Tomorrow is May Day, and each year the Fowlers Troop recreate the Deptford Jack parade in a different part of London. This year, it’s the turn of the City to witness a walking mound of greenery parade through it’s stone and glass corridors.

According to the ubiquitous Wikipedia, the Jack in the Green tradition dates back to around the 16th and 17th centuries, when people would make garlands of flowers and leaves for the May Day celebration. After becoming a source of competition between Works Guilds, these garlands became increasingly elaborate, to the extent that it covered the entire man. This became known as Jack in the Green.

I’ve followed it a few times – but probably not tomorrow due to work commitments – but if you are in the City or parts of Southwark, then it is certainly something to look out for.

The route is roughly circular, from Southwark, over London Bridge, then along Cannon Street to St Pauls, over the Wobbly Bridge and back down to Southwark.


The full route – according to the Fowlers Troop website:

  • Meet at 11.00: The Wheatsheaf, 24 Southwark Street SE1 1TY to build the Jack (who will arrive in a van in a semi-greened state)
  • Noon: Depart, Southwark Street, Borough High Street, London Bridge East Side, Monument Sreet, Fish Street Hill, across Eastcheap to:
  • 12:20 The Ship, 11 Talbot Court EC3V 0BP
  • 13:00 Depart, Lombard Court, Clement’s Lane, King William St (s), Cross to Cannon St South Side, Bush Lane to:
  • 13:10 The Bell, 29 Bush Lane. EC4R 0AN
  • 13:55 Depart, Cannon Street South Side, Queen Victoria Street To:
  • 14.05 The Centre Page, 29 Knightrider Street. EC4V 5BH
  • 14:45 Depart, Millenium Bridge, Bankside Walkway To:
  • 15:00 The Founders Arms, 52 Hopton Street, SE1 9JH
  • 15:40 Depart, Hopton Street, Holland Street, Sumner Street. Great Suffolk Street, Union Street to:
  • 15:55 The Charles Dickens, 160 Union Street, London, SE1 0LH
  • Possible return to Wheatsheaf to collect stuff.
  • 18:30 Jack collected by van.


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