Hastings Jack in the Green 2023

a shot of the Jack in the Green procession

The Hastings Jack in the Green procession 2023 - photograph by author

For the first time since I moved down to the south coast I managed to get myself over to Hastings to watch the Jack in the Green festival, coinciding with the fortieth anniversary of it being revived - there were at least two groups in Hastings and St Leonards that paraded a Jack-in-the-Green until about 1889, and the tradition died out nationwide in the early 20th century.

The train from Brighton to Hastings garnered an increasing number of green-clad passengers at all the stops on the way, many also draped in foliage (in some cases artificial plastic foliage, which seemed somewhat incongruous to me) and with faces painted green.

My train arrived at Hastings before 10am, allowing me enough time to walk down to the Fishermen's Museum to see the Jack being released and leading the procession through the streets of a very crowded Hastings Old Town, then finally up the steep way to West Hill (the site of a Norman castle built in 1086).

two suitably dressed and masked observers in the crowd The procession passing All Saints Church One of the members of the parade The Jack-in-the-Green outside All Saints Church The Jack-in-the-Green outside All Saints Church The procession outside All Saints Church 1 The procession outside All Saints Church 2 The procession outside All Saints Church 3 Jackie and the Queens outside All Saints Church Gay Bogeys outside All Saints Church Morris Dancers in the procession Not sure if they're in the procession or in the crowd!

Various scenes from the 2023 Jack in the Green festival in Hastings

I headed back just in time to miss the bank holiday rain.