News & Events

Over 400 Years in the Making: Heritage Lottery Fund  helps tell the Pilgrim Roots Story

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. Follow HLF on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLottery and #HLFsupported.



Pilgrim Trails: September 2018’s news

HLF Project Newsletter 3 Pilgrim Trails extractPILGRIM ROOTS Newsletter – September 2018

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

NEW Publications

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.

Scrooby: ‘Luke Winslow King & His Band’

Luke advert 2 colour

This coming Saturday 8th September 2018, Scrooby village in North Nottinghamshire are hosting ‘Luke Winslow and His Band’ for a one night only jazz concert.

From New Orleans and on their European tour, Luke will be returning to his ‘ancestral home’ – through Scrooby’s association with the Mayflower Pilgrims. The concert will also feature the amazing Roberto Luti on slide guitar.

Find out more and book tickets via Ed Marshall.

  • Tickets: £10
  • Venue: Scrooby Village Hall
  • Details: Doors open at 8pm. Licensed bar.

‘Imagination Museum: Mayflower 400’ project in Notts/Lincs seeking Local Producer


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:

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).

Pilgrim Trails: ‘Our bid has been submitted!’

Welcome to our second newsletter for the Pilgrim Roots Heritage Project – to download a copy of the newsletter click here or on the image below:

HLF Project Newsletter 2 Pilgrim Trails extract

Our Bid has been submitted!

On Friday 25th May the project team at Bassetlaw District Council hit the send button and electronically transferred the equivalent of four years hard work to the East Midlands Office of Heritage Lottery.

The Activity Plan alone is almost 200 pages of plans, statistics, projections and activities that will take place over the next three years.

We won’t know if we are successful until the end of September 2018 but we feel confident that, irrespective of the outcome, we have done everything we possibly could to show why HLF should invest in this ‘once in a century opportunity’ as the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower reaching Plymouth Massachusetts approaches.

So are we planning to sit and relax over the summer?

Absolutely not! We have to be confident that our bid will be approved by Heritage Lottery and so we will be preparing tenders for contractors, getting job descriptions approved for two new members of staff, preparing media packs and all the other details that will enable us to hit the ground running as soon as we hear.

We will also be planning our very popular Illuminate events and more details of these will be revealed soon. Members of the project team will be out and about at events over the summer as part of Bassetlaw District Council’s Big Conversation Engagement Events.

Find us at Ranskill Scarecrow Festival, Kings Park 80th Birthday Celebrations in Retford and of course Scrooby Show. We will continue to publish this newsletter on a regular basis as we wait with baited breath!

Mayflower 400 Compact Meeting comes to North Nottinghamshire

The Mayflower 400 Compact Partnership is the national body that has been working towards the year-long programme of events to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims journey to the New World. Led by Plymouth, the partnership comprises 11 destinations in UK that have connections to the Mayflower story plus partners in Leiden, Holland and Plymouth, USA.

In the Roots region, Bassetlaw, Doncaster, West Lindsey, Boston and Immingham are partners . We meet regularly to discuss plans and share ideas such as putting joint bids together to Arts Council England for example, for touring exhibitions and large scale events for 2020. Bassetlaw District Council is delighted to host the June meeting of Mayflower 400 and the venue we have chosen is the delightful Hodsock Priory.

This is particularly appropriate as its owner George Buchanan is also Chair of North Nottinghamshire’s Business Improvement District who have identified Mayflower 400 as one of their key opportunities over the next 5 years – and this support is an important factor in our own HLF bid’s evidence of sustainability. We look forward to welcoming our partners from as far afield as Dartmouth, Worcester and Southwark to North Nottinghamshire.

What did we learn?

A huge thank you to everyone who took part in our consultation exercise. We engaged with over 2500 people in total at public events, parish council meetings, visiting schools and asking people to participate in on-line surveys. We really enjoyed talking to you and were overwhelmed by the positive support for the project.

We specifically asked if you liked our themes of MIGRATION, TOLERANCE and FREEDOM and this was a resounding yes. We asked what aspects of the story were you most interested in, to help us decide on interpretation at the museum, on trail boards and the website. You told us you wanted more emphasis on our own local stories and the events that led the Separatists to flee, firstly to Holland and then on to America.

And we also asked if you liked the design examples that will be the ‘brand’ for our Pilgrim Roots activities. They received very positive comments from our consultees. We plan to repeat these events once we know we have succeeded with our application as we look forward to showing you how proposals have changed into very definite plans.

Nottinghamshire County Council confirm £55k funding boost for Nottinghamshire PILGRIM heritage COMMEMORATIONS

Nottinghamshire County Council has pledged a further £55,000 for events to mark the county’s Pilgrim roots, as local and national plans are put in place to roll out the red carpet for an expected surge in visitors from the United States in 2020.

Councillor Kay Cutts, Leader of the Council said: “The 400th anniversary countdown of the Mayflower ship sailing from England and arriving in America provides an exciting opportunity for Nottinghamshire to commemorate its Pilgrim ancestors and to share their inspirational story with the world.

“Many places around the UK and further afield have links to the Pilgrims, but Nottinghamshire was the place where it all began. It gives me great pride that the amazing chain of events, which has had such a huge impact on American history, started right here in Nottinghamshire.

“Nottinghamshire is a place of legend, famous for its history and unique heritage. It is a place of ambition, where people are industrious, pioneering and creative. It is a place where business thrives, creating opportunities and prosperity.

“We have a fourfold vision for our county – to make it a great place to raise a family, to fulfil ambitions, to enjoy later life, and to start and grow a business. Against this backdrop, Nottinghamshire County Council is committed to ensuring our area’s contribution to the impact of the Mayflower’s journey is recognised and fully maximised for generations to come.”

The County Council is contributing £25,000 towards a Heritage Lottery Fund in support of activities led bid by the Pilgrim Roots Partnership, which includes the County and District Councils, tourism bodies and voluntary groups.

The partnership is hoping to secure £450,000 in Lottery funding for its ‘The Pilgrim Roots: The Separatists Story, Mayflower 400 and beyond’ project, which includes plans for:

  • a regional trail linking key Pilgrim heritage sites from Retford to Gainsborough;
  • a dedicated Pilgrim Roots gallery at Bassetlaw Museum in Retford;
  • a range of digital resources dedicated to the story, including a website, and;
  • nine interpretation panels located at key sites, with supporting Wi-Fi access.

A further £30,000 has also been committed for activities to mark Nottinghamshire’s wider association with the separatist’s story and religious heritage to add to the tourism offer around the 2020 anniversary. These include bespoke interpretation and exhibitions development at key sites, educational engagement in schools through a Thanksgiving themed school meal, and a Nottinghamshire-focused marketing campaign.

Councillor Cutts added: “The County Council has been working alongside local partners and in other parts of the country with Pilgrim links on exciting plans for the run-up to 2020 and “The 400th anniversary offers the potential for massive economic, tourism, educational and cultural benefits for Nottinghamshire, which the County Council is determined to maximise.”

Did you know?

Passenger William Mullins from Dorking was a shoemaker by profession. His baggage consisted of over 250 shoes and 13 pairs of boots.

In 1979 US Ambassador Kingman Brewster, a descendant of William Brewster, laid the foundation stone for Scrooby Village Hall. In 2015, Wrestling Brewster, 11th generation descendent of William, unveiled a plaque in the same Village Hall, marking his visit following in the footsteps of his ancestor.

Poor William Butten, who some think came from Austerfield, although this is unproven, was called “a youth” by Gov. William Bradford in his passenger list of the Mayflower. He left as a servant with the family of Dr. Samuel Fuller. He was the only Mayflower passenger to die during the voyage itself – just three days before land was sighted.


Pilgrim Roots HLF project newsletter: Pilgrim Trails

Welcome to our first newsletter for the Pilgrim Roots Heritage Project – to download a copy of the newsletter click here or on the image below:

HLF Project Newsletter 1 Pilgrim Trails
We will produce this publication on a regular basis as we chart our progress towards submitting a 2nd stage Heritage Lottery Bid which is entitled ‘Pilgrim Roots – The Separatists’ Story and beyond’.


The bid if successful, will allow Bassetlaw District Council and partners to create a Pilgrim Gallery in the former Tourist Information Centre adjacent to Bassetlaw Museum. In addition there will be an enhanced Pilgrim Trail with interpretation at 9 sites around Retford, Babworth, Scrooby, Sturton le Steeple, Austerfield and Gainsborough.

A role of Heritage Engagement Officer will be created and that person would be tasked with reaching out to schools, community groups and indeed anyone with an interest in the Pilgrim story. The Heritage Engagement Officer will take handling boxes and costumes so that people can really immerse themselves in a story which, although 400 years old, has parallels with challenges that many people continue to face today: migration, freedom and tolerance.

The Heritage Engagement Officer will be supported by a Heritage Support Officer, based at the museum who will assist visitors, making sure that churches are open, accommodation is confirmed and tour guides are booked. Additionally a new Pilgrim Roots website will pull together all of the new activities, information and events into one place.


Timescales for the HLF process are: submission of 2nd stage bid, May 2018 – decision September 2018. If we are successful, work will begin on the new gallery in October 2018 and will be completed in Spring 2019. The project will run until September 2021.

There is so much more we can say about the exciting plans we have as the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower reaching Plymouth Massachusetts approaches, but we want to tell you in person and that’s why we are holding a number of CONSULTATION EVENTS where you can drop in, see our plans, fill in a survey form and generally give us your thoughts. As a Thank you to Heritage Lottery Players anyone coming to any of these events will be treated to a hot drink and biscuits on production of their lottery ticket.

Consultation Events

Tuesday 20 March 10.30 – 12.30 Bassetlaw Museum
Tuesday 20 March 13.30 – 15.30 Gainsborough Old Hall
Friday 23 March 15.00 – 19.00 Scrooby Parish Hall
Tuesday 27 March 15.00 – 19.00 Sturton-le-Steeple Village Hall
Saturday 7 April 10.30 – 12.30 Gainsborough Heritage Centre
Thursday 19 April 19.45 Grove Street Methodist Church (Bassetlaw Christian Heritage Meeting)
Monday 7 May 10.00 – 15.00 Retford Market (Charter Day)

The Pilgrim Roots Partnership

The wider partnership includes representatives from local authorities, tourism and corporate agencies from across the region, as well as community interest groups and other stakeholders. The partnership is open to all with a shared interest in promoting and upholding the aims and objectives of the Roots Partnership.

Our partners include:
• Bassetlaw District Council
• Boston Borough Council
• Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council
• Lincolnshire County Council
• North East Lincolnshire Council
• Nottinghamshire County Council
• Transported
• University of Lincoln
• Visit Lincoln
• Marketing Nottinghamshire
• West Lindsey District Council

Meet the Project Team

Led by Sandra Withington from Bassetlaw District Council, Sandra is the overall Project Manager ably supported by Robert Wilkinson, overseeing building related works; Dr Anna Scott who is a heritage professional working for Bassetlaw and West Lindsey District Councils; Sam Glasswell, museum curator; and Sarah Cheng who brings previous experience of working on successful HLF projects.

Interpretation Consultants appointed

We are pleased to have appointed our Interpretation Team, who will be working on the 2nd Stage Heritage Lottery Bid with us. They are WideSky Design (digital media design), Querceus Design (interpretive and museum design) and Catherine Chroney (Strategic consultancy and storyline). Chris Parker from WideSky, Mike Oakenfull from Querceus and Catherine have worked together on a number of projects, most recently re-fitting visitor centres for the Peak District National Park. They have worked on a wide variety of projects – including museums, visitor centres, national parks and historic buildings. Past clients include the National Trust, Historic Royal Palaces, the Houses of Parliament, English Heritage and many charitable trusts.

An exciting NEW GAME is being created

Students from Sheffield Hallam University are working on a project to build a virtual reality experience about William Brewster and Scrooby Manor. Led by tutor
David Wilson, who lives in Ranskill and knows the area well, the students are re-creating the sitting room and a secret chapel where visitors or ‘gamers’ will be able
to pick up artefacts and find clues that will draw them into the VR experience. Dave says ‘It’s early days yet but the 3D art is looking great and our students are really interested and enthusiastic about the subject matter’. We can’t wait to see the results!

Did you know?

  • The Pilgrims clothes weren’t just black and white.
  • The Brewster family from Scrooby sailed on the Mayflower. The children had some interesting names: two girls named Fear and Patience, and three boys named Love, Wrestling… and Jonathan!
  • The Pilgrims from our area were Separatists – people who wanted to have their own church, and not be part of the state Church of England – at a time when this was illegal and forbidden.
  • Men from our region who sailed on the Mayflower signed an important document called the Mayflower Compact – it set out an agreement between the passengers to work together once they got to America – to ensure their survival. They ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time of year, and had to make their own agreement to come together as a ‘civil body politic’. The principles of this document were later said to have inspired the American Constitution.
  • There were 102 passengers on the Mayflower – 32 were children.
  • In 1955, a group of American descendants visited England and Holland and recorded their visit on plaques in Babworth and Scrooby – ‘On their first Pilgrimage – 152, by planes – to the Netherlands and England’ – similar plaques can be found across the country.
  • Thomas Bayard was the US Ambassador to the UK in the late 1890s – he laid a foundation stone at the John Robinson Memorial Church in Gainsborough, and was instrumental in getting William Bradford’s diary – which recorded the Pilgrims’ story – repatriated to the USA after it was found in the library at Fulham Palace in London.


Can you help us? Mayflower memories & the Roots Heritage Lottery Fund project…

Can you help us

The Mayflower arrives… in Retford! It’s 1985, and the ship has just sailed into the Market Place. Were you there? Do you remember seeing this (inland) historic voyage?! We’d love to hear from you as part of the Pilgrim Roots Heritage Project – funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

This month, we’re holding consultation events to find out what people in Bassetlaw and West Lindsey think about the plans to tell the Pilgrim story around a heritage trail and what’s important about that story.

On Tuesday 20th March, the Project Team will be at:

  • Bassetlaw Museum in Retford between 10.30am and 12.30pm, and
  • Gainsborough Old Hall between 1.30pm and 3.30pm – and if you bring a National Lottery ticket with you, you can claim a free hot drink that same day in Chambers Coffee Shop at the Old Hall.

Come along to:

  • see some of our plans and designs for the trail and new gallery at Bassetlaw Museum
  • share your memories of Mayflower commemorations in the past
  • find out about planned activities and events
  • register your interest as a volunteer.

You can also tell us your thoughts about the plan via this short online questionnaire.