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Less speed, more Hastings

A few weeks ago, I took a trip to the seaside to the Jack in the Green festival that’s held there every year on May Day. It’s a great olde English tradition which dates back to the 16th century, which was revived in Hastings back in the 80s and the annual celebrations feature lots of pagan symbolism, green foliage and Morris dancing. Oh, and a huge biker meet.

Unfortunately, the weather didn’t play ball, but I wore traditional green regardless! Sorry that it’s paired with my uniform leather jacket, which is on here rather a lot lately. But that just reflects my life!

Outfit: A cherished Swirl dress
Vintage leather 
and my gorgeous Agneta High Swedish Hasbeens
A few snaps le boyfriend took of the biker part with my camera!
RIP this flower headband, which fell apart last week! 
Posting this as a good photo but would like to point out that as it’s not something I can remember seeing before, I looked up this rather ill-advised (IMO) black makeup that the Morris dancer on the left is wearing. Though the general consensus seems to be it started as a disguise and has largely died out for obvious reasons, I do feel the racial connotations should lead to it dying out completely as a tradition for Morris Men, sharpish.
The desolate seafront!
The old Pier, which burned down, is being rebuilt
Well nothing else to add really, since we got there late and didn’t stay massively long, so no more interesting stories… except some advice. Don’t pose for blog photos when there are hundreds of powerful motorbikes being driven down the bit of road you’re standing on… 

Fleur xx
DiaryofaVintageGirl.com

12 Comments

Lauriana

That sounds like an interesting combination of activities!
And about the blackface-like make-up… This is a Morris dancer and you did mention pagan symbolism in the festival. There are stories in different versions all over Europe in which pagan gods have a helper who is sent to look down chimneys and report on the behaviour of people. The helper has a black face as a result of that job. Maybe that's what the make-up is based on.
Although I agree the choice is ill-advised in this day and age

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Jessica Cangiano

Splendid outfit! A crown of blooms as you're wearing here, real of faux, is a must in my books for events of this nature.

I hope that the rest of your summer is every bit as fun as this delightful event was.

♥ Jessica

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Mim McDonald

The black makeup is still a feature of Morris dancers along the Welsh border, and has nothing to do with race – it was originally done as a way of preventing landowners work out which of their tenants was out causing mayhem.

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Fleur

That's what I meant by disguise above, but theres also the theory that Morris comes from moorish, so maybe the theatrical paint worked as a disguise, rather than that being its primary function.

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Mim McDonald

Interesting. I've seen border morris groups performing, and they go out of their way beforehand to stress that they in no way intend to imitate POC.

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Alexandra Mayhew

Ooh I live in Hastings! If I'd seen you I totally would have fangirled and… Erm… Said hello! Lol! Hope you had a good day down by the sea- come back when it's hot, it's beautiful X

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Martine

No, you look very elegant. After all, ruffles are more of a style that comes and goes. Some seasons minimalism is in, some years ruffles adorn everything, and as long as the item is well made, I see nothing childish about it. Maybe it would have been odd to wear that dress in its original era at a certain age, but n to now.

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Martine

I doubt you would have fared well. But then I doubt any of us would have. My family comes from Russia, Moscow to be exact, and from what I have gathered from them, i don';t think I would have come through it alive. We are soft and spoiled, and worried about all the wrong things. I am pretty sure your anon had the right of it. And of course people back then really did know how to keep what should be private that way. So, I completely agree. I sort of wish people did go back to a lot of that. The way people whine these days is pretty disgusting.

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Martine

Assuming that the only valid opinion is one that doesn't hurt anyone's feelings? LOL!!!! Kind of unlikely, doncha think?

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Martine

Really cute dress, although I think it would have looked better without the jacked, without the goth make up, and with more of the moment footwear. if you wore it with flatworm brogues, or even Birkenstocks it would have been a nice juxtaposition. Maybe with a jean jacket it could have been good.

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