1st May 2013
Roan Street, London SE10 9JY
Jack in the Green
It’s because, thanks to the wisdom of our wonderful government, that all non-religious Bank Holidays [the precious few that we have, at least] have to take place on a Monday, that the May Day holiday rarely coincides with the the first day of the month.
However, for the good people of Fowlers Troop, ‘May Day means May Day’ [apologies if that summons up painful reminders of that Theresa woman], and they insist on celebrating the actual day proper, whatever day of the week it happens to fall on – which inevitably means there’re a lot fewer spectators on the streets to enjoy the procession of the Jack in the Green & his friends – whether in the City, around The Borough, or, like today, on their home patch in Greenwich – because they all still have to be at work.
Anyway as mentioned before, Jack in the Green is an ancient urban character created specifically for spring celebrations – sadly the milk maids aren’t regular companions in this procession – and shouldn’t be confused with the darker, more pagan and folklorish Green Man.
At least, once the procession have got as far as the ‘Maritime’ section of their promenade, there are a scattering of tourists and school parties to appreciate the care and attention that’s gone in to keeping this old London tradition revival alive. And then they can head to Hastings on the Holiday weekend where the Troop join in with a somewhat grander version of the event.
And talking of revered old urban characters, this is Suggs…