Clun and the Green Man Festival

So we’re now up to the final day of our wonderful escape in Shropshire – I would recommend this area to anyone who needs a peaceful break amongst very friendly people.  Did I mention that Bertie was allowed in pubs and cafes – he was a very spoiled dog and lots of people wanted to pat him and tell him how beautiful he is (which of course he is).
Bertie Boo taking up as much of the pub’s floor space as he possibly could.
In Clun there was a lovely church where the Green Man procession started from – we went and explored before it was busy.  I love the way that the church yards are let return to nature and the gravestones almost feel as if they grew there, as if they’ve always belonged at an angle covered in ivy – I think it would be wrong to see them looking pristine.

Of course I had to include at least one lovely door in this blog – don’t you just love the hinges.

Another lovely door – even lovelier hinges

These two gravestones, above and below were much more modern but both really funky and beautiful in the way they are designed – the one above very organic and simple, and the one below reflecting the person in what they obviously loved.

Now onto the festival proper – something I hadn’t heard of is Mummers (pictured below) who are story tellers, acting out the story in some great costumes.  They performed in the town square on one of the evenings.

There were lots of different troupes (not sure if that’s the right word) of Morris dancers but the ones we really enjoyed were the Wychwood Morris dancers pictured below.  They were really energetic with their bells, sticks, and great costumes.  One theory as to why they paint their faces black, which has been happening for centuries, was so as to disguise themselves from the clergy and rich bosses as Morris dancing was frowned upon.

The MC for the festival was an idiot (his words not mine) dressed as a jester and on stilts – he was really good at getting everyone involved and telling us all about the history of the Green Man and the significance of the different aspects of the festival.

Leading up to the arrival of the Green Man they had drummers that were amazing – the man in front of them with the white hat was dancing to the beat and a bit of his own beat as well.

Then they had fire jugglers and fire breathers – the drums and the fire both being traditional ways to welcome in the summer and see off the winter and the cold.  The fire acts were really good – just a few of the shots I managed to catch whilst they were doing there thing – the drummers were still performing as well so it was a great atmosphere.

Finally the Green Man arrived with his army to see off the Frost Queen – it was great that they had the children involved.

After the battle on the bridge everyone moved onto the craft fair which was on the field next to the ruins of Clun Castle.  It was a really colourful and eclectic sight.

The tents above were for a group of historic reenactors who helped with the fight on the bridge – Ken had a long chat to them on one of the other days and they were telling him all about how they try and make their costumes as authentic as possible, but it’s quite difficult as apart from the metal armour a lot of the under clothing hasn’t survived so they have to experiment and see what works best for battles. 

The Green Man and the May Queen opened the fair and then they wandered around the stalls and they were photographed by everyone – it was such a hot day that the poor Green Man must have been melting.

It was such a lovely weekend and a great festival which I would love to go to again in the future.  So batteries recharged and ready to face the world again.
Until next time, keep smiling, stay safe, and look after each other.
Pamela & Ken

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