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After consultation with the hall owners the regulations around social distancing and covid-safety continue to make it practically impossible for the hoped-for March event to go forward as normal. Instead we have decided to run 2021 as a Virtual event via a YouTube playlist. If you have purchased a ticket or booked a stall for this year, this will remain valid for 2022 (unless you would prefer a refund, in which case contact the individual who initially sold you a ticket or speak to Mike about stall pitches). Normally we donate a large portion of ticket sales to worthy causes. This year we will ask you to make a voluntary donation to one of our chosen causes in exchange for listening to the podcasts. Links to causes will be posted shortly.

The 2021 Leaping Hare will go live on Saturday 27th March 2021 via a link that will be posted both on this website and via the Facebook page. This link will take you to the introduction. If the playlist does not automatically kick in, the links to each video are int he description section: 

Please contact Mike about a refund on your stall (or if you wish to ask about a pitch) or, if you need a ticket refund, speak to the person who sold it to you originally.


This is the website for the annual Leaping Hare convention, which is held every spring in Colchester, Essex, Britain. We will update this site with information about each forthcoming convention, as well as featuring reviews of previous years. 

IMPORTANT TRAVEL INFORMATION...

By Car - ***IMPORTANT*** parking for the Leaping Hare Pagan Convention - please park only in the (free) Community Centre Car Park; if you park in Tesco's car park, you risk a big fine! Here's how to get there...http://www.highwoodscommunitycentre.co.uk/find-us.html

 

We suggest that it's generally easier to get to LH via Colchester (the mainline station -also known as Colchester North). Exit the station from platform 4 (exit beside W H Smith shop), bearing left down to the road. Once you are at the roadside, turn right, walk to the SECOND bus stop, and you can get the #8 or 65 bus marked 'Highwoods Tesco', 'Tesco Highwoods' or 'Highwoods Square' (all the same place by different names!) Get the bus to this destination, as it is the turnaround for buses and the Venue for Leaping Hare is also there, on your left or behind you as you exit the bus.

To return to the rail station, cross the square from the venue and get a #8 or 65 bus, ask for Colchester North / Colchester railway station, the bus stops on the opposite side of the road to the station (outside 'Wickes' building supplies). From Colchester Town railway station, from the station, turn right and then left at Osborne St. (coaches stop here too near the bus 'station') walk up the town to 'Head Street' 10- 15 min walk. Turn right at Head St. The #8 and 65 buses destination marked 'Highwoods Tesco', 'Tesco Highwoods' or 'Highwoods Square', (all the same place by different names!) go from stand 'Ec' outside the Odeon Cinema. Get the bus to that destination, as it is the turnaround for buses and the Venue for Leaping Hare is also there, on your left or behind you as you exit the bus. On your return from LH, cross the square from the venue and get a #8 or 65 bus.  #8 stops at stand Ja on Queen Street, walk downhill and bear left for Colchester Town rail station. 65 stops at the bottom of Osborne Street, stand Ac beside the multi-storey car park / bingo. Turn left as you exit the bus, the rail station is just off St Botolph's roundabout on your right at the end of the street. For Coaches turn right as you exit the bus.


***RAIL ENGINEERING WORK*** Train travel - planned engineering work on 30th March. All train travel below is to Colchester mainline station (also called Colchester North).

Travelling from London, you will need to take the underground central line to Newbury Park shuttle coach from Newbury Park to Ingatestone then train to Colchester. 1 hr 56 journey time. Last train returns 23:03.

Travelling from Southend
Southend Victoria to Shenfield bus then train to Colchester 2hr 44 mins. Last train returns 23:06

Travelling from Southminster
Southminster to Wickford on bus then change bus Wickford to Shenfield on bus then train to Colchester 2 hrs 48. Last train returns 21:31

Travelling from Wickford
Wickfork to Shenfield bus then train from Shenfield to Colchester travel time 
1 hr 38. Last train returns 23:06

Coaches into Colchester generally stop at stand Ba on Stanwell St. cross Stanwell St and head up Osborne St / St Johns Road to Head St Turn right at Head St the #8 and 65 buses marked 'Highwoods Tesco', 'Tesco Highwoods' or 'Highwoods Square', (all the same place by different names!) go from stand 'Ec' outside the Odeon Cinema. Get the bus to this destination, as it is the turnaround for buses and the Venue for Leaping Hare is also there, on your left or behind you as you exit the bus. On your return from LH, cross the square from the venue, and get a #8 or 65 bus. 65 stops at the bottom of Osborne Street, beside the multi-storey car park / Gala bingo.#8 stops at stand Ja on Queen Street, walk downhill and turn right up Osborne St for coaches. 65 stops at the bottom of Osborne Street, stand Ac beside the multi-storey car park / bingo. Turn right on exiting the bus and the Coach stand you arrived at is to your left on Stanwell St. ***IMPORTANT*** Please CHECK the destination on the bus, as the #8 & 65 go in 2 directions from the town centre, you don't want to end up travelling the wrong direction away from the venue.


If you would like to book a stall (please note they tend to sell out around six months in advance) contact stalls, offer your skills as a speaker/performer for the 2021 event, or purchase a ticket then please email the address below. Due to changing demands from our insurers, stallholders will need to have their own Market Traders insurance. If you do not have this, talk to us and we can explain what to do.

This site was last updated on 26th March 2021

In a normal year tickets are available from Philippa on 07564 28823807564 or via [email protected] (£6.50 in advance, or £8 on the door). Disabled people bringing non-pagan carers can request a free ticket for one carer. For the 2021 Virtual Hare, we ask you to make a donation to our worthy causes instead:

Hedgehog Havens - http://www.hedgehoghavenessex.co.uk/ East Anglian Children's Hospice - https://www.each.org.uk/ Colchester Foodbank - https://colchester.foodbank.org.uk/ If you would like to donate to the local branch of the Pagan Federation, please contact [email protected]

 

Planned 2021 talks

Subject to change, our programme will include...


Jo van der Hoeven, "Altered States"; will be talking about different states of consciousness within the druid traditions, drawing on readings from her latest book;

Carys, will be singing a selection of pagan-themed songs from her recent CD "Wolfsong";

Robin Herne, "Too Jung to Die"; will be talking about  Carl Jung's views on the process of apotheosis in ancient pagan traditions - where some people (such as Antinous) were elevated to divine status after their deaths;

Nick Ford, "Gods Just Wanna Have Fun"; WARNING: This lecture contains expressions and concepts which some may find offensive, blasphemous, even alarming. It is intended to be a punchy little wake-you-up-after-lunch number which attempts to explain why - how it can possibly be - that even though the gods are nice, they allow awful things to happen. Actually you could skip this one and go for a beer instead, if you reflect that you are also a nice person who allows bad things to happen, and just extrapolate that thought a bit.  If you do decide to skip it though, you will also miss a brilliant tour de force exposition of World Religion, the Antediluvian Lore Of Ancient Mesopotamia, a logical reconciliation of Monotheism and Polytheism and, of course, the solution to The Problem Of Evil. It's up to you what you do about it. The gods - and The Supreme Being - gave you free will, and if you use it to piss them off, whose fault is it? Nick Ford is just this guy who's been thinking about this kind of stuff for the past sixty years or so. It isn't necessarily a recommendation.

Jonathan Boddam-Whetham, "Pathways to Initiation"; will e talking about the novels and writings of Dion Fortune and what insights they have to give about the nature of magical initiation.

THERE WILL ALSO BE...

Storytelling with Clan Ogma, a druid group from the Suffolk-Essex borders that was founded in 1993. They will be recounting the tale of The Harp of the Dagda