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

Posts tagged “Green

Jack-in-the-Green Events 2014

Bristol Jack-in-the-Green

Bristol Jack-in-the-Green

Regularly updated details of all this years events can be found on the events page HERE

It would be great to get pictures and personal accounts of as many of these events as possible for our archives. All pictures that are used on the blog or added to the Flickr archive are copyrighted to the original photographer and are never reproduced without prior permission. Our aim is to provide a living archive of all the wonderful traditional Jack-in-the-Green events that take place every year.

If you are thinking of going to an event please do drop me a line to let me know and please consider taking an extra picture of Jack for our archives.

And if you know of a Jack-in-the-Green or Green Man event that I have missed or that has just started please do let me know.

You can contact me via the “contact us” tab at the top of this page or via THIS LINK

CURRENT JACKS-IN-THE-GREEN

 Knutsford Jack-in-the-Green (Since 1890)

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 1889. May Day in Knutsford (Cheshire) is celebrated over the May Bank holiday weekend. The main focus is the May Queen. 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.

Brentham Jack-in-the-Green 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.

Oxford Jack-in-the-Green (Revived 1951)

The Oxford Jack-in-the-Green appears in Oxford on May Morning. OUMM (Oxford University Morris Men) introduced Jack-in-the-Green to their May Morning festivities in 1951. At that time they were unaware that a Jack-in-the-Green was a common sight in and around Oxford in the 19th century. 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. Jack then moves through New College Lane and Broad Street, concluding with a massed ‘Bonny Green Garters’ outside St. John’s College in St. Giles around 8.30am. After breakfast the University & City Men usually take Jack to a display for the children of St. Ebbe’s school when May Morning falls on a weekday.

Guildford Jack-in-the-Green (Revived 1976)

Known as The Guildford Bush, this Jack is accompanied by the Pilgrim Morris Men of Guildford. They meet 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. This Jack was revived in 1976 by The Pilgrim Morris and is built from Laurel. For many years the Jack was carried by folklorist George Frampton.

Whitstable Jack-in-the-Green (Revived 1976)

A Jack-in-the-Green was revived for the Whitstable Folk Festival in 1976 and 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. Jack is also accompanied by two attendants dressed as Robin Hood and Maid Marian. Dixie Lee one of the original organisers said in 1992 “ At the time it just seemed like the Jack was looking for a reason to come out again, and I must say that every year when Jack makes his appearance on the street I get such a feeling of power from him that I know it was the right thing to do”

Deptford (Fowlers Troop) Jack-in-the-Green (Revived early 1980’s)

The Fowlers Troop Jack was revived in the early 1980s by members of the Blackheath Morris Men and friends. It is a revival of a Jack in the Green from about 1900 which was paraded by the original Fowlers Troop. The Fowlers Jack goes out on the streets of South East London or the City of London each May Day. The Jack is usually dressed on April 30th.

City of London Jack-in-the-Green (Started 1984)

Rather than a revival, The City of London Jack-in-the-Green is based on descriptions and illustrations from early writings. The City of London Jack was first paraded in 1984. Tradition has it that the City of London Jack only comes out on City working days, on years when this is not the case it is rumoured that the City of London Jack may occasionally be spotted elsewhere. The City Jack did not go out in 2013 but many of his followers joined the Deptford Jack.

Rochester (Blue Bell Hill) Jack-in-the-Green (Revived 1981)

The Rochester Jack was revived in 1981 by Gordon Newton from accounts by Charles Dickens and is still part of the Annual Sweeps Festival. Originally revived by Boughton Monchelsea Morris, custodianship of Jack was passed to Motley Morris in 1984 who now Wake Jack with various other Morris sides at dawn on May Morning (approximately 5:32am) at the Bluebell Hill picnic area surrounded by twelve bonfires. Jack is paraded through the streets of Rochester usually on the bank holiday Monday as part of the Sweeps Festival.

Hastings Traditional Jack-in-the-Green (Revived 1983)

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” every year and is central to the festival. The main procession of the Jack takes place on the bank holiday Monday through the streets of Hastings Old Town starting from the Fishermans Museum. The Jack is accompanied by Mad Jacks Morris, the Green Bogies, dancers, giants, musicians and various others. At the end of the day Jack is slain to release the spirit of summer.

Bristol Jack in the Green (Revived 1992)

A Jack-in-the-Green was recorded in Bristol around 1865 by a lady who remembered seeing him with a sweep and a queen on the outskirts. The revived Bristol Jack in the Green is a descendant of the Hastings Jack and appears on the first Saturday in May starting from the historic Harbourside (outside the M Shed) and leads a magical procession through the streets of Bristol eventually ending the day on Horfield Common where he is slain to release the spirit of summer.

Ilfracombe Jack-in-the-Green (Started 2000)

Ilfracombes Jack-in-the-Green was started in 2000 by Lisa Sture. A procession starts at approximately 11am winds its way through the High Street, along the sea front towards the harbour area where children and Morris Men dance around a Maypole. Another descendant of the Hastings Jack the Ilfracombe Jack event also finishes with the release of the spirit of summer and the distribution of leaves on Ilfracombe Pier.

High Wycombe Jack-in-the-Green (Revived 2005)

The High Wycombe Jack has appeared in one form or another on Holywell Mead between 2005 and 2010 he did not appear in 2011 but in 2012 was sighted on Naphill Common. There were no reported sightings in 2013.

Highworth Jack-in-the-Green (Started 2006)

Highworth in Wiltshire celebrated it’s 800th anniversary with a Jack in the Green on 22nd April 2006 and the Jack is now an annual tradition as part of an annual May Market.

Winchcombe Jack-in-the-Green (Revived 2009)

The Winchcombe (Gloucestershire) Jack was revived on August 31st 2009 as part of “Marking the Year.” A Jack was recorded as visiting a local school by Emma Dent of Sudeley Castle in the 1890’s. The Jack was then resurrected for May Day 2010 and a local May bank holiday village fete and is now awoken every year at dawn on May Day by Happenstance Border Morris and appears at various events in the following days.

Tunbridge Wells Jack-in-the-Green (Started 2010)

The Tunbridge Wells Jack-in-the-Green is a new Jack. He first went out on 30th April 2010 and has was seen out and about beating the bounds in 2011 and 2012 but did not go out in 2013. Jack (wearing a crown of May blossom) leads a procession around the commons of Rusthall and Tunbridge Wells and is then slain to release the spirit of summer. He is accompanied by a number of drums and is flanked by a red flag and a flag of Kent.

Lands End Jack-in-the-Green (Started 2011)

The Lands End Jack-in-the-Green first went out in 2011. He greets the Dawn at Chapel Carn Brea on May Day accompanied by Boekka Border Morris and sometimes by Penkevyll, the Lands End Obby Oss.

Yaxley (Cambridgeshire) Jack-in-the-Green (Started 2013)

The Yaxley Jack-in-the-Green is a brand new Jack. He lead the traditional May parade on May 18th 2013 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.

Beltane Bash/Pagan Pride Jack-in-the-Green

The Beltane Bash Jack-in-the-Green has not paraded since 2010. The parade used to start from the Conway Hall Red Lion Square London WC1 led by traditional giants, the Jack-in-the-Green and Bogies. I would love to hear from anyone participating or organising the current Pagan Pride Events who may know if a Jack will be participating again.

 

 


Jack-in-the-Green Events 2014

Winchcombe 2013 55

The sun is shining in the UK and it would appear that Spring has finally waded through the flood water to put in an appearance!

And so it is time to start looking forward to all the Jack-in-the-Green events that will be taking place this year

Regularly updated details of all this years events can be found on the events page HERE

It would be great to get pictures and personal accounts of as many of these events as possible for our archives. All pictures that are used on the blog or added to the Flickr archive are copyrighted to the original photographer and are never reproduced without prior permission. Our aim is to provide a living archive of all the wonderful traditional Jack-in-the-Green events that take place every year.

If you are thinking of going to an event please do drop me a line to let me know and please consider taking an extra picture of Jack for our archives.

And if you know of a Jack-in-the-Green or Green Man event that I have missed or that has just started please do let me know.

You can contact me via the “contact us” tab at the top of this page or via THIS LINK

The History of the traditional Jack-in-the-Green

The Jack-in-the-Green was (and indeed is) a traditional participant in May celebrations and May Day parades in the UK. A large framework is covered in combinations of foliage and flowers and is often topped with an intricate crown of flowers. The Jack then parades or dances, often accompanied by attendants as well as Morris Dancers, musicians and assorted unusual characters.

The tradition of the Jack-in-the-Green most likely stems from the creation of intricate garlands of flowers during the 17th century which were carried by milkmaids during May Day celebrations. Over time the garlands became more elaborate until milkmaids would sometimes be seen balancing garlands on their heads covered in huge quantities of silver household objects.   As guilds and other trade groups became established they joined in and tried to outdo the other participants in an attempt to receive more coins from the watching crowds. It was probably the Sweeps Guilds intent on earning as many coins as possible, to help them through what was traditionally the quietest part of their year, who first expanded the size of the garland to such an extent that they came up with the idea of the all covering structure, now known as the Jack-in-the-Green. May Day was traditionally a holiday for the Chimney Sweeps and became known as “Chimney Sweeper’s day.” The connection between the Jack-in-the-Green and chimney sweeps continues today. Some organisers and participants still have direct or distant connections with the trade. The character of the sweep is a participant in many of the current Jack-in-the-Green parades or is represented by his accoutrements (the sweep’s brushes) or blackened sooty faces.

Varied musicians became involved as did dancers, mummers, Morris dancers and a host of strange characters including the Lord and Lady, clowns, men dressed as women, blind fiddlers, dragons, the “traditional” fairy on stilts and a number of named characters. These included Black Sal, Dusty Bob, May Day Moll, Grand Serag, Jim Crow, Master Merryman and Maid Marian.

The earliest known record of a Jack-in-the-Green is from The Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser of 2 May 1775. “Jack of the Green had made his garland by five in the morning, and got under his fhady building by seven…” By the early 1800s the Jack-in-the-Green had spread from London following the rapid unregulated growth of the chimney sweep’s profession through the suburbs across the south of England and beyond. Most towns had at least one, and often many sweeps many of whom paraded rival Jacks on May Day.

From the mid1800s May Day celebrations and the Jack-in-the-Green began to die out. Victorian sensibilities clashed with the bawdy working class practices involving the Jack-in-the-Green. Newspaper reports of the events became increasingly negative and disparaging of the general mayhem and at times riotous behaviour that ensued at these events. In 1875 the Chimney Sweepers Act was passed. The practice of sending boys up chimneys was banned and all chimney sweeps had to be registered with the police. The Sweeps May Festivities were changed irrevocably and by 1875 the heyday of the Jack-in-the-Green was over. By the early years of the 20th Century the Jack-in-the-Green had all but died out across the UK. From the mid-1800s a number of Jacks were already tame ’revivals’ or even replacements created by the Victorians to become a part of their own more genteel May celebrations of the English Idyll.

The Jack-in-the-Green also emigrated during the 1800s, in many cases accompanying Sweeps’ families heading out to find work in the colonies. Jacks appeared and, in some cases flourished, as far away as Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania and Jamaica before eventually meeting the same fate as the Jack-in-the-Green in the UK.

The Revival 

The Knutsford Jack is probably the oldest continual annual Jack-in-the-Green. Apart from the war years it has paraded every year since 1890. However the Knutsford Jack was not one of the early Jacks but like many others in the late 19th Century was a Victorian revival having first appeared in May 1864 “based on earlier traditions and festivities.”

Brentham’s May Day tradition became established in 1919, after the end of the First World War, and expanded considerably for 1920 when the first Jack-in-the-Green appeared. The time between the wars up to 1951 seem to be the dark ages with regards to information about Jacks. Apart from Knutsford and Brentham there are illusive reports of a Jack sighted opposite Guy’s Hospital in Borough, London in 1923 and a Sweeps’ Jack in St Ebb’s, Oxford that went out until 1939. A number of other sightings appear to be smaller Jacks created by children, including one at Ely.

The Oxford Jack was revived in 1951 by The Oxford University Morris Men. At the time they were unaware that it was a revival and that a Jack had appeared in Oxford before. Another revival appeared as a one-off in Hollington, near Hastings in the 1950s. This Jack was a small one built for a child as part of the May Day celebrations. 1974 saw the publication of Lionel Bacon’s ‘Handbook of Morris dancing’ which actively encouraged the revival and evolution of Morris traditions. Then in 1976 the Labour Government announced the introduction of a new May bank Holiday to start in 1978. May Day in 1976 was on a Saturday and in 1977, the year of the Jubilee, on a Sunday. All these factors provided the impetus for new Morris sides to form and for existing Morris sides to do something bigger and better than before.

A number of revivals occurred seemingly independently within the space of a few years. In the mid-1970’s, Simon Garbutt built a reconstruction of a traditional Jack for a May Day celebration in Kingston and Surbiton, Surrey. His Jack was based on a photograph of May Day Festivities at Oxford by Sir Benjamin Stone c.1900. In 1976 Pilgrim Morris of Guildford created a contemporary May Day celebration using a number of traditional elements from various sources including a Jack-in-the-Green.

The Whitstable Jack-in-the-Green was revived in 1976 by Dixie Lee and a local folk group for their folk festival. In the late 1970’s Morris dancers from various sides would gather to dance-in the summer on May Day in the Guildhall Yard, Leadenhall Market and various pubs in the City of London during their lunchtime. Dave Lobb and Greenwood Morris used to dance at dawn at Alexandra Palace, then bring their Jack into the City for an evening tour of London Wall and the Smithfield area. Dave Lobb and Mick Skrzypiec of the Earls of Essex Morris Men were discussing old May Day customs over a pint one lunchtime and decided to make it an all-day event and the concept of the City of London Jack-in-the-Green was born. In 1983 Mo Johnson made a Jack-in-the-Green in the back garden of the ‘Dog and Duck’ and 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) revived the Deptford (Fowlers Troop) Jack. Mo was inspired by one of Thankful Sturdee’s photographs c.1900 of the original troop and Jack.

On May Day in 1984 the Earls of Essex Morris, with Mick Skrzypiec in the 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 Blackheath Morris’s Deptford (Fowlers Troop) Jack and a Jack carried by Mike Mullen of Hammersmith Morris. On subsequent occasions they were joined by the Jack from Royal Liberty Morris and members of other Morris teams and the Grand Order of Guisers (GOG) with Alan Pearson carrying the Greenwood Jack.

The Bluebell Hill or Rochester’s Sweeps Jack was revived in 1981 by Gordon Newton as part of the Sweeps Festival. The Hastings Jack was revived by Keith Leech (formally of GOG and the Earls of Essex) in 1983. The Rye Jack-in-the-Green was briefly revived by Daisy Roots Morris dancers from Hastings. John Major’s Conservative Government tried to remove the new Bank Holiday in 1993. A group made up of representatives of all the active Jacks protested at Parliament. The Rochester Jack danced in Downing Street and the Hastings Bogies (Jack’s mischievous attendants) were allowed access to Parliament in full Bogie costume. It was most likely the appearance of the Bogies that caused the government to back down (I like to think so anyway).

In Oakhanger, Hampshire in 1991 a Jack-in-the-Green was an addition to a new local tradition of Bower Decking that was started in 1988 by the local community and morris dancers. Jack led the procession. Bristol (a scion of the Hastings Jack) was revived by Pigsty Morris in 1992. Ilfracombe has had a Jack since 2000 and many other places have since followed suit including High Wycombe, Highworth, Winchcombe, Tunbridge Wells, and Lands End. A Jack has also been known to parade in the Pagan Pride Parade or Beltane Bash. 2013 saw a brand new Jack go out in Yaxley Cambridgeshire. There are also a small number of Jacks who parade privately in the UK each year.

The modern Jacks are often accompanied by musicians and Morris dancers or attendants sometimes known as Bogies dressed in green rags adorned with leaves and flowers and with their faces arms and hands covered in green paint. Some Bogies interact with those watching the proceedings as the Jack is paraded by handing out small gifts to children or by adorning the watchers faces with some of “Jacks magic” which to the uninitiated may look remarkably similar to green face paint! Some Bogies like those at Hastings are particularly fierce and will protect Jack from the unwanted attentions of those who get too close to Jack before he wakes or try to steal leaves from him during the procession. Jack often dances and cavorts along, sometimes chasing those he takes a fancy to or who simply get in his way. He has also been known to have a voice on occasions and has been heard by the author to shout the words “bogey, bogey, bogey” before trying to invite himself into someone’s house.

Many argue that the Jack is in no way connected with the Green Men of Churches, particularly because there is no evidence of any extra attention being paid to the Green Men residing inside and outside places of Christian worship at this time of the year. Others are convinced that the connection is a strong one, and that they are merely different aspects of the ancient spirit of the wildwood, of re-birth and renewal and of the coming of summer.

For further reading I highly recommend two books both of which have been invaluable as source material for this article:

  • The Jack-in-the-Green by Roy Judge: ISBN 0 903515 20 2
  • The Hastings traditional Jack in the Green by Keith Leech: ISBN 078 0 901536 10 5

This article is the basis for a forthcoming book on the history and revival of the traditional Jack-in-the-Green. It is a work in progress and I would be very grateful to hear from anyone with any corrections or further information about historical or modern Jacks.

The continuation of these traditions is extremely important and I encourage everyone to head along to support their nearest Jack. I am in the process of visiting and photographing every Jack in the UK to create an archive of information and images and to provide as much publicity to these events as possible. If anyone knows of any current Jacks I may have missed I would love to know. I would also be very interested in receiving photographs and finding out more information about all the existing Jacks and the traditions that surround them.

CURRENT JACKS-IN-THE-GREEN

 Knutsford Jack-in-the-Green (Since 1890)

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 1889. May Day in Knutsford (Cheshire) is celebrated over the May Bank holiday weekend. The main focus is the May Queen. 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.

Brentham Jack-in-the-Green 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.

Oxford Jack-in-the-Green (Revived 1951)

The Oxford Jack-in-the-Green appears in Oxford on May Morning. OUMM (Oxford University Morris Men) introduced Jack-in-the-Green to their May Morning festivities in 1951. At that time they were unaware that a Jack-in-the-Green was a common sight in and around Oxford in the 19th century. 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. Jack then moves through New College Lane and Broad Street, concluding with a massed ‘Bonny Green Garters’ outside St. John’s College in St. Giles around 8.30am. After breakfast the University & City Men usually take Jack to a display for the children of St. Ebbe’s school when May Morning falls on a weekday.

Guildford Jack-in-the-Green (Revived 1976)

Known as The Guildford Bush, this Jack is accompanied by the Pilgrim Morris Men of Guildford. They meet 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. This Jack was revived in 1976 by The Pilgrim Morris and is built from Laurel. For many years the Jack was carried by folklorist George Frampton.

Whitstable Jack-in-the-Green (Revived 1976)

A Jack-in-the-Green was revived for the Whitstable Folk Festival in 1976 and 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. Jack is also accompanied by two attendants dressed as Robin Hood and Maid Marian. Dixie Lee one of the original organisers said in 1992 “ At the time it just seemed like the Jack was looking for a reason to come out again, and I must say that every year when Jack makes his appearance on the street I get such a feeling of power from him that I know it was the right thing to do”

Deptford (Fowlers Troop) Jack-in-the-Green (Revived early 1980’s)

The Fowlers Troop Jack was revived in the early 1980s by members of the Blackheath Morris Men and friends. It is a revival of a Jack in the Green from about 1900 which was paraded by the original Fowlers Troop. The Fowlers Jack goes out on the streets of South East London or the City of London each May Day. The Jack is usually dressed on April 30th.

City of London Jack-in-the-Green (Started 1984)

Rather than a revival, The City of London Jack-in-the-Green is based on descriptions and illustrations from early writings. The City of London Jack was first paraded in 1984. Tradition has it that the City of London Jack only comes out on City working days, on years when this is not the case it is rumoured that the City of London Jack may occasionally be spotted elsewhere. The City Jack did not go out in 2013 but many of his followers joined the Deptford Jack.

Rochester (Blue Bell Hill) Jack-in-the-Green (Revived 1981)

The Rochester Jack was revived in 1981 by Gordon Newton from accounts by Charles Dickens and is still part of the Annual Sweeps Festival. Originally revived by Boughton Monchelsea Morris, custodianship of Jack was passed to Motley Morris in 1984 who now Wake Jack with various other Morris sides at dawn on May Morning (approximately 5:32am) at the Bluebell Hill picnic area surrounded by twelve bonfires. Jack is paraded through the streets of Rochester usually on the bank holiday Monday as part of the Sweeps Festival.

Hastings Traditional Jack-in-the-Green (Revived 1983)

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” every year and is central to the festival. The main procession of the Jack takes place on the bank holiday Monday through the streets of Hastings Old Town starting from the Fishermans Museum. The Jack is accompanied by Mad Jacks Morris, the Green Bogies, dancers, giants, musicians and various others. At the end of the day Jack is slain to release the spirit of summer.

Bristol Jack in the Green (Revived 1992)

A Jack-in-the-Green was recorded in Bristol around 1865 by a lady who remembered seeing him with a sweep and a queen on the outskirts. The revived Bristol Jack in the Green is a descendant of the Hastings Jack and appears on the first Saturday in May starting from the historic Harbourside (outside the M Shed) and leads a magical procession through the streets of Bristol eventually ending the day on Horfield Common where he is slain to release the spirit of summer.

Ilfracombe Jack-in-the-Green (Started 2000)

Ilfracombes Jack-in-the-Green was started in 2000 by Lisa Sture. A procession starts at approximately 11am winds its way through the High Street, along the sea front towards the harbour area where children and Morris Men dance around a Maypole. Another descendant of the Hastings Jack the Ilfracombe Jack event also finishes with the release of the spirit of summer and the distribution of leaves on Ilfracombe Pier.

High Wycombe Jack-in-the-Green (Revived 2005)

The High Wycombe Jack has appeared in one form or another on Holywell Mead between 2005 and 2010 he did not appear in 2011 but in 2012 was sighted on Naphill Common. There were no reported sightings in 2013.

Highworth Jack-in-the-Green (Started 2006)

Highworth in Wiltshire celebrated it’s 800th anniversary with a Jack in the Green on 22nd April 2006 and the Jack is now an annual tradition as part of an annual May Market.

Winchcombe Jack-in-the-Green (Revived 2009)

The Winchcombe (Gloucestershire) Jack was revived on August 31st 2009 as part of “Marking the Year.” A Jack was recorded as visiting a local school by Emma Dent of Sudeley Castle in the 1890’s. The Jack was then resurrected for May Day 2010 and a local May bank holiday village fete and is now awoken every year at dawn on May Day by Happenstance Border Morris and appears at various events in the following days.

Tunbridge Wells Jack-in-the-Green (Started 2010)

The Tunbridge Wells Jack-in-the-Green is a new Jack. He first went out on 30th April 2010 and has was seen out and about beating the bounds in 2011 and 2012 but did not go out in 2013. Jack (wearing a crown of May blossom) leads a procession around the commons of Rusthall and Tunbridge Wells and is then slain to release the spirit of summer. He is accompanied by a number of drums and is flanked by a red flag and a flag of Kent.

Lands End Jack-in-the-Green (Started 2011)

The Lands End Jack-in-the-Green first went out in 2011. He greets the Dawn at Chapel Carn Brea on May Day accompanied by Boekka Border Morris and sometimes by Penkevyll, the Lands End Obby Oss.

Yaxley (Cambridgeshire) Jack-in-the-Green (Started 2013)

The Yaxley Jack-in-the-Green is a brand new Jack. He lead the traditional May parade on May 18th 2013 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.

Beltane Bash/Pagan Pride Jack-in-the-Green

The Beltane Bash Jack-in-the-Green has not paraded since 2010. The parade used to start from the Conway Hall Red Lion Square London WC1 led by traditional giants, the Jack-in-the-Green and Bogies. I would love to hear from anyone participating or organising the current Pagan Pride Events who may know if a Jack will be participating again.

 

 


Solihull Green Man Trail

Our congratulations to member Dr Colin Harris. After 5 years of hard work the Solihull Green Man Trail is up and running (or walking)

below is a copy of the official press release.Image

Walk this way and hunt the Green Man in Solihull

A new walk celebrating the mythical wonder of a staple creature of folklore has launched in Solihull.

The Solihull Green Man Trail runs in both directions from Castle Bromwich in the north of the borough to St Alphege Church, in Solihull town centre covering more than 20 miles.

The Trail takes its name from the historical figure of the Green Man, which has been a part of folklore for more than 3,000 years.

Solihull no longer has any Green Men in the borough, but some nearby examples do remain. There are pubs called the Green Man in Coleshill, Harborne and Kenilworth, while a Green Man pub also stood on the corner of Blackford Road and Stratford Road from 1842 – 1861. This was then renamed The George and Dragon, before being demolished. The nearest Green Men on churches are in Hampton-in-Arden, Temple Balsall and Henley-in-Arden.

However, with the launch of the new Trail, the spirit of the Green Man in Solihull is being kept alive.

With guidance from Solihull Council’s Neighbourhood Rangers, local schools from across the borough have used their artistic talent to create their own Green Men, which have been hidden along the route.

As well as hunting the Green Men, there are a number of other highlights along the route.

The Trail takes in the traditional oak woodland of Alcott Wood, the 15th century Packhorse Bridge that straddles the River Blythe near Hampton-in-Arden and part of the Grand Union Canal, as better known landmarks such as Birmingham Airport and Malvern and Brueton Parks.

Dr Colin Harris, a local expert on Green Men and other traditional features and origins of folklore, has helped pull the Trail together and is keen for others to start hunting the hidden green faces.

Dr Harris said: “The Green Men hidden on this trail are fantastic and I really hope that everyone walking the Trail has fun finding them. We need to keep alive the traditions of the Green Man because he is an endangered species and unless we pass on folklore like this to future generations it will fade into distant memories. I hope this Trail helps turn a few more people into green man-iacs like me!”

Councillor Mrs Kate Wild, Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “This Trail takes in a great section of our wonderful borough and is a perfect way to further explore the local environment. I’m sure anyone walking the trail will find something interesting on this route, whether they are a visitor or a long-term resident.”

For more information about the Green Man Trail, download the route map or pick one up from any Solihull library. Alternatively, head to Mell Square, Solihull town centre, between 11am-3pm on Friday 27 July for the walk’s official launch.

Spot the Green Men and win!

Dr Harris is offering a prize of £25, plus a £25 donation to charity of the winner’s choice, to the first person who sends in photographs of all the Green Men in their hiding places. Images should be sent to enquiries@greenmanforum.co.uk.


Winchcombe Jack-in-the-Green 2012

The Winchcombe (Gloucestershire) Jack-in-the-Green paraded through the streets of Winchombe on Saturday 5th May 2012. The Winchcombe  Jack was revived on August 31st 2009 as part of “Marking the Year.” A Jack was recorded as visiting a local school by Emma Dent of Sudeley Castle in the 1890’s. The Jack was then resurrected for May Day 2010 and a local May bank holiday village fete and now appears every year

Many thanks to Jackie Surtees for allowing us to reproduce this picture


Tunbridge Wells Jack-in-the-Green 2012

I am really pleased to be able to confirm that the Tunbridge Wells Jack-in-the-Green went out in Tunbridge Wells town centre with a crown of May blossom at around 10:30am on Saturday 5th May 2012. Jack led a procession around the commons of Rusthall and Tunbridge Wells and then was slain to release the spirit of summer. He was accompanied by a number of drums and was flanked by a red flag and a flag of Kent. It was great to confirm this Jack as I had been led to believe that it had only appeared for one year but I can now report that this was the fourth consecutive year for the Tunbridge Wells Jack-in-the-Green (our website details will updated shortly)


Hastings Jack-in-the-Green 2012

The Hastings Jack-in-the-Green was released this morning from the Fisherman’s Museum in Rock-a-Nore Rd and paraded through the town of Hastings joined by the City of London Jack-in-the-Green, the Fowlers Troop Jack-in-the-Green and a vast array of Bogies and other followers in celebration of the Hasting’s Jacks 30th Anniversary. Many more pictures to follow on our Flickr site soon. sadly I didn’t manage to get away in time to visit the Whitstable Jack and would dearly love some pictures if possible. I would also like to hear from anyone who can give me confirmation of sightings  or pictures of any other Jacks that went out this year including:

The Guildford Jack-in-the-Green
The Brentham Jack-in-the-Green
The Knutsford Jack-in-the-Green
The Oxford Jack-in-the-Green
The Winchcombe Jack-in-the-Green
The Ilfracombe Jack-in-the-Green
The Tunbridge Wells Jack-in-the-Green
The High Wycombe Jack-in-the-Green
The Whitstable Jack-in-the-Green


City of London Jack-in-the-Green 2012

I believe (but would love confirmation) that the City opf London Jack-in-the-Green was out and about in the City on May 1st. Jack also joined the Fowlers troop Jack and the Hastings Jack in Hastings on 7th May. I attempted to catch the City of London Jack as it left the Fisherman’s Museum prior to the Hasting’s Jacks release  to find out more but due to it’s extremely speedy nature and habit of running off at high speed whilst shouting “bogie, bogie, bogie”  I failed miserably. More pictures soon on our Flickr site http://www.flickr.com/photos/thecompanyofthegreenman/


Herefordshire Green Men

Hereford Cathedral Green Man copyright © Gary Truss & Jennie Miller

I have just uploaded a wonderful collection of pictures of Green Men from Herefordshire taken by Gary Truss and Jennie Miller to our Flickr site http://www.flickr.com/photos/thecompanyofthegreenman

There are twenty pictures from Hereford Cathedral and one from the Priory Church of St Peter and St Paul in Leominster


Happy New Year

Stafford St Mary's © Jennie Miller & Gary Truss

I would like to wish all our members a happy, healthy and prosperous 2012.

This wonderful picture was taken by Jennie Miller & Gary Truss and is from St Mary’s in Stafford


Lud’s Church, Gawain & the Green Knight

At this time of the year I always seem to find myself drawn back to the wonderful poem Gawain and the Green Knight. The poem was written by an unknown author in the late 14th Century, but was only rediscovered two hundred years ago and published for the first time in 1839.

The story begins as the court of King Arthur is celebrating the feast of Christmas. The door burst open and the formidable figure of the gigantic green skinned and green haired Knight rides into the great hall clothed all in green on a green horse. He issues a grisly challenge to Arthur and his Knights and asks if anyone amongst them is “bold both of blood and brain”, and will dare strike him one stroke for another, “I will give him as a gift this axe, which is heavy enough, in sooth, to handle as he may list, and I will abide the first blow, unarmed as I sit. If any knight be so bold as to prove my words let him come swiftly to me here, and take this weapon, I quit claim to it, he may keep it as his own, and I will abide his stroke, firm on the floor. Then shalt thou give me the right to deal him another, the respite of a year and a day shall he have. Now haste, and let see whether any here dare say aught.”  Gawain begs Arthur to allow him the honour of taking the challenge and so begins Gawain’s magical quest.

Anybody interested in reading the poem could do no better than get hold of a copy of the extremely accessible and beautifully written translation by Simon Armitage.

Earlier this year I finally completed my own slightly shorter quest to visit Lud’s Church in the beautiful Peak District. Lud’s Church is thought by many to be the location of the Green Chapel that Gawain travels to in the story to complete his part in the bargain that he makes with the Green Knight. Lud’s Church also has links with Robin Hood another Green Man and there is even a legend of a ghostly green man who haunts the surrounding woodland.

My walk started from a car park about two miles from Lud’s Church and followed the walk detailed at the end of this article. It took me through some incredible countryside and I was astonished at just how vibrantly green the woodlands around the area were. I was worried about missing the entranceway but shouldn’t have as you definitely know when you have arrived at this magical place.

The church is in fact a deep chasm on the hillside above Gradbach in Staffordshire. As soon as you enter you understand why this incredibly atmospheric location has inspired so many legends. Apparently many visitors find the atmosphere too overwhelming and won’t go any further than the entrance. I must admit I paused and had to take a deep breath before walking between the moss and fern clad walls but would not have missed the experience for anything.

The pathway soon leads to a set of steps that take you even deeper into the chasm. It had rained before my visit and this area was extremely muddy so I would advise good boots, but there are a number of stepping stones that lead through the mud and onto safer ground. Lud’s Church appears to have been seen a sacred place from early times. On Midsummer’s Day the light from the sun penetrates deep into the chasm. Lud or Llud of the Silver Hand is a hero from Welsh Mythology and was also known as Nud in Welsh or Nodens by the ancient Britains.  There is another legend that Lud’s Church is named after a horse ridden by a huntsman who was pursuing a deer close to the chasm. The hunter didn’t see the approaching danger but his horse, Lud, did and stopped throwing the rider to his death at the bottom of the chasm. The ghost of the hunter was said to haunt woods around the area covered from head to toe in moss and leaves. This lead to the figure being known by the locals as The Green Man.

 

How to find Lud’s Church

There is a free car park around two miles from Lud’s Church (located at 53.193063, -2.002955). Walk out of the car park and turn right. Follow the narrow road until you come to a fork. Take the right hand fork and head down the hill to the Gradbach Mill Youth Hostel. Once at the Hostel you’ll see the hostel on your right, a footbridge in front of you and a path to the left. Follow the path, which in turn curves to the left. You will come to a small gate, go through the gate and follow the path to the right. About 20m further on there is a narrow stone style on your right (with a private grounds sign on a gate further behind it). Go through the stile and turn left. Follow the road for around 30m. On the corner of the road, you’ll see another stile. Look over the wall to the right you will see the footbridge that you need to cross. Cross the footbridge and you will come to a signpost. Head for Swythamley and Lud’s Church. Head straight up the steep hill and you will quickly come across a path that goes to the right. Walk along this path until you come to a large rock formation on your right (about a ten-minute walk). You will then see a sign for Lud’s Church to the left; follow it, and within a few minutes you will arrive.


Merry Christmas

Hassock in Sherborne Abbey Dorset © Les Miles

A Merry Christmas to all our members!

Many thanks to Les Miles for adding this previously unlisted Green Man to the Gazetteer. It is on a Kneeling Cushion or Hassock in Sherborne Abbey in Dorset


Yuletide Greetings

Salisbury Cathedral Copyright © The Company of the Green Man

Wishing all members of The Company of the Green Man a fantastic Yule. thanks to everyone for all the contributions and support during 2011. Here is a picture of one of the most seasonal Green Men I could think of from the roof of Salisbury Cathedral…He is wearing a Santa hat isn’t he?


New Sighting

Southwell Minster © Martyn Gaunt

Congratulations to Martyn Gaunt for spotting an as yet unlisted Green Man and  Green Beast in the Minster at Southwell in Nottinghamshire. They are both to be found on carved wooden friezes above the choir stalls, the first one is on the north side of the choir and the second, more animal like one is above the stalls on the south side. Martyn commented “While I knew of the many green men within that have been well documented, especially in the Chapter House (Have you been? It is absolutely wonderful!) and the misericord with a full length foliate figure, I had previously been completely unaware of these two figures”

Southwell Minster © Martyn Gaunt


The Hidden Green Man in Essex

A new book about Green Men in Essex has just been published by Country Books.

DESCRIPTION

The medieval churches of Essex house one of history’s best kept secrets. They are frequently inhabited by a mysterious carving of an ancient male head, with foliage, usually oak leaves emerging from its mouth, ears, nose or eyes. He is surprisingly common in Essex, has many guises and is concealed in nooks, roofs, sometimes barely discernible on fonts, but may also be found lurking on roofs, walls, and hidden niches of churches.

I have one copy of the book hot off the press free to a good home all you have to do is e-mail me at greenman@virgin.net and on 21st December I will pull the name of the lucky winner out of the top hat. And the catch! well it’s only open to current members of The Company of the Green Man (except me and the author..sorry Susan!) and whoever wins it must be willing to write a review of the book and get it to me in time for our May/June e-newsletter.

If you want to buy your own copy in time for Christmas it’s available via Amazon.co.uk from our book shop for £7.99 just click on THIS LINK to visit the bookshop.


2012 Hasting Jack-in-the-Green

2012 is the 30th year of the revival of Jack in the Green in Hastings. To mark this the organisers are inviting all known Jacks, Green men, Bogies, Milkmaid Garlands and their entourages to join them next year for the celebration from 4th – 7th May 2012.
Jack will go out on Bank Holiday Monday May 7th. If you fall into one of the categories above please feel free to e-mail us at greenman@virgin.net and we’ll pass your details onto Keith Leech

New Green Man Sighting

Grave Slab in St Peters Church Northampton © Susan Doncaster

Suzie Doncaster has added this wonderful early green man to our current entry in the gazetteer for St Peter’s Church in Marefair Northampton. The finely carved Anglo Saxon grave slab dates to the 10-11th Century and shows beasts and birds entwined in some incredible foliage all sprouting from the mouth of  a Green Man. It is thought that the grave slab would have been in an earlier church that stood on the same site. The stone was found in a nearby ditch and was used as a door lintel and a mantel piece before finding its way back to the church.

The slab has been attributed to St Ragener an Anglo Saxon prince who was slain by the Vikings in 870. His grave had been forgotten until the mid 11th Century when visions of an elderley man drew a priest of Edward the Confessor to the burial site. Many miracles were said to have taken place at the church and the king had a shrine erected there decorated with gold, silver and precious stones. Sadly nothing of the great shrine remains.

Although the grave slab has been cut down by 3cm on one side the carving is remarkably intact and it is one of the erarliest carved stones in Northampton. St Peters Church is now a redundant Anglican Church and has been designated by English Heritage as a Grade I listed building, it is under the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. It is considered to be the most outstanding Norman church in the county.

Copyright © Susan Doncaster


Green Man Painting for Sale

Green Man

 

Artist Indigo is selling the painting pictured above. Green man is 101.4cm x 81 cm and is Acrylic on Canvas. The price is £170. If you are interested please drop me a line at greenman@virgin.net and I’ll put you in touch with the artist


Ilfracombe Jack-in-the-Green 2011

Ilfracombe Jack-in-the-Green 2nd May 2011 © Copyright North Devon Gazette

The Ilfracombe Jack-in-the-Green appeared on Monday 2nd May for the 12th Year. After parading through the Highstreet and dancing on the seafront Jack made his way down to the beach where he was stripped of leaves and the Spirit of Summer was released.


Highworth Jack-in-the-Green 2011

Highworth Jack-in-the-Green April 30th 2011 Copyright © Kay Brown

The Highworth Jack-in-the-Green visited Highworth in Wiltshire on the 30th April 2011 and joined the festivities of the medieval market


Merry May Day!!

At the exact time that this post appears, as the sun rises just after 5:30 on May 1st 2011 a number of Jack-in -the-Greens will be awoken across the UK. They will parade around towns, villages and cities bringing the summer and “Jacks Magic” with them either on May 1st or in the coming days. I shall be watching (and photographing) the Jacks at Oxford, Deptford/Greenwich, Hastings and Bristol this year. See you there!

A Merry May Day and a Happy Beltaine to one and all!

A Riddle

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


The Green Man: Sin and Salvation in Medieval Devon

St. Michael and All Angels, Mount Dinham

Parish of St. David, Exeter

St. Michael’s Lectures 2011

Wednesday 11th May, 7.30pm

The Green Man: Sin and Salvation in Medieval Devon

Sue Andrew

The lecture focuses on a motif that is striking in its ubiquity. It shows a human head with leaves sprouting from the mouth and sometimes also from eyes, ears and nose. Commonly referred to as the ‘Green Man’, the figure has been the subject of much speculation. The lecture, which is accompanied by many images, will suggest that the Green Man, during the late medieval period, was firmly rooted in notions of sin and salvation.

Sue Andrew is a PhD student in the Department of Art History at Plymouth University, the subject of her thesis being ‘Late Medieval Roof Bosses in the Parish Churches of Devon’. Sue hopes that her researches will cast new light on the church and its people in pre-Reformation Devon.

 

The lectures are open to all and admission is free (there is a voluntary retiring collection). St. Michael’s Church is the church with the tall spire (Mount Dinham, Dinham Road, Exeter, EX4 4EB) by the Iron Bridge on North St./St. David’s Hill. For further information contact David Beadle at dnb201@ex.ac.uk or go to http://www.stmichaelsmountdinham.org.uk/


ANNUAL EVENTS 2011

As May draws closer a quick reminder that the list of events that feature the Jack-in-the-Green and the Green Man during May is growing every year. The list below is our current list for May but we are always extremely grateful to hear of any others that we may have missed including those outside of the UK. Details will always be as up to date as possible on the annual events pages of the website at http://www.thecompanyofthegreenman.co.uk

This blog has a worldwide readership so don’t hesitate to drop us a line. I’ve included links to as many of the below as possible as some have not fixed their dates as yet. If you would like to add details of an event here please e-mail us at greenman@virgin.net

Please go out and support your nearest Jack and join in the wonderful and magical event, then send us in your pictures and experiences of the event.

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 Arnolfini) and leads a magical procession through the streets of Bristol eventually ending the day on Horfield Common where he dies to release the spirit of summer.
Bristol Jack in the Green

Rochester Sweeps Festival and Jack-in-the-Green 30th April – 2nd May
The Rochester Sweeps festival still has a Jack in the Green Ceremony where the Jack is awoken on Blue Bell Hill on May Morning and is paraded through the streets during the three day festival attended by hundreds of Morris Teams
Rochester Sweeps Festival

Hasting Jack-in-the-Green Festival Monday 29th April – 2nd 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” every year and is central to the festival.
Hastings Jack-in-the-Green Festival

Deptford Jack-in-the-Green Sunday 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
Deptford Jack in the Green

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 Jack in the Green


Knutsford May Day and Jack-in-the-Green
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..
Knutsford Jack in the Green

City of London Jack-in-the-Green
The City of London Jack-in-the-Green 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)
City of London Jack in the Green

Oxford Jack-in-the-Green Sunday 1st May
The Oxford Jack-in-the-Green appears in Oxford on May Morning. OUMM (Oxford University Morris Men) introduced Jack-in-the-Green to their May Morning festivities in 1951. At that time they were unaware that a Jack-in-the-Green was a common sight in and around Oxford in the 19th century. 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.
Oxford Jack in the Green

Whitstable Jack-in-the-Green Monday 2nd May
Jack-in-the-Green was revived for the Whitstable Folk Festival in 1976 and 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.
Whitstable Jack in the Green

Ilfracombe Jack-in-the-Green 2nd – 3rd May 2011
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.
Ilfracombe Jack in the Green

Highworth Jack-in-the-Green
Highworth (Wiltshire) has a Jack in the Green that parades through the town in early May each year as part of their Medieval Market.

Beltane Bash Monday

Originally scheduled for Monday 30th May, but sadly due to the passing of one of the organisers it may not go ahead this year. Please check the website for the latest information.

The parade normally starts from the Conway Hall Red Lion Square London WC1 at 10:30 Led by traditional giants, the Jack-in-the-Green, Thor & Holda, Herne and Andred, Naughty Fairies and The Bogies.
Beltane Bash

Edinburgh Beltane Fire Festival
Edinburgh’s Beltane festival traditionally takes place on the 30th of April every year on Calton Hill. The Green Man begins in a dormant and inactive state in the form of the old Horned God, until he ‘dies’ when he touches the May Queen. Her Handmaidens tear his garments from him and he is ‘reborn’ as the young Green Man with a wild exhilarating dance that celebrates his youth and the new summer.
Edinburgh Beltane Fire Festival

Clun Green Man Festival
The Clun Green Man Festival is a springtime festival, held over three days usually on the first May Bank Holiday of the year. The Festival takes place in the picturesque town of Clun in South Shropshire and features a modern interpretation of the Green Man
Clun Green Man Festival


Exeter Green Man Coming March 21st

Exeter Green Man

Green Man Coming!

On March 21st the spring equinox, Exeter will be visited by an old Devon character in contemporary form. From dawn onwards the Green Man will be walking into Exeter centre from his home somewhere in the rolling hills surrounding the city. Members of the public can run into him any time between dawn and noon when he will disappear without trace until next year. Anyone can approach him along his journey – he is courteous, photogenic and has a propensity for hugs said to banish the winter blues and promote change generally. On his way into town, he will leave behind blessings for new life and messages for members of the public to find and keep in the form of original artworks by an Exeter based artist.

Green Man Spotting!

The Green Man’s journey will be followed closely by DJ Sketch and Dr Site during a radio special on Exeter’s favourite community station phonic.fm. Studio guests will provide expert knowledge and discussion about the Green Man’s history and appearances across the centuries. Listeners can also join in the chase by phoning or emailing the station to report sightings of the Green Man throughout the morning. This year Exeter Phoenix have offered free tickets for the best Green Man photograph which will also be exhibited at the arts centre. There will also be prizes offered in exchange for some of the Green Man’s special blessings. Find out more on the phonic.fm website.

DJ Sketch said “ Last year’s visit from The Green Man was really amazing, With the help of the listeners on my Sunday Morning Scribble Radio Show we were able to follow The Green Man’s journey into Exeter City centre. This year will be bigger and better, we want to, with once again the help of the people of Exeter, welcome this very special guest who takes us out of  winter and into spring.”

Exeter Artist Volkhardt Müller said “I was honoured to be approached by the Green Man to help him with his work. We have similar figures and traditions in South West Germany where I come from, so I found it easy to connect with this ancient Exeter resident.”

Join in the hunt for the Green Man on March 21st between 5.30am and midday by tuning into phonic.fm 106.8fm in Exeter or via worldwide live streaming on www.phonic.fm.

Report your sightings to the phonic.fm studio on 01392 434577 or email studio@phonic.fm. Lines will be open between 5.30 am and 12pm.

To submit your Green Man photo and for more information visit www.vibraphonic2011.co.uk/

This year’s Green Man Coming is being hosted by the Vibraphonic Festival and phonic.fm. The Green Man’s mission is being supported by Exeter Arts Council.

Exeter Green man


“Strange Lands”

Green Man © Andrew L. Paciorek

COTGM member Andy Paciorek’s book ‘Strange Lands: A Field Guide to the Celtic Otherworld’ is now available via mail-order. Members might recall Andy’s fabulous illustration of The Apple Tree Man which you can find in this blog under “Wassailing the Apple Trees” It also includes his fantastic Green Man pictured above.

Strange Lands is the fruit of Andrew L. Paciorek’s voyage into the Celtic Otherworld in search of Faeries, Goblins, Monsters, Angels, Demons and much more besides.
Within the 400 pages of the book are descriptions and tales of a multitude of bizarre beasts and weird entities, accompanied by over 170 original pen and ink depictions.

The following is taken from the foreword by Dr Karl Shuker:

Strange Lands is a deeply researched and richly illustrated information guide to the entities and beasts of Celtic myth & legend and to the many strange beings that have entered the lore of the land through the influence of other cultures and technological evolution.

At nearly 400 pages and featuring over 170 original illustrations, Strange Lands is an essential accompaniment for both the novice and seasoned walkers between worlds.

“Right from a child, I have always been fascinated by mythology and folklore, especially the rich corpus originating in the British Isles, and I have read very extensively on the subject. However, I can say in all honesty that Strange Lands is one of the most comprehensive single volumes on British mythological entities that I have ever encountered. Even Dr Katharine M. Briggs’s essential tome, A Dictionary of Fairies, universally acclaimed as the standard work on such beings, now has a rival in terms of the sheer diversity of examples documented.

And where Strange Lands effortlessly outpoints even that classic work is of course in its illustrations, which are truly breathtaking in their beauty, intricacy, and vibrancy”

Andy Paciorek is a graphic artist, drawn mainly to the worlds of myth, folklore, symbolism, decadence, curiosa, anomaly, dark romanticism and otherworldly experience. He is fascinated both by the beautiful and the grotesque and the twilight threshold consciousness where these boundaries blur. The mist-gates, edges and liminal zones where nature borders supernature and daydreams and nightmares cross paths are of great inspiration.

You can have a look at a limited preview and order Andy’s book at: http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1957828 and find out more about Andy’s work at http://www.batcow.co.uk/strangelands/