Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Deptford Jack in the Green May Day, Friday 1st May

Deptford's Fowlers Troop take to the streets as always this May Day with their Jack in the Green procession. They'll be assembling at the Dog and Bell at 11am on Friday morning and setting off to Greenwich to end up at the Ashburnham Arms (25 Ashburnham Grove) by 4.30pm (via the Lord Hood, Plume of Feathers and Richard 1st pubs along the way).

The picture above was taken in 2006 to commemorate the 1906 photo (below) taken by Thankfull Sturdee. The Jack is the tall chap in the middle, dressed in garlands of leaves and flowers.

Perhaps because of their affiliation with the City of London Jack in the Green (whose troop like to cause mischief on a working day), the Deptford Fowlers Troop stick solidly to May Day itself rather than moving the parade to the bank holiday like other revivals of the tradition in Hastings, Rochester and Whitstable. Those weekend-long celebrations draw large crowds and include a lot more local residents dressing up and painting themselves green. However, the Deptford Jack is purportedly the tallest and heaviest of all the modern Jacks!

Catch 'em (or join them) 'dressing the Jack' on Thursday 30th at the Dog and Bell from 8pm. And if you're about on Friday, follow or join in the parade. Check the route here.

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