The Merry Month of May
A lazy post from me today, thanks to Mike and Julie who sent me some fantastic shots of yesterday’s May celebrations. It’s always quite an eyeful to see a tree walking through the streets of Greenwich:
and I really love that it is still done on May Day itself, rather than the nearest weekend, even if it means I can’t always see it for myself – somehow it seems ‘right’ rather than ‘convenient.’
So who are these brave souls who paint themselves green, wear rams’ horns or dress up as trees?
Well – they are the good folks of Fowler’s Troop and the splendid ‘tree’ is the Deptford Jack in the Green.
The tradition, from around 1906, was revived in the early 1980s by the Blackheath Morris Men (who, I assume, were out there on Blackheath yesterday morning at the sort of hour Phantoms are still tucked up in bed after a hard night’s haunting. One of these May Day’s I WILL get up early enough to see them…)
Some of the Jacks around the country have swollen into giant celebrations, with hundreds of people pitching up to see the fun. I rather like that although it’s not a secret (I always put it in the Parish News) it’s quite a ‘hidden’ affair, for people in the know and those who are surprised and delighted by it when it suddenly arrives.
If you ever feel like getting involved with Fowler’s Troop, do look at the website and send an email to regular Phantophile Sarah, who can tell you all about it…
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