green greets the dawn on top of Painswick Beacon each Mayday accompanied by Morris Dancers. Boss Morris Jack in the Green is actually a Jacky in the Green. She was created in April 2017 and first appeared on Painswick Beacon at dawn on May Dawn 2017 at an annual hop hosted by Gloucestershire Morris Men with Boss Morris, Stroud Ladies Morris & Miserden Morris attending. She is entirely formed from recycled materials. The Boss Morris Jacky is not slain at the end of the day but instead the Spirit of Summer in the form of petals can be seen emanating from her. Jacky lives at an eco-housing community while she is sleeping throughout the rest of the year.

http://www.bossmorris.com

Pictures copyright Arron Attwood and Lynn Rogers reproduced with permission and many thanks


BOA Jack-in-the-Green

I am extremely pleased to announce that the Bradford-on-Avon Jack-in-the-Green was spotted today and I know this to be true because I ventured out and saw it for myself. “Jack in the Green’s Tour of Bradford on Avon” started from The Lock Inn at 11am this morning and took in the town centre, the Tithe Barn and of course as tradition dictates…a number of Public Houses where liquid refreshments were had and Jack and his covid compliant entourage was able to get out of the hot sun for a bit.

Jack was joined by his Ganderflankers’ musicians and two wonderful beasts. My thanks to everyone for allowing me to get some wonderful pictures.


The Hammersmith Jack in the Green 2021

The Hammersmith Jack in the Green put in a wonderful solo appearance this year. I am extremely grateful to his guardians The World Famous Hammersmith Morris Men for keeping me informed or Jacks perambulations and allowing me to reproduce these wonderful pictures of him here.

The History of The Hammersmith Jack in the Green

In 2009 Members of Hammersmith Morris created the Hammersmith Jack. This Jack is unique amongst the modern revivals in that it is largely covered with artificial foliage and is therefore relatively lightweight and portable. Each leaf is made from a variety of materials, all of it re-used and recycled. The leaves were created by many different people including local schools and community organisations that Jack has visited as part of its May Day perambulations over the years. As well as leaves made of paper, fabric and plastic, the Jack has other items attached that have some significance to either Hammersmith, the team, or the person who attached it. These can be almost anything, as long as they are small and easily attached to the bamboo and net frame and include jig competition medals, badges, train tickets, melodeon bellows and an iPod! A crown of fresh flowers and foliage is used to top the Jack each year on May 1st.

The Jack is paraded through Hammersmith on May 1st, regardless of which day of the week this falls, and wherever else the Jack visits on this day. This included 2016 when The Hammersmith Jack travelled west by train to appear at dawn in Sherborne, Dorset on May 1st. Jack was back home parading through Hammersmith by lunchtime. When May 1st is a normal weekday then Jack and the team will visit schools and care homes in the local area, as well as local pubs. The Hammersmith Jack in the Green is very much a free spirited urban Jack, having no attendants other than the Morris Dancers and musicians and mostly being left to his own devices. As such the Jack can at times be spotted parading the streets of Hammersmith completely on its own, creating a special kind of gentle mayhem unique to The Hammersmith Jack.

People have reported an earlier incarnation of a Hammersmith Jack but this is uncorroborated by current team members. On May Day in 1984 the Earls of Essex Morris, with Mick Skrzypiec in their Jack, met at dawn on Wanstead Flats to see the sun rise.  After breakfast they travelled by commuter train into Liverpool Street and started the first City of London Jack-in-the-Green procession. They were joined at the Magog’s pub in Milk Street by the Deptford (Fowler’s Troop) Jack and one other Jack which a member of Fowler’s Troop recalls as being carried by Mike Mullen. Mike danced with Hammersmith Morris but this Jack appears to have been an individual effort by him rather than the work of the team.

The World Famous Hammersmith Morris Men or Smiffs were formed in 1959. Kitted out in blue and gold they continue to entertain audiences around the country with their lively and engaging style.


Jacks Alive!

It was a wonderful virtual May weekend and as far as I can tell five of the main Jack-in-the-Greens put in appearances this weekend.


The Jacks sighted so far this year are:

  • The Hammersmith Jack-in-the-Green
  • The Hastings Traditional Jack-in-the-Green
  • The Boss Morris Jacky-in-the-Green
  • The Whitstable Jack-in-the-Green
  • The Winchcombe Jack-in-the-Green

The Oxford Jack was reproduced in collage form again this year.
The Evercreech Jacks head was decorated by the local community and displayed for all to see.

There were also many mini Jacks who appeared this year including ones from

  • The Deptford Fowler’s Troop Jack-in-the-Green
  • The Dead Horse Morris Jack-in-the-Green

I will post more details about each of the Jacks and as always would be very grateful for any pictures to add to our annual archive of Jacks. I would also really appreciate pictures of your mini-Jacks from around the world to add to the archive this year.


Merry May Day!

It is 05:32 on Saturday 1st May 2021 and the Sun has just risen.

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.

Whilst the majority of this years events have been cancelled there are still a few taking place, mostly online. I have included details and links below. Please support these events and help to keep this magical tradition alive. If you know of an event that I have missed please do get in touch.

The Hastings Traditional Jack-in-the-Green – Friday 30th April – Monday 3rd May 2021

The Hastings Jack in the Green will appear in 2021 as part of an incredible three day online event spanning Friday 30th April – Monday 3rd May – I highly recommend this, last years event was wonderful and gave a great insight into the Jack and his followers as well as all the hard work that goes into the events in Hastings each year. You can join in via the Hastings Traditional Jack in the Green Facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/HastingsTraditonalJackintheGreen/

Whitstable Jack-in-the-Green
Will be streaming some Jack in the Green goodness on May Monday at around 1pm on their Facebook page. Details are top secret but the Jack tradition will be maintained for another virtual year!)

https://www.facebook.com/Whitstable-Jack-in-the-Green-100375881612669/

Evercreech Jack-in-theGreen

A Mayday workshop is being run on 1st May to create flower crowns and Jacks head will be dressed.

https://www.facebook.com/evercreechjackinthegreen/

Bradford on Avon Jack-in-the-Green

May still put in a low key appearance on Sunday 30th May

http://boagreenmanfest.org/welcome/


2021 Jack-in-the-Green Events Update

Whilst the majority of events have been cancelled there are still a few taking place, mostly online. I have included details and links below. Please support these events and help to keep this magical tradition alive. If you know of an event that I have missed please do get in touch. And if you would like to celebrate at home with your very own Jack-in-the-Green these wonderful mini Jacks are available from www.feralfibres.co.uk

The Hastings Traditional Jack-in-the-GreenFriday 30th April – Monday 3rd May 2021

The Hastings Jack in the Green will appear in 2021 as part of an incredible three day online event spanning Friday 30th April – Monday 3rd May – I highly recommend this, last years event was wonderful and gave a great insight into the Jack and his followers as well as all the hard work that goes into the events in Hastings each year. You can join in via the Hastings Traditional Jack in the Green Facebook page here:

https://www.facebook.com/HastingsTraditonalJackintheGreen/

Whitstable Jack-in-the-Green
Will be streaming some Jack in the Green goodness on May Monday at around 1pm on their Facebook page. Details are top secret but the Jack tradition will be maintained for another virtual year!)

https://www.facebook.com/Whitstable-Jack-in-the-Green-100375881612669/

Evercreech Jack-in-theGreen

A Mayday workshop is being run on 1st May to create flower crowns and Jacks head will be dressed.

https://www.facebook.com/evercreechjackinthegreen/

Bradford on Avon Jack-in-the-Green

May still put in a low key appearance on Sunday May 30th

http://boagreenmanfest.org/welcome/


The History of The Jack-in-the-Green

It’s that time of the year when I get asked “What on earth is a Jack-in-the-Green?”

You can read about the complicated history of the Traditional Jack-in-the-Green HERE

And you can read all about the modern revivals and the wonderful current Jacks HERE

You can also find out about any of this years events featuring a Jack HERE

My articles and the events page are always a work in progress and I am more than happy to amend or update them as and when new information comes to light. You can get in touch using the contact tab above.


Annual Events Update 2021

The Boss Morris Jackie-in-the-Green

I have just updated the list of annual events HERE and I will continue to update it regularly. Many events have now been confirmed as cancelled for another year and others are still TBC. Hopefully a small number of Jacks will still appear in one form or another as they did last year and details will be released over the coming weeks..

Already confirmed as an online events is:

The Hastings Traditional Jack-in-the-Green

The Hastings Jack in the Green will appear in 2021 as part of an incredible three day online event spanning Friday 30th April – Monday 3rd May – I highly recommend this, last years event was wonderful and gave a great insight into the Jack and his followers as well as all the hard work that goes into the events in Hastings each year.

Please do get in touch if you are an organiser or follower of a Jack and I will ensure that I promote your event within these pages.

If you are new to these pages and are wondering just what on earth a Jack in the Green is then your whistle stop tour of the history of the Traditional Jack in the Green can be found right HERE.


Annual Events 2021

The Hammersmith Jack-in-the-Green 2019

Normally this would be the time of the year when I start getting excited and would begin the task of updating the list of annual events for 2021 that feature The Traditional Jack-in-the-Green or The Green Man throughout the UK. Well the list is still HERE and I will be updating it regularly, but I think that it’s going to be another complicated year. Because planning is nigh on impossible for the big events I suspect that Virtual events are likely to be the way forward again this year for them. But there is still a chance that some of the Jacks will still be able to go out even if on their own or with very small groups (depending on restrictions in place in May.) Watch these pages for news and hopefully some pictures of the 2021 Jacks.

Many of last years events were moved online or took place in a much smaller capacity and a quick browse down this blog will give you links and pictures to those.

Please do get in touch if you are an organiser or follower of a particular event and I will ensure that I promote your event within these pages.

If you are new to these pages and are wondering just what on earth a Jack in the Green is then your whistle stop tour of the history of the Traditional Jack in the Green can be found right HERE.


The Ruth Wylie Collection

Many of our members will know Ruth Wylie as the extremely talented photographer behind the wonderful images in Mercia MacDermott’s book “Explore Green Men” Others may know that Ruth has built an incredible gazetteer of green men over more than thirty years and that much of it was published in “The Green Man, a Field Guide”, by Clive Hicks.

After much planning, on a slightly soggy day back in October I had the absolute pleasure of meeting with Ruth Wylie and her husband Jim to talk green men and to collect Ruth’s incredible collection of green man photographs, documents and correspondence. Ruth has been building the collection since the 1980’s when she stumbled across Kathleen Basford’s book “The Green Man” In Ruth’s own words:

“On cycling tours, it was fun to visit churches, photograph carving, whatever caught the eye! Then, during the 1980s, alerted to Kathleen Basford’s book The Green Man, I became aware of his commanding presence. Henceforward, my attention was concentrated!

Five large, fat albums later, the hunt continues! Home processing of b&w photographs allowed for greater control, but was too time-consuming, so was reluctantly abandoned for colour. Thanks to personal exploration and generous contributions from friends and numerous publications, I have compiled a register of sightings worldwide, regularly updated.”

Ruth contacted me back in June 2020 to ask if I would be willing to provide a safe home for her wonderful collection for the foreseeable future. I was of course honoured and am now custodian of the incredible archive that you can see pictured at the top of this post.

Redundancy after over thirty years in the same industry sees me starting my own business at the moment and so unfortunately I cannot yet spend the time that I would like to digitise and catalogue Ruth’s collection. But when time and finances allow I will do so and will ensure that it is made accessible to all.

I could not of course resist delving into Ruth’s wonderful archive and was delighted at the wonders I have spotted so far, including some fascinating correspondence between Ruth and her friend the late Kathleen Basford.

If there is anyone out there who knows of any funding currently available or would be willing to contribute financially themselves to allow me to tackle this wonderful project on a part time or full time basis please do get in touch.

I have created a section on this website for Ruth’s collection and will do my best to begin sharing it with our followers soon.

And I would like to express my thanks to Ruth for entrusting me with her collection. Please rest assured that it is in very safe hands.


October Plenty 2020

The October Plenty happened! It took place online on Sunday October 25th 2020. It was proceeded by a week of wonderful events.

Videos of The Green Man in his Autumn guise and friends are available on The Lions Parts YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaOeeeEsDcPrKo2i_0Nvipw

And you can find more about October Plenty here:

http://www.thelionspart.co.uk/octoberplenty/index.html

Hopefully The Lions Part Twelfth Night Celebrations will still go ahead in some form in January 2021 (They have a cunning plan) I will keep you posted here on this blog.