Daffodlls planted for Gainsborough's Mayflower 400 celebrations next year

Planting begins of the Mayflower 400 daffodil bulbs in Gainsborough.
Planting begins of the Mayflower 400 daffodil bulbs in Gainsborough.

Planting has begun in Gainsborough of unique daffodil bulbs, specially developed to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower next year.

The bulbs have been produced by the Springfields Horticultural Society, of Spalding, to help the planned celebrations blossom.

David Norton, the chief executive of the society and also secretary of the British Flower Bulb Association, said: “It’s a good idea to name a daffodil to promote the Mayflower 400 anniversary events in 2020.

“It will raise the profile of Lincolnshire’s daffodil-growing industry, as well as support all those taking part in the Mayflower activities.

“I am hopeful the planned events next year will bring communities together in commemoration and create renewed interest in the story of the Pilgrims’ voyage in 1620.

“When the Mayflower 400 daffodils come into bloom next spring, then maybe this will generate some questions about where the bulbs came from, and we can proudly say: Lincolnshire, just like some of the original Pligrims.”

A total of 1,000 bulbs are being planted in locations around Gainsborough, including the riverside area and next to All Saints Parish Church on Church Street.

They are expected to flower towards the end of next March in time for the start of the programme of Mayflower 400 events.

Anna Scott, Mayflower officer at West Lindsey District Council, said: “We are delighted to take part in this unique project and look forward to the bulbs coming in to bloom.

“Not only will we enjoy the daffodils during the commemorative year, they will also act as a lasting legacy.”

Gainsborough’s connection to the Mayflower anniversary stems from the fact that Separatist movements originated in the region before embarking on their journey to America.

One group is thought to have worshipped in secret at Gainsborough Old Hall, which is now regarded as one of the best-preserved medieval manor houses in Britain.

The United Reformed Church in the town also stands as a memorial to John Robinson, pastor of the Mayflower Pilgrims, a founder of the Separatist movements and a leader in the planning of the voyage to America.