The magical Fowler’s Troop (Deptford) Jack-in-the-Green was spotted today parading in Deptford and Greenwich. My thanks to Bob Barton for allowing me to reproduce this wonderful picture.
In 1983 Mo Johnson built a Jack-in-the-Green in the back garden of the ‘Dog and Bell’ pub . An off shoot of the Covent Garden Jack Mo was inspired by a photograph taken by contemporary historian Thankful Sturdee of the original Fowlers troop with their Jack in the Green c.1900. The revived Jack was paraded with Blackheath Morris (a side morphed from the Blackheath Foot’n’Death Men who used to dance at events featuring bands like Hawkwind and the Pink Fairies).
The current Fowlers Troop Jack goes out on the streets of South East London or the City of London each May Day accompanied by the current Fowler’s Troop a wonderful collection of costumed figures. The Deptford Jack often used to meet up with the now rarely sighted City of London Jack in the Green on May Day. When May Day fell on the Bank Holiday Monday both the Deptford and City of London Jacks often went to Hastings to join with the Hastings Jack in the Green in the celebrations. This last occurred in 2012. The Jack stands at around 11 feet tall when lifted. Graham Newson who took on the mantle as keeper and main carrier of the Jack in the early 90’s customised the interior of the Jack to include storage space for essentials including cigarettes, beer tankard a repair kit, a change of clothes and on occasions a set of morris sticks. After 30 years the original frame for the Deptford Jack in the Green was past its best and so, in 2015, a new metal frame was created specially and paid for from a fund left by Doug Adams who was the lead musician of Fowler’s Troop. The Jack was christened at the start of the 2015 May Day procession. The Jack is usually dressed on April 30th at the Dog & Bell pub.
If you spot a Jack in the Green please do send me in a picture for us to share on our blog and add to our free online Flickr archive where I hope to be able to add a picture of every Traditional Jack in the Green from every year.
It’s been a great year for sightings of The Traditional Jack-in-the-Green across the UK. My thanks to everyone who has confirmed sightings and sent in some fantastic photographs. I’ll be posting plenty more pictures of this years Jacks in the weeks to come both here and on our Flickr Archive. The picture above of the Fowlers Troop/Deptford Jack in the Green was taken by Ross Parish and the picture below of the spectacular Hastings Jack in the Green was taken by Rose Blakeley.
I have now had confirmed sightings of the following 21 Jacks for 2016:
- 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
- Bristol Jack-in-the-Green
- Knutsford Jack-in-the-Green
- Guildford Jack-in-the-Green
- Bovey Tracey/Grimspound Morris Jack-in-the-Green
- Horsley Primary School (Stroud) Jack-in-the-Green
- Hever Castle Jack-in-the-Green
- Kentwell Hall Jack O’Green
- Wythenshawe Hall Jack ‘O’ Green
- Yaxley Jack-in-the-Green
- Brentham May Day Jack-in-the-Green
You can find more detail about each Jack HERE
Whilst this blog remains our main method of communication Twitter has been a great source of information, photographs and videos of this years Jacks. I’ve been favouriting and retweeting over the past week from our Twitter account which you can find HERE
I would love to be able to gather photographs of all of this years Jacks for our free online Flickr archive. Please send any pictures via the ‘Contact Us’ tab at the top of the blog page. All pictures are always copyrighted to the original photographer.
If you haven’t seen a Jack-in-the-Green yet this year there is still at least one more to come. The Carshalton Straw Jack is a celebration of Harvest that takes place in September each year. The straw Jack is ritually stripped in the evening so that all present can take a keepsake and then he is burnt in a brazier. It is hoped that he will be burnt as a complete figure one year. The date for this event is still to be confirmed but you can visit the website here: Carshalton Straw Jack
There is also a possibility that a Jack will take part in the Pagan Pride Parade in central Nottingham on Sunday 7th August Pagan Pride Parade
The Fowlers Troop Jack-in-the-Green will go out today around Greenwich. Please find details of the route below. If you see this years Jack please do take a picture and send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Fowlers Troop Jack-in-the-Green went out in the Borough & City of London on May 1st. The Fowlers Troop and Jack also joined the Hastings Jack-in-the-Green and the City of London Jack-in-the-Green for the Hastings Jack’s 30th Celebrations on May 7th (Lots more pictures to follow soon on our flickr pages http://www.flickr.com/photos/thecompanyofthegreenman/