This is an old folk custom..and in the area of south London (close to Sutton/ Wallington). .
“The Straw Jack is a harvest celebration held in September at Carshalton in Surrey. Jack is a male figure made from the last straw in the harvest and he is ceremonially burned after a full days revelry involving drummers and musicians, touring around the local pubs. If you’ve seen the Straw Bear at Whittlesea he’s not dissimilar (see entry for Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival). Characters such as the Sweepers, the Corn Dollies and the Reaper Man will be there and if you’re lucky you might get a piece of Jack to take home as a souvenir. Tree hugging takes place on the stretch of walk before arrival at the Hope on West Street!
In the evening Jack is dismantled, bundles of straw are handed around the crowd, and everyone takes turns to burn their bundle in a brazier in the beer garden at the Hope.” (taken from http://calendarcustoms.com/)
Approximate Pub venues (time Jack arrives & departs), the route to next pub.. – info taken from their website http://www.strawjack.co.uk
1. Racehorse: , West Street Arrive from 11:05 Depart 12:15
(then walk along West Street, Festival Walk, Ponds ..and arrive at..)
2. Woodman / Coach & Horses: High Street Arrive 12:35 Depart 13:30. (Then walk along High Street, along to Charles Cryer Theatre, Grove Park, Mill Lane)
3. The Sun, North Street : Arrive 13:55 Depart 14:55
(then walk along North Street, Camden Road…)
4. The Railway, North Street Arrive 15:15 Depart 16:15 (then walk along North Street, West Street Lane..and finally arrive ..at..)
5. Hope, West Street Arrive 16:30
6. Burning of the Straws will take place around 19:30 dependant on weather.