The great 'Mayflower 400' voyage

By Suruchi Sharma - Thu 25 April 2019, 2:37 pm

Grants have been awarded to the organisations preparing to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the world-famous Mayflower ship's maiden voyage to the US.

Next year marks the sailing of the Mayflower from Plymouth in the UK to Plymouth in the US state of Massachusetts, and special events will be held on both sides of the Atlantic to celebrate the historic occasion.

Southwark has an important seafaring and ship-building history and was where Christopher Jones, captain and part-owner of the ship, and many of the crew of the Mayflower lived.

United St Saviour’s Charity and property development company British Land have worked with Southwark Council to award grants to groups planning events for Mayflower 400. 

They have created the Southwark Mayflower 400 Grants Fund, which offers £140,000 to projects in the borough that celebrate the themes of migration, tolerance, enterprise and community.

Funding has so far been given to eight projects, including Club Herop’s photojournalism initiative, Bermondsey Artists’ Group’s two-year community multimedia programme and the Illuminate Rotherhithe festival.

Naomi N Dibum, project manager at Club Herop, said: "By receiving this grant, every young person will create a range of work that represents the learning of their peers and understand the relevance of the Mayflower narrative today and the difficulties faced by the migrants during their journey.”

Other projects that have benefitted include an intergenerational theatre piece run by London Bubble Theatre Company in Rotherhithe and the borough’s Art in the Park schools programme. 

Rotherhithe and Bermondsey Local History Society also received a grant and its president Michael Daniels said: "Our society organises illustrated monthly talks on fascinating subjects. During the summer of 2020, we will stage a mini-series of talks and walks about the Mayflower here in Rotherhithe.” 

Councillor Rebecca Lury, the council’s deputy leader, highlighted there is still funding available for Mayflower projects. She added: "We have had a very impressive list of applicants, but the good news is we still have over £60,000 in grants to award as part of stage two and three.   

“I would encourage any local group, school or other interested party who have a project which is connected to the Mayflower to use the application process on the council’s website to apply for a grant.”

To apply for the Southwark Mayflower 400 Grants Fund click here