(Updated 30th April)
Just one day 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. If you go to see an event please do 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Winchcombe Jack-in-the-Green (Sunday 3rd 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 somewhere every year. On some years the Jack is woken at dawn by Happenstance Border Morris. This year the Winchcombe Jack-in-the-Green will appear at the Upton upon Severn Folk Festival on Sunday 3rd May.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 Monday May 4th at this years Victorian May Day.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.