Clun Green Man Festival 1st & 2nd May 2016
A modern take on an ancient tradition
The Green Man Festival at Clun is a renowned annual event - which first took place in the Thirteenth Century.
It was instituted under King John in 1204, who that year took a very short break from trying to steal France from the French to grant Clun’s town charter… and it’s been packing in locals and visitors to celebrate a Maytime festival ever since (give or take a few interruptions).
It has been running in its modern guise since the mid-1990s, when the founder of Legoland moved to Clun and saw its potential, running the show for five years or so. In 2001, Clun publican Jack Limond took on the organisation, and the Green Man Festival as we now enjoy it began in earnest.
The heart of the Festival is a modern take on the ancient springtime tradition of summer winning over winter – the battle of dark and cold versus light and warmth – which is enacted in the form of a fierce skirmish on Clun’s 500 year-old bridge, on Bank Holiday Monday, between the Green Man and the Ice Queen. Should the Green Man lose, it is said summer will not come to the Clun Valley. It is VERY important therefore to come along and cheer the Green Man in his efforts against the Ice Queen – he is mighty, but the Ice Queen is a wily, wintry opponent!
The Green Man Festival is very much a community effort. Just about every local group, from the Young Farmers (stewards) to the Bowls Club (gatekeepers) to the Parent and Toddlers Association (Duck Race) is involved, and the Festival generates income for local groups and businesses, benefiting the town and local area.
The festivities kick off on Sunday May 1st at midday with the Ice Queen making the most of her dwindling (we hope) reign, with the Fair in the Square. This continues throughout the afternoon and evening with the Clun Mummers, Sedgley Morris Dancers, The Plantagenets (re-enactors) and music from the Over the Hillbillies and the Rhythm Thieves.
On Monday events kick off at 11am (the town’s roads are closed from 10am) with morris dancing in the Square from the Shropshire Bedlams and Martha Roden’s Tuppenny Dish. The bells will be ringing in St George’s Church and Jack the Jester will warm up the crowd, with help from the Bishop’s Castle Samba Band. The Green Man’s procession from the Church begins before midday and the great battle of the Green Man and the Ice Queen will take place on the Bridge around noon.
Thereafter the Green Man will open the Craft Fair on Castle Meadow, where there will be food from No Bones Jones, local burgers, the Bowmen of Caradoc with have-a-go archery, circus workshops, a beer tent and much more besides. In the Square there will be music from the Stoned Cherries and others… and the Maytime revels will continue until evening time.
Come and be part of this unique, ancient festival and help to usher in the summer… the Green Man can’t do it alone!
For more information about festival events and programming, see the Facebook page Clun Green Man Festival.
Date Posted: 22nd April 2016