Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Green Man Letter

The following letter was printed in today's Morley Observer and Advertiser:

Dear Sir/Madam,

It was a pleasure to see so many people take part in Morley Saint George’s Day celebrations this weekend. At short notice I was able to get hold of The Green Man and bring him along to Morley on the Sunday, and he too was highly impressed with our town’s annual celebration of Englishness.

The Green Man is a truly fascinating mythological character with his roots in our distant past who has appeared in various guises throughout the ages. Once the central figure at May Day festivals all over the country, the Green Man (often ‘Jack’) was banned by the Puritans as a pagan idol who they claimed encouraged young men to take virgins into the woods. He was then later stamped out by the Victorians for his connection with drinking too much ale!

He is one of the countless characters from our nation’s mythology that have been largely forgotten over time, but events like this help to provide an opportunity for such lesser-known aspects of our culture to be enjoyed by a wider audience.

Well done to everyone who helped to make the weekend a success, not least the good folk of Morley who once again turned out in such huge numbers.

Chris Beverley