Welcoming Summer in…

Sunday, May 5, 2019 | Black & White, Events, Seasonal

 Jack in the Green on Horfield Common, Bristol 2019

It’s the first Saturday in May. It’s sunny but there’s a freezing cold wind blowing down the back of my neck. I’m waiting for ‘Jack in the Green’ to arrive after his marathon dance from the city centre. There are a lot of people waiting. There are more people arriving by the minute as Jack’s popularity spreads every year. After a while you can hear a beat, faint at first, then it grows, louder and louder. In the distance a large mass of people emerge and in the centre of it all, Jack.

It all happens very quickly, the procession steams ahead to its usual spot further up the common. To photograph this while trying to keep up with it is pretty much click and pray. There is no time to think, people are everywhere, moving, dancing, around you. I’m walking, turned sideways, looking through the camera viewfinder, trying to keep up. I manage a few photographs then we are there and a circle forms. I’m on the outside.

Jack in the Green on Horfield Common, Bristol 2019
Jack in the Green on Horfield Common, Bristol 2019

I can’t see much, but I can hear the music and see Jack dancing in the middle, he’s nine feet tall. Words are said but I can’t hear a lot of it. More music, more dancing, more words. Then it’s over, Jack topples over and dies to release the spirit of Summer. There is a mad scramble as the crowd grab a piece of greenery to take home to celebrate the arrival of summer. There’s not much left at the end. Summer is on its way…

View from the circle Jack in the Green on Horfield Common, Bristol 2019