Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
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Hastings Bank Holiday Monday through the eyes of JJ Waller

HOT’s Erica Smith goes all green-eyed over JJ Waller’s photographs.

As I cycled down London Road this morning, clad in green with a home-made ivy garland round my head, I passed a tall man dressed in a rather grubby looking rabbit suit and a terrifying mask. It made me think of  a JJ Waller photograph. As if by Jack-in-the-Green magic, this evening an email arrived with a whole set of JJ Waller’s Bank Holiday photographs attached.

JJ said: “I wasn’t going to come today but couldn’t resist the roar of the bikes and the unashamed delight in Hastings & St Leonards locals dressing up and celebrating… bit nippy but what a great event. I’m so pleased I came over such a unique and wonderfully perplexing town, I love Hastings & St Leonards.”

For me, it was my 18th Jack-in-the-Green as a Hastings resident. I still make a point of watching the parade. It really feels like the drumming in of summer and is the  beginning of my Hastings year.

I thought this year’s parade was particularly enjoyable – the drumming groups seemed to have grown in size as well as quantity and the dancers were really energetic – including Jack himself who leaped and spun around like the Dancing Queen.

After the parade had passed, I made my way back to St Leonards along the seafront. I don’t usually spend much time looking at the bikes, but this time I did – and watched the families who filled the prom. Whilst there is a difference between the public who choose to watch the Jack-in-the-Green parade and those who choose to stick by the seafront to look at the bikes, the whole day is definitely a popular festival, and JJ Waller’s photographs have captured the essence – burly bikers, leaping morris dancers, beer and hot dogs.

For those of you who didn’t make it, here’s a taster of what you missed.

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Posted 23:14 Monday, May 6, 2019 In: One Long Party


Please read our comment guidelines before posting on HOT

  1. JJ Waller

    Thanks Cyril. What a fantastic day…as usual. I’m really looking forward to photographing the S’lennards Festival next…my favourite of all…

    Comment by JJ Waller — Wednesday, May 15, 2019 @ 20:48

  2. Cyril Gould


    Comment by Cyril Gould — Sunday, May 12, 2019 @ 23:06

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