PLANS are already underway for next year’s Onion Jack event, but the Onion Johnnies need your help.

The biennial festival celebrating the French onion sellers will begin in Roscoff between May 17 and 19, before coming to West Bay from October 18 to 20.

The tour, led by the Onion Jack Association, aims to celebrate the pink Roscoff onion and Onion Johnnies, the old door-to-door travelling onion sellers.

They first arrived around 200 years ago after Breton traders first realised the benefits of exporting their produce across the Channel.

The sight of a beret-wearing Frenchman wearing a striped jumper and weighed down by strings of onions as he cycled from house to house was a common sight in the UK, until the trade almost died out in the 1970s.

The event first came in 2015, then again in 2017, bringing a Breton market, Roscoff onions, entertainment and music, but organisers want to make next year’s tour the best yet.

Laurent Caroff, president of the Onion Jack Association, said: “I am an onion seller and I had supplied Washingpool Farm Shop for eight or nine years. I was celebrating my 10 years of onion trade and we wanted to do a party for that.

“I wanted to do like they did in the past and take a sailing boat over, so we were looking for a place on the coast and the only shop I supply on the coast is Washingpool.

“That is why we arrived in West Bay and now year after year we start to know more people – we feel good here and people like it.

“We are already organising the next edition and trying to build a British committee for people to have meetings here so we can work with each other.”

The association is also on the lookout for around 70 to 80 volunteers to join in with some of the events they are planning for next October, but they want to keep what they doing a surprise.

As well as extras, the group also need help with lodgings and a large room to hold their events in, just in case the weather is against them like it was in 2017.

They are also organising a boat parade by the harbour and are inviting anyone with a boat, rowing boat or even a kayak to join them. The time and date of this will be confirmed.

Above all they are looking for support for the festival, including sponsors for the event to cover a range of things for the tour.

Anyone who would like to offer help and support or become involved in the festival by volunteering or joining the committee should contact Alison Constable on 07970 784970 or email

Onion Tour merchandise, including jumpers and bags, are available to buy from Washingpool Farm.