Mayflower Madness

We were delighted to read The Telegraph's article 'Mayflower Madness Countrywide' on Saturday. In light of the uncertainty around Coronavirus, those wishing to holiday in the UK are spoilt for choice in the Mayflower 400 anniversary year, and we are excited to be opening up Master Christopher Jones' house to staycationing tourists.

Mayflower Madness Countrywide

Four hundred years ago, on Sept 20, 1620, a converted wine ship named the Mayflower left England for modern-day Massachusetts, with a cargo of religious separatists. It was captained by Essex-born Christopher Jones and its arrival on the east coast of the New World would change the course of America’s history and have a profound impact on the indigenous population. All four nations involved, the UK, the United States, the Netherlands and the Wampanoag Nation, will be staging events throughout the year. In Britain, this involves 11 different locations and includes the opening of Jones’ house in Harwich; the Southampton Mayflower Maritime Festival (Aug 14-16); the Mayflower Muster in Plymouth, involving British, US and Dutch navies (Sept 19-20); and Wampum: Stories and Shells from Native America, a touring exhibition (April 3-Oct 20) that gives the other side of the story, featuring tales of the descendants...

Living sculpture to commemorate Mayflower 400 planted in Harwich

A willow sculpture depicting The Mayflower has been planted in Harwich. Artists Emma and Adam of Willow Phoenix were commissioned to do the piece at Harwich Green by Tendring District Council (TDC) as part of the Mayflower 400 commemorations.

2020 is a year of celebration of the 400th anniversary of the sailing of The Mayflower to the New World, carrying the Pilgrims, a year which will be book-ended by Illuminate Festivals in November around Thanksgiving.

Historic Harwich has a strong link to The Mayflower as home to the ship, its master Captain Christopher Jones – whose house still stands in Kings Head Street – and some of its crew. For this reason Harwich is part of the Mayflower 400 Compact, an international group of destinations linked to the story. The artists designed the ship structure, while the local community got involved with planting at a special day supported by the Harwich Society.

Unlike previous willow sculptures in Harwich created by other artists, The Mayflower has been planted meaning it will grow and continue for years to come. Alex Porter, TDC Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism, said the eye-catching sculpture would be a striking part of the visitor attraction in Harwich.

“As a living piece of artwork, it is also something the local community can take stewardship of and be part of it growing” Cllr Porter said.

Willow Phoenix said: “We've really enjoyed building the living willow Mayflower, and have been overwhelmed by the support and encouragement of the local businesses and residents, especially SCS Scaffolding, Homecraft Hardware, Shakers Bar and of course TDC for commissioning us. Also a big thanks goes to the Harwich Scouts and the Harwich Society Gardening Club who helped with the planting. We are looking forward to seeing the sculpture grow and mature, and we'll be back here for the Illuminate Festival in November 2020. Thank you Harwich.”

Colin Farnell, Harwich Society Chairman, added: “A willow Mayflower for Mayflower 2020 is a lovely idea and the Harwich Society's Gardening Group were pleased to help with the project. It's a very special anniversary which can be celebrated in many different ways."

 


Home of the Mayflower Master

Often overlooked in the story of the Pilgrim voyage to America, Historic Harwich was home to the Master of the Mayflower ship – Christopher Jones.

The Master’s house on King Street still stands today, and plans to open the doors as an attraction for tourists in 2020 will re-cement our town’s important role in the Pilgrim Trail.

Izzy Lyons explains more in this recent Telegraph article.

Read More

On the trail of the pilgrims in Harwich

The town of Historic Harwich, home to Master of the Mayflower Christopher Jones, was recently featured in Anglotopia Magazine, the focus of an in-depth article on The Pilgrim Trail and our Mayflower 400 celebrations, written by Laura Porter:

Starting from Thanksgiving 2019, there are twelve months of commemorations taking place at landmark locations in the UK, Netherlands and the US. The 400th anniversary commemorates the legacy of the passengers and the crew who undertook the epic journey inspired by an unquenchable desire for freedom, and for whom the voyage promised newfound liberty. The Illuminate Light Festival formally opens and close the Harwich commemorations on 29 November 2019 and in November 2020. The home of Christopher Jones, Captain and part-owner of the Mayflower, will open to the public for the first time for 2020. And updated visitor trails, with Mayflower 400 markers on the pavements, will highlight the town’s Mayflower heritage. A new Mayflower 400 Visitor Centre will open in the grounds of St Nicholas Church with a dedicated exhibition exploring the town’s role in the Mayfower’s journey, including a range of artefacts that have never been publicly displayed before. And The Harwich Mayfower Festival, a new event in development specifcally for 2020, will see a range of Mayfower-themed events and activities take place across the town.

 

Read the article here


HARWICH LIT UP AS FESTIVAL STARTS YEAR OF COMMEMORATIONS

Historic Harwich was lit up across the weekend as the town began a year of commemorations for Mayflower 400. The Illuminate Festival took place on Friday and Saturday evenings (29-30 November), bringing a lantern parade, Tunnel of Light and projections right along the old town seafront.

Similar festivals have been held at destinations across the UK, Netherlands and USA as places with links to The Mayflower and its Pilgrim voyage mark the historic anniversary. Next year sees the 400th anniversary of the Transatlantic crossing and a year of events will commemorate the landmark, with Illuminate held around Thanksgiving.

Harwich was not only home to the ship, which was registered at the port, but several of the crew were residents of the town. These include the ship’s master and co-owner Christopher Jones – whose house still stands in Kings Head Street and will open in February as a tourist attraction. Other notable Harwich residents on the voyage include the cooper John Alden – the first on-board to set foot on American soil, and whose descendants include Marilyn Monroe and Dick Van Dyke. In total 30 million people worldwide can trace their roots back to the 132 pilgrims and crew on-board.

An estimated 6,000 people attended Harwich Illuminate Festival across the two days, to enjoy the stunning projections along buildings on The Quay and onto Christopher Jones’ House. Friday saw a lantern parade led by Spark! drummers and containing children from around the town who helped make giant puppets and lanterns, as well as a performance by 90-strong choir Harwich Sings Tendring Voices which was projected live onto The Pier Hotel. Saturday began with a fireworks flight display by Fireflies, and had a carnival feel with stilt walkers, jugglers, face painting, puppets and more. Both days were hosted by BBC Essex presenters Steve Scruton and Ian Wyatt, and saw two films charting the town’s community and the Mayflower story.

 

Mike Carran, Head of Sport and Leisure at Tendring District Council, said he was bowled over by the atmosphere at the festival.

“There was an incredible buzz throughout the two days, and I had some lovely conversations with both Harwich residents and visitors who said the event gave them a connection to this important piece of history,” Mr Carran said.

“People of all ages had fun, and I also saw some people getting emotional at the We are Harwich film which highlights what a community of heroes we have in this town. This is only the start of our commemorations, and I’d urge people to come back and visit Harwich; when the Welcome Centre and Christopher Jones’ House is open, and for next year’s Illuminate Festival which will be even bigger and better. A huge thank you must go to all of our partners, without whom this event would not have been the success it was – too many to name them all, but most notably The Pier, Harwich Haven Authority, Motion Mapping and the Harwich Festival, as well as all of the performers and our hosts.”


HARWICH LIT UP AS FESTIVAL STARTS YEAR OF COMMEMORATIONS

Historic Harwich was lit up across the weekend as the town began a year of commemorations for Mayflower 400. The Illuminate Festival took place on Friday and Saturday evenings (29-30 November), bringing a lantern parade, Tunnel of Light and projections right along the old town seafront.

Similar festivals have been held at destinations across the UK, Netherlands and USA as places with links to The Mayflower and its Pilgrim voyage mark the historic anniversary. Next year sees the 400th anniversary of the Transatlantic crossing and a year of events will commemorate the landmark, with Illuminate held around Thanksgiving.

Harwich was not only home to the ship, which was registered at the port, but several of the crew were residents of the town. These include the ship’s master and co-owner Christopher Jones – whose house still stands in Kings Head Street and will open in February as a tourist attraction. Other notable Harwich residents on the voyage include the cooper John Alden – the first on-board to set foot on American soil, and whose descendants include Marilyn Monroe and Dick Van Dyke. In total 30 million people worldwide can trace their roots back to the 132 pilgrims and crew on-board.

An estimated 6,000 people attended Harwich Illuminate Festival across the two days, to enjoy the stunning projections along buildings on The Quay and onto Christopher Jones’ House. Friday saw a lantern parade led by Spark! drummers and containing children from around the town who helped make giant puppets and lanterns, as well as a performance by 90-strong choir Harwich Sings Tendring Voices which was projected live onto The Pier Hotel. Saturday began with a fireworks flight display by Fireflies, and had a carnival feel with stilt walkers, jugglers, face painting, puppets and more. Both days were hosted by BBC Essex presenters Steve Scruton and Ian Wyatt, and saw two films charting the town’s community and the Mayflower story.

 

Mike Carran, Head of Sport and Leisure at Tendring District Council, said he was bowled over by the atmosphere at the festival.

“There was an incredible buzz throughout the two days, and I had some lovely conversations with both Harwich residents and visitors who said the event gave them a connection to this important piece of history,” Mr Carran said.

“People of all ages had fun, and I also saw some people getting emotional at the We are Harwich film which highlights what a community of heroes we have in this town. This is only the start of our commemorations, and I’d urge people to come back and visit Harwich; when the Welcome Centre and Christopher Jones’ House is open, and for next year’s Illuminate Festival which will be even bigger and better. A huge thank you must go to all of our partners, without whom this event would not have been the success it was – too many to name them all, but most notably The Pier, Harwich Haven Authority, Motion Mapping and the Harwich Festival, as well as all of the performers and our hosts.”

To keep up to date on Mayflower 400 activities visit the Historic Harwich website (www.historicharwich.co.uk) and social media pages, or for information about events around Tendring, check out the Love Tendring app; free to download on Apple and Android devices.


MAYFLOWER SCULPTURE INSTALLED IN HARWICH

A large sculpture depicting The Mayflower ship which carried the Founding Fathers to America in 1620 has been installed near Harwich. The piece of public art – which is seven metres high, seven metres long and three metres wide – has been commissioned by Tendring District Council to promote Historic Harwich as one of the key destinations marking next year the 400th anniversary of the sailing.

Captain Christopher Jones, the ship’s master, was from Harwich as were several crew members, and the ship itself was registered in the town. Harwich is celebrating its link to the historic voyage with a year of celebratory events. Designed by artist husband and wife collaborators Hanman Murphy, the sculpture has been installed in Parkeston, on the first roundabout people exiting Harwich International Port come to – and the aim is to encourage people to turn left to visit the historic town rather than heading straight down the A120 to the rest of the country.

Inspiration for the materials came from Daniel Defoe’s early 18th Century work A tour thro’ the Whole Island of Great Britain where locals referred to the spring at Beacon Hill as “turning wood into iron”, this quote will encircle the globe plinth.

Madelaine Murphy, one of the artists, said: “We wanted to create to create a structural skeleton that evokes the historic starting point of the Mayflower story, represented as structurally and proportionally accurate as possible. The globe reflects this interpretation of iron bearing waters, and the international legacy of the Mayflower.”

Alex Porter, TDC Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism, said the installation showed how the area was stepping up preparations for Mayflower 400.

“We, along with many partners, are preparing Harwich to be an international tourist destination, focused on the Mayflower story but with lots of other history beside, for 2020 and beyond,” Cllr Porter said.

“This sculpture will act as a gateway into the area from the international port, as well as improving the public realm for local residents.”

Groundworks for the sculpture were carried out by Essex County Council, and Cllr Porter thanked them for the work – along with Cadman who were responsible for transporting and craning in the giant artwork.

Matt Waddingham, Managing Director of Cadman Cranes, said it had been a fun project to be involved in.

“Most of our work is in construction, utilities and manufacturing, so it was a pleasant change to be involved with a piece of public artwork,” Mr Waddingham said.

“Cadman Cranes is proud to be able to support this project, and as a Harwich resident myself I am delighted to see some striking artwork that further enhances the character of our little corner of Essex.”

Finishing touches will be completed in the coming weeks.


The Mayflower arrives at Liverpool Street

A model of the MAyflower Ship is being placed in London's Liverpool Street station throughout the week to promote the area's history and attract more visitors.

 


The Mayflower Living Art Sculpture

A piece of living art depicting The Mayflower ship is to be installed in Harwich later this year. The willow sculpture will be planted in Harwich Green as a permanent commemoration to the historic ship whose master, Captain Christopher Jones, lived in the town.

In 1620 The Mayflower set sail to for America, and it is the vessel community’s first harvest which is celebrated by Thanksgiving each year in the USA. To mark the 400th anniversary of the historic trans-Atlantic crossing a whole series of events and celebrations are being planned both in Harwich, and at other Mayflower destinations, throughout 2020.

The willow sculpture will be created in Spring as part of the Mayflower Trail, which will be installed around Historic Harwich later this year. It will be made by Willow Phoenix, a firm which has been working with Harwich schoolchildren on the Illuminate Festival.

Installation will take place this spring, and it is hoped the community will also be involved in creating the artwork. Members of the community will also be trained up to help maintain the sculpture in the long-term.

Mick Skeels, Tendring District Council Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism, said the sculpture would really capture people’s imagination.

“Harwich Green is such a wonderful community space in the town, and this willow artwork will really stand out for both residents and visitors to enjoy. Though there is a natural focus on 2020 as the 400th anniversary year, we are really keen that there is an ongoing legacy for Harwich for many years to come from the town’s strong links to this historic journey. This sculpture will form part of that legacy providing a visual experience for future generations.”

Adam Lawes, from Willow Phoenix, said the firm was thrilled to be involved with the living willow Mayflower project.

“Having worked with local school children and the Harwich Festival team for the last two years on the Illuminate parade, we are looking forward to working with the wider community on the Mayflower,” he said.

Emma Lucas from Willow Phoenix added:

“Working together, we’ll build an interactive, natural sculpture, for the enjoyment of Tendring locals and visitors alike. We are all part of living history.”


Mayflower Sculpture to be Installed on Approach to Harwich

A sculpture of The Mayflower is to be installed on a roundabout on the approach to Harwich as part of the town’s celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the ship’s sailing.

An artist’s replica of the ship, which took the Pilgrim Fathers to America in 1620, will be put on the roundabout in Parkeston which is the first one reached by visitors exiting Harwich International Port. It will form a key landmark to visitors to Harwich, and is part of the Mayflower 400 programme of works. Harwich, co-ordinated by Tendring District Council (TDC) with partners including the Harwich and Dovercourt Tourism Group, is part of a national compact looking to attract visitors to the town during the 400th anniversary of the ship’s sailing from Harwich to the New World.

TDC confirmed funding for the creation and installation of the sculpture late last year, with up to £45,000 committed to the project, and now a scale model of the artwork has been produced. Essex County Council has already carried out the required groundworks at the roundabout, as part of its commitment to the Mayflower 400 celebrations. It is hoped the sculpture will be put in place in Spring 2019, but installation will be weather dependent.

Zoe Fairley, TDC Cabinet Member for Investment and Growth, said it was fitting the decision to release the funding was made on Thanksgiving – the date Americans celebrate the arrival of The Mayflower on their shores.

“We are really gearing up our efforts now to make Harwich a top tourist destination for 2020, based around The Mayflower, and for decades beyond that with all it has to offer,” Cllr Fairley said.

“This striking sculpture will really act as a gateway to Harwich for visitors, and I look forward to seeing the finished artwork from artist husband and wife collaborators Hanman Murphy. This project has been some time in the making, but now is the right time to install it to have an impact as build up to the Mayflower 400 celebrations in 2020. It will also improve the public realm in general for residents, businesses and tourists.”

Since the funding was approved the required agreements have been signed and a final model of the sculpture agreed before work began on the finished piece.

 


Programme Of 2020 Events For Harwich Celebrating Mayflower 400 Is Shaping Up

Event organisers are working together in Harwich and Dovercourt to pull together an exciting programme for next year.

The Mayflower ship, from Harwich and captained by Harwich resident Christopher Jones, took the first settlers to America in 1620 in a voyage marked annually by Thanksgiving in the USA.

A whole programme of events is being planned across 11 UK destinations, including Harwich, for 2020 to mark the 400th anniversary.

As well as bespoke and new events introduced specifically for 2020, organisers are being encouraged to look at if their existing event or activity can also get involved.

Paul Milsom, Chairman of the Harwich Tourism Group, said he was pleased at how many people were already building on the Mayflower theme.

“While big landmark events are of course a great way of drawing people into Harwich to enjoy all the area has to offer, it will be the vibrant, exciting activities and events which we deliver year-in year-out which will create that buzz and bring visitors back year after year,” Mr Milsom said. “Harwich is already renowned for events such as the Maritime Festival and the Harwich Festival of the Arts, and it is so encouraging to see the organisations behind those already thinking ‘Mayflower’. I was impressed to learn from a recent meeting of our group just how many people are picking up this thread – and I would urge others to do the same.”

Last year Tendring District Council (TDC), which is part of the Harwich and Dovercourt Tourism Group, promoted a Get On Board campaign encouraging local businesses and organisations to think about how they can contribute to Mayflower 400 – and what it could mean to them.

Mick Skeels, TDC Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism, said he was thrilled to hear that message was being picked up.

“Mayflower 400 is such an opportunity, not just for 2020 but for years to come, for Harwich and Dovercourt,” Cllr Skeels said. “As we’ve already announced, TDC is providing a lot of support and some exciting projects to help make Harwich an exciting visitor destination, and I am delighted that others in the town are also picking up the mantle.”

For more information on this news release contact Tendring District Council’s Communications Manager Will Lodge on 01255 686338.

A YouTube video of Get On Board can be found and used on media websites here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgvMehczmFU&t=3s

Image shows Christopher Jones’ House, in Harwich. Picture: Paul Nixon Photography/TDC


Commemorative Mayflower Plate on Display

Commemorative Mayflower plate donated by American descendant to be displayed in Harwich Heritage Centre

A silver commemorative Mayflower plate will be displayed in the new Harwich Heritage Centre after it was donated by an American descendant of the famous voyage. The Mayflower ship, from Harwich and captained by Harwich resident Christopher Jones, took the first settlers to America in 1620 in a voyage marked annually by Thanksgiving in the USA.

A whole programme of events is being planned across 11 UK destinations, including Harwich, for 2020 to mark the 400th anniversary. In the week after Thanksgiving last year Susan Hopkins, from New York state, got in contact with the Historic Harwich website offering the pristine condition sterling silver commemorative plate, with the Mayflower logo in the centre – one of only a few manufactured in 1978.

Susan is a member of the General Society of Mayflower Descendants as a direct descendant of Stephen Hopkins and William Brewster, two of those who voyaged to America on the Mayflower. She offered the plate to go on permanent display in Harwich.

Her grandfather Wallace Hopkins attended the 350th anniversary festivities in 1970 in Leiden and Plymouth as a member of the Mayflower Society, while her father Richard Gilpin Hopkins, a retired naval officer, had a plaque made for the Mayflower Monument in Southampton in 1977 in honour of Stephen Hopkins and his family.

Susan said: “In recognition of the upcoming 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower and as a direct descendant of Stephen Hopkins and William Brewster, I am honoured to donate the silver General Society of Mayflower Descendants plate to the museum.”

The plate is now being cared for by Tendring District Council (TDC), and will feature in a Welcome Centre it is setting up in Harwich to be home to a whole raft of historical artefacts relating to the town and its links to the Mayflower story, and work is ongoing with partners including the Harwich Society and the Guildhall Archivists on this strand of the project.

Carlo Guglielmi, TDC Deputy Leader, said Susan’s story was incredible to hear.

“It is fascinating to discover individual stories such as these, and when you realise how some can directly trace their roots back to this iconic voyage you can begin to understand just how important the Mayflower is not just to a nation’s history, but to people alive today,” Cllr Guglielmi said.

“Hearing Susan’s link to the Mayflower is very interesting, and we are enormously grateful to her for the donation of this plate which will form a fascinating part of a display on the Mayflower when the Welcome Centre opens later this year.”


Half Marathon returns to commemorate Mayflower 400

The Harwich half marathon is to be revived after 29 years to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower's voyage to the New World. The event on the 5th April 2020 will take part of its original route, and is set to have a fun, festival atmosphere.


MAYFLOWER 400 CELEBRATION PLANS REVEALED

MAYFLOWER 400 CELEBRATION PLANS REVEALED FOR HARWICH AS NATIONAL GROUP ANNOUNCES ARTS FUNDING

A series of celebration events and a welcome centre are planned for Harwich as part of the Mayflower 400 commemorations in 2020.

The Mayflower ship, from Harwich and captained by Harwich resident Christopher Jones, took the first settlers to America in 1620 in a voyage marked annually by Thanksgiving in the USA. A whole programme of events is being planned across 11 UK destinations, including Harwich, for 2020 to mark the 400th anniversary.

 

Now TDC’s Cabinet is being asked to approve a budget of £135,000 to support other Mayflower 400 projects in the area. These include £50,000 for a Welcome Centre to act as a hub for tourists visiting the area, £40,000 for a Heritage Trail to take visitors around the town and the key Mayflower sites, and £20,000 for a programme of events.

The Welcome Centre would be home to a whole raft of historical artefacts relating to Harwich and its links to the Mayflower story, and work is ongoing with partners including the Harwich Society and the Guildhall Archivists on this strand of the project.

Neil Stock, TDC Leader, said this is a significant moment in time to remember the key role that Harwich played in historical world events.

“This substantial investment in Harwich is about ensuring the town can capitalise on its heritage and history by welcoming visitors and tourists into the district to boost the local economy,” Cllr Stock said.

It is hoped that external funding can also be sourced from partners and grant organisations to help support projects.

At a national Mayflower Compact event held in the Houses of Parliament yesterday (Wednesday, December 5) it was announced that the Art of the Possible cultural programme will benefit from £700,000 of Arts Council England National Lottery funding. The keynote speech was given by Michael Ellis MP, Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism.

The milestone in UK and US history is set to boost the UK economy and attract over 1.4 million visitors nationally during the Mayflower 400 commemoration year, yielding an anticipated economic impact in excess of £76million.

 


On the Pilgrim Trail

In two years time the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims landing in New England will be celebrated on both sides of the Atlantic.

Ahead of this anniversary, I jetsetted to the Old World — in considerably less time and much, much more comfort than the Pilgrims could have ever imagined — to discover the places they left in pursuit of a new life in present-day America.

My first stop was Harwich (population 17,684) in Essex, a county to the east and north of London on the North Sea coast... [read the full article here ]

- The Christian Post


The Mayflower Harwich - London Unattached

Journalist, Madeleine Morrow, recently visited Harwich, and gave her account on the town and the history of the Mayflower.

You can read the excellent review here: https://www.london-unattached.com/2018/04/mayflower-harwich-history/


Mayflower 400 Conference underway

Businesses across Harwich and Dovercourt are being reminded of a conference taking place on Monday providing an update on the Mayflower 400 project.

The year 2020 marks 400 years since The Mayflower sailed from England to America, sparking what became the United States of America. The Mayflower 400 compact includes 14 destinations with a link to the voyage working together in a bid to attract American tourists during the anniversary year.

Harwich played an intrinsic role in this iconic story, with the ship and its captain Christopher Jones hailing from the town.

The conference is an excellent opportunity for local firms to get involved with the Mayflower 400 project.

The conference has been sponsored by some local firms, including The Pier and Ellisons solicitors.

More than 120 organisations have already indicated they are coming.

Mick Skeels, Cabinet Member for Leisure and Tourism at Tendring District Council, said: “It is not too late for people and businesses to join us to hear about exciting developments and how Harwich and Dovercourt can benefit from this once in a generation opportunity.”

The conference takes place on Monday, March 12, at the Harwich International Port Cruise Terminal, from 4.30-7.30pm.

 


Mayflower 400 project conference

Mayflower 400 project conference

Businesses across Harwich and Dovercourt are invited to a conference providing an update on the Mayflower 400 project. The year 2020 marks 400 years since The Mayflower sailed from England to America, sparking what became the United States of America.

 

If you are travelling by car, the parking arrangements are set out below:

 

Getting there

Coming from the A120, please follow the signs for Harwich International Port and the Ferry & Cruise Terminals.

 

Parking

Free parking will be available in the Ferry Terminal Car Park only, which will be clearly signposted.

However, this does mean there is a short walk to get to the Cruise terminal.

This is done via the main stairs (or the lift) from the car park into the main ferry terminal building.

Once there, we will then have members of staff directing you down the escalators and along the main railway platform and into the Cruise terminal.