A year of events to mark the 400th anniversary since The Mayflower set sail

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To coincide with Thanksgiving a year of events have been announced to mark the 400th anniversary of the 1620 journey undertaken by 102 passengers and crew to the ‘new world’ of America on The Mayflower.

In the UK, Mayflower 400 will bring together destinations from across the UK where Mayflower history was written, including Scrooby and Babworth and Gainsborough.

Plymouth was the Mayflower’s final departure point in the UK and the city is the lead partner in the commemorations.

The Mayflower 400 commemoration will reflect all aspects of this story and central to the programme will be the collaboration with the Wampanoag nation, who have inhabited present day Massachusetts and Eastern Rhode Island for more than 12,000 years.

From aiding the survival of those who made the journey 400 years ago, to understanding the impact of colonisation on the Native American people, their involvement in the Mayflower narrative is critical.

One of the events is Challenging the Myth, a cultural programme in Gainsborough, which has been funded by £100,000 from Arts Council England which will re-imagine the Pilgrims’ story for today through performance, music, storytelling, exhibitions, writing and radio and will take place in 2020.

And at Gainsborough Old Hall there will be exhibitions exploring the relationship between Gainsborough and the Mayflower Pilgrims,

Adrian Vinken OBE, Chair of Mayflower 400, said: “The coming Mayflower 400 year will see this historic world-changing voyage commemorated at an appropriately international level.

“As well as simply marking the voyage of the Mayflower and her passengers, the year will also reflect the impact the resulting colonisation had on the Wampanoag Nation through a wide range of exhibitions and theatrical productions throughout 2020.”