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Jack in the Green, London and Hastings

Jack in the Green, London and Hastings

This year the museum was able to attend both the Deptford Jack in the Green on the 1st May and also Hastings on the 5th. The Deptford event was re-established in the early 1980's by members of the Blackheath Morris Men and friends, having been stopped by police around 1910, possibly for rowdy behaviour. Kentish Mercury of 18th May 1906:
'It is not more than 3 or 4 years since such a band were seen in the streets of Deptford. Jack in his greenery, twirling, and the male and female dancers with him pirouetting something after the traditional style - but there was a sad falling off. In olden days the dancers used to be sweeps, to whom money collected was a sort of annual perquisite and sweeps were very jealous of their privileges in this direction being usurped, latterly however, this rule was by no means adhered to.'

The London event was plagued by rain, which did little to dampen the spirits of the supporters and participants. The last time the museum and Deptford Jack were together was outside the Houses of Parliament, protesting at the government's proposal to remove the May Day Bank holiday. Thankfully that never came to pass and we are still able to celebrate May Day in the same manner as we have done for hundreds of years.


Hastings JitG was re-established in 1983 by Keith Leech, pictured here in his early colourful outfit.

This year had record numbers in attendance and Jack was greeted by many thousands of people who lined the streets of Hastings to cheer him on.