Out now – the latest edition of Pilgrim Trails with news and updates about the Pilgrim Roots project funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund!
Nottinghamshire artist Rachel Carter begins her ‘Language of Sculpture: A Spirit of Mayflower 400 Project’ this week – and has posted her plans:
“This new project will aim to digitally capture and bring knotting it into the modern age whilst still retaining the touch of the hand. I’ll explore storytelling, visual art and history through the textural language of sculpture.
Exploring migration and family history, and inspired by the Mayflower story, I’ll be creating a modern version of the Atlantic crossing, then encounter the woven history of the Wampanoag tribe of America held at the Peabody Museum at Harvard University.
This two year project will begin this week with a twin Artist residency at Nottingham College learning Computer Aided Design and at Nottingham Trent University learning scanning and digital mapping.”
Rachel works from her Garden Studio, and has worked on large scale sculpture for the garden and smaller intimate sculptures for the home.
She is interested in developing innovative techniques; her sculptural work often features abstract fluid or geometric shapes that take inspiration from the patterns found in nature. She specialises in using hand weaving techniques for a range of materials, including wax, wire, paper and cord.
“Hand processes such as weaving, knotting & tying, crochet and even corn dollie weaves have allowed that repetition to flourish to a point where my hands can almost sculpt independently of thought.
Challenges push me in some interesting directions, underpinned by my love of research, history and hand processes. I fill endless notebooks questioning stages and noting progress, sketching is a large feature of this creative process.”
We look forward to hearing more about Rachel’s plans for her Spirit of Mayflower project, as she applies her interests to thinking about the historic voyage, the Pilgrims’ journeys, and the encounters they had on the way.
A new Pilgrim Heartlands Trail has been produced jointly by Bassetlaw District Council and Doncaster Council.
The leaflet, available from local Tourist Information Centres, libraries and churches along the trail, and downloadable from Bassetlaw and Doncaster Council’s websites, covers the local villages in North Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire that are steeped in the history of William Brewster and William Bradford; a history that most local people are familiar with. But this new Heartlands leaflet brings further, little known facts about the families that embarked on that seminal voyage aboard the Mayflower.
Until now, little has been told about the women and children who bravely followed their husbands, firstly to Holland and then on to America, but now, thanks to research conducted by historian and tour guide Sue Allan, the Pilgrim Heartlands Trail adds previously unfamiliar named villages to this area’s history. Villages such as Tickhill, Arksey and Braithwell in South Yorkshire join Clarborough and Carlton in Lindrick on the trail, and much more information has been discovered about Pilgrim Susannna White-Winslow and her connections to Scrooby Manor.
Sue Allan, Chair of the Pilgrim Fathers Origins UK Association, said “In the past, history books have focused upon the men connected to the story of the Separatists who became Mayflower Pilgrims and with little attention being paid to that of the women. Without the women, we have only half of the story and even after recent discoveries, I know that there is still much more to be revealed. I expect the Pilgrim Heartlands Trail will soon need a reprint!”
Bassetlaw District Council and Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council have been working in partnership to promote the history of the Mayflower Pilgrims for over 10 years. They are both founder members of Pilgrim Fathers Origins Association, the Mayflower 400 National partnership which was created to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims reaching America in 1620, and the regional Pilgrim Roots group, that aims to continue joint participation across county borders beyond 2020.
For those interested in finding out more about new information featured in the Heartlands Trial, Bassetlaw District Council is holding its annual Illuminate Event in Scrooby on Thursday 22nd November. A service will be held at 5.00pm in St Wilfrid’s Church featuring a talk by Sue Allan and a recital from Scrooby Manor’s own Kamilla Dunstan. This will be followed by a lantern parade through the village. The event is open to all, please confirm your attendance by email to Sandra.email@example.com.
Bassetlaw District Council has formed a partnership with the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum (PMPM) based in Massachusetts, USA, where the Mayflower first moored when it arrived in America in 1620. The partnership’s goal is to strengthen ties, both cultural and educational, between the two regions in conjunction with the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s voyage. Bassetlaw District Council produced a video in support of their grant submission to the Heritage Lottery Fund to further their activities to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims departing England for America, and PMPM Executive Director Dr David K. Weidner is featured in this video as he was interviewed during a visit to Bassetlaw District in July.
Find out more about PMPM here: https://www.pilgrim-monument.org/
Hear about BDC’s HLF project here: https://youtu.be/QGplWy7PDrU
More than 400 years after the Pilgrim Leaders, William Bradford and William Brewster, escaped religious persecution in Bassetlaw and began their arduous journey to the New World, the origins of their story will be retold, thanks to a National Lottery grant, awarded through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).
HLF East Midlands have approved the Pilgrim Roots project, which will see £776,000 worth of investment into the Roots area (North Nottinghamshire, South Yorkshire and West Lindsey). HLF have committed almost £450,000 to the total sum.
This brings to fruition four years of hard work, putting together a bid that will really enable North Nottinghamshire and Gainsborough to shout about our famous Pilgrim ancestors and position Bassetlaw and surrounding areas at the forefront of commemorative plans for 2020, which is the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower reaching America.
What does this mean for North Nottinghamshire?
A state of the art Pilgrims Gallery at Bassetlaw Museum in Retford that will be interesting, educational and fun, giving families an opportunity to find out more about William Brewster of Scrooby, William Bradford from Austerfield, and the other familiar names including Clifton, Smyth, Robinson and Carver who are all associated with this area as well as the views of the native Americans they encountered in the ‘New World’.
An enhanced Pilgrims Trail with new interpretation boards at eight key sites that each have their own stories to tell, underpinned by a dedicated new website containing information on history, ancestry, news and events.
And the funding will allow Bassetlaw District Council to employ two new members of staff for a three-year period to tell the story of how the Pilgrims’ Journey began.
The Heritage Engagement Officer will visit schools and groups across the Roots area equipped with dressing up costumes, learning boxes and lesson programmes to increase knowledge and pride in our ownership of the Separatist part of the Mayflower story.
The Project Support Officer will act as an intermediary, working with tour operators and individual visitors to ensure churches are open, tour guides organised, transport arranged and hotel and restaurant facilities booked.
Commenting on the difference the Heritage Lottery Grant will make, Cllr Jo White, Deputy Leader at Bassetlaw District Council said:
‘We are absolutely thrilled to receive this funding. At last we will have a fully staffed Gallery dedicated to the Pilgrim story, from where we can signpost visitors around Retford on a mini-Pilgrim trail including St Swithun’s and the Pilgrim Room at Retford Hub and then on to the surrounding villages where our Pilgrims lived and worshipped. This visitor experience is going to be greatly improved and will be a positive impact on our local economy. It will attract many new visitors to our area and gives US descendants who have previously visited a reason to return.’
Jonathan Platt, Head of HLF East Midlands, said: ‘We are delighted to support this project that will resonate with visitors from both sides of the Atlantic, making Bassetlaw a prime destination as the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower approaches, and it is the generosity of National Lottery players that is helping to make this possible.’
A year-long calendar of events had been planned to coincide with the Mayflower 400 commemorative year, starting with Illuminate in November 2019 in Retford and ending with a headline Illuminate event in 2020. These events are part of the national Mayflower 400 Compact partnership led by Destination Plymouth and Plymouth City Council. However, HLF funding enables the calendar to extend to an 18-month period as it will begin with the opening of the Pilgrims Gallery in Retford in Spring 2019 followed by the official launch of the Pilgrims Trail in Summer 2019. Other activities include a lecture series, festivals, touring exhibitions, photography and short story competitions, music and drama.
John Mann, Member of Parliament for Bassetlaw and Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Mayflower Pilgrims said:
‘Thanks to HLF for recognizing Bassetlaw as this small fragment of England where values of liberty, justice and tolerance have spread across the world. These values are intrinsic themes within the Pilgrim Roots bid and I am proud that HLF share my confidence in our ability to tell this story on a local, national and international platform in 2020’.
The Pilgrim Roots project is a partnership led by Bassetlaw District Council with support from West Lindsey District Council, Nottinghamshire County Council, Bassetlaw Christian Heritage and the University of Lincoln. The project will run from September 2018 until September 2021.
Mayflower 400 is a partnership of 11 destination across UK that all share a part of the Mayflower story and includes Leiden in the Netherlands and Plymouth, USA
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
Thanks to National Lottery players, the Heritage Lottery Fund invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk. Follow HLF on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLottery and #HLFsupported.
Visit of the NEW ENGLAND Historic Genealogical Society
A sunny day in August provided the perfect setting for a visit from NEHGS to the Pilgrim Roots region. NEHGS is the nation’s leading comprehensive resource for family history research and the largest Society of its kind in the world. On the tour was the society’s President and CEO, Brenton Simons, who particularly enjoyed an exclusive visit to Scrooby Manor. Historian Sue Allan guided the group across the trail, visiting Scrooby, Babworth and Austerfield, and it was at St Helena’s Church in Austerfield that Brenton presented Sue with a gift and membership to NEHGS in recognition of her extensive research into Pilgrim ancestry.
Permissions and advertising consents applied for in preparation for new Pilgrims Trail
In August, Bassetlaw District Council successfully obtained all necessary consents from three different local authorities and the relevant Church departments to erect new trail boards across the Pilgrims Trail. Although the style of each interpretation board is generally agreed together with the headline content of what each board
will tell at the eight sites, the final detail will be decided, subject to Heritage Lottery decision, in consultation with partners at each site. After all, each site has a unique story to tell at its own location and we want to work with site owners to make sure their sense of pride is evident in the interpretation panels.
MAYFLOWER 400 – Tours Developed
A number of itineraries have been created to meet the demand of tour operators. These have been very well received in the US market with an August tour to the Roots area selling out in days. There are a variety of tours ranging from ten day trips to all Pilgrim partner destinations across England, to more niche, special interest two and three day itineraries, even 4 hour trips, created to encourage passengers
on cruise ships to visit the Pilgrim sites.
Did you know?
- Governor William Bradford organized the first Thanksgiving feast in the year 1621, in Massachusetts. The first Thanksgiving feast was held in the presence of around ninety Wampanoag Indians and the Wampanoag chief, Massasoit, was also invited.
- The Pilgrims had a corporate sponsor for their voyage to America – the London
Virginia Company. But a dispute with their representative took place on the docks of Southampton prior to their departure, causing the contract to be voided. With the Pilgrims’ funds dwindling, they were forced to sell some of their butter to pay dock fees.
- The first Thanksgiving celebration lasted three days. The drink that the Pilgrims brought with them on the Mayflower was beer.
- Although there was no livestock on board the Mayflower, there probably was the usual cat or two to keep the rat population in check. It is recorded that at least two passengers brought pet dogs, a mastiff and a spaniel used to hunt during the first winter months and many historians believe there were more, but these two were the only ones mentioned in journals.
Every year, we commemorate our region’s connections to the Pilgrim story with light-themed events called ‘Illuminate’. Illuminate now takes place across the region, and this year’events are planned for the following dates:
- Austerfield & Bawtry – Sunday 18th November
- Pilgrims Festival parade – Retford – Tuesday 20 November
- Gainsborough – Wednesday 21 November
- Scrooby – Thursday 22 November
- Boston – Thursday 29 November
Illuminate is closely linked to American Thanksgiving – a story about the Pilgrims’ survival in their first year in America thanks largely to the help they received from the Native Americans. It’s also inspired by a quote from Roots Pilgrim William Bradford, who became the Governor of Plymouth Colony. Bradford wrote: ‘As one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many’.
We’ve been developing Illuminate since 2015, counting down to the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s voyage. Join one of the events in your area to take part in the fun and find out more. Further details will be confirmed in our next newsletter, including how you can get involved. For updates, check out at http://www.PilgrimRoots.org
Nottinghamshire Author, Columnist and Photojournalist Sally Outram, is working on two forthcoming publications.
‘Mayflower Pilgrim Walks’ is a collection of circular walks, suitable for all abilities, which follow the path of the Mayflower Pilgrim Trail. The routes will explore historic sites which are associated with the Pilgrims,visit tranquil, quintessentially English villages, rivers and canals, see the abundance of wildlife, flora and fauna, and encourage visitors, and locals to experience our beautiful Nottinghamshire countryside. The walks will include places to stay, eat, drink, bus routes, taxis, car parks, museums, shops, building of historical and architectural interest, support and celebrate local tradesman, businesses, and the local economy. It will showcase Pilgrim Country at its best. Many of the Pilgrims originated from the villages in and around the district, which offers a wealth of heritage and history, the walks embrace the very essence of the journey the founding fathers of the new world took. Well known Walking TV Presenter, Julia Bradbury, is showing her support to Sally’s project, via TOG partnership (The Outdoor Guide) which is a fantastic opportunity to promote the area, walks and other projects involved in Mayflower 400.
‘Mayflower Pilgrim Cookbook’ This book will showcase the recipes of Sally’s Grandmother, former housekeeper, cook to Babworth Hall and WI member, Violet Myers. Found in her memoirs and diaries, some of the dishes are ‘forgotten’ recipes and have a significant connection to the local area and the New World. The main ingredient of each recipe is apple, and these will be linked to a new apple variety, called the Pilgrim 400, a direct descendant from the Bramley Apple at Southwell. The book will feature extracts from Violet’s diaries, accompanying recipes to dishes cooked, photography/illustrations and useful snippets of household tips and information. TV Gardener and BBC Radio Presenter John Stirland will be writing the foreword.
The aim is to focus the sales strategy in the local area, in specialist book shops and cook shops across the UK, Tourist Information shops across the UK, and into the US.
Welcoming Provincetown 400
In July, Bassetlaw District Council offered a warm welcome to Dr David Weidner, Executive Director of the Pilgrim Monument in Provincetown, Massachusetts and Curator of Provincetown Museum. Dr Weidner’s primary reason for visiting was to explore educational opportunities between New England and North Nottinghamshire.
During the visit, Dr Weidner visited Gringley on the Hill primary school and Sturton-le-Steeple’s school. He was also taken on a tour of the Pilgrim Churches in Austerfield, Scrooby and Babworth. Children from Gringley were able to ask questions about the Pilgrim Monument, which is a hugely popular New England attraction that helps tell the story of the Pilgrims’ arrival in America. Dr Weidner told the children about the Pilgrim’s early relationship with the local Native Americans, the Wampanoag, and the signing of the ‘Mayflower Compact’ – an agreement that helped the Pilgrims’ survive, and incorporating principles which later inspired the American Constitution. BBC Radio Nottingham came along to record this very special visit.
Made By Katie Green is a contemporary dance company specialising in creating work for museums and heritage sites. Alongside its performance work, the company is engaged in a programme of participatory work with children and young people, in schools and at museums.
We are currently looking for a Local Producer to work with us on our newest Imagination Museum: Mayflower 400 project.
This role would involve:
- supporting the Company Director (Katie Green) and Producer (Claire Morton) in planning for and delivery of the Imagination Museum: Mayflower 400 project in and around Retford and Gainsborough
- liaising with local dance artists, local partners and participants in the area (including the Pilgrim Roots Regional Partnership, local schools, youth and community groups, churches and local museums), with support from the Company Director and Producer
- recruiting a small team of volunteers, heritage interpreters, teachers, group/community leaders who will act as Community Ambassadors throughout the project
- supporting delivery of rehearsals, meetings, performances and workshops from October 2018 through to January 2021, with more intensive activity from November 2018 – November 2019
- collecting feedback from audiences and documenting the project on the Imagination Museum website
… and require someone organized and friendly, with excellent team-working skills; someone who is interested in the project, well-networked in the area and professional, with excellent communication skills and attention to detail.
For more information about the role and how to apply, visit: https://madebykatiegreen.co.uk/blog/post.php?s=2018-06-15-callout-looking-for-local-producers-in-nottinghamshirelincolnshire-and-hampshire
The deadline for this opportunity is the 20th July 2018 at 5pm. We will also be posting a callout for local dance artists soon.
The Imagination Museum: Mayflower 400 project is produced by Made By Katie Green, supported financially using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England as part of the Strategic Touring programme, Hampshire Cultural Trust, The Box, Plymouth City Council and Bassetlaw District Council, and also delivered in partnership with the Pilgrim Roots Regional Partnership, Transported, The Point, Plymouth Dance and Plymouth Culture.
Image credit: The Imagination Museum, Boston Guildhall; Dancers – Lucy Starkey and Hannah Noel; Photograph by Steve Hatton (Electric Egg).