Mayflower anniversary celebrations in Retford; the countdown continues…

For the fifth year running Retford is commemorating the Mayflower Pilgrim Families’ journey to the New World, as part of the countdown to 2020; the 400th anniversary of their arrival in America.

St Swithun’s Church are hosting an all-age event led by Revd Mark Cantrill, including performances by Rhubarb Theatre and the Songbirds choir, and the ever popular ‘400’ photograph in the churchyard, with an atmospheric light projection show on the side of the building.

This year’s events mark the opening of the commemorative year, beginning with the Pilgrims Festival Illuminate Parade in Retford on Friday 22nd November, starting at 5.30pm.

Retford’s lantern parade will assemble at 5.00pm on Carolgate and walk to St Swithun’s Parish Church, when local uniformed groups, schools and voluntary organisations will be taking part in the parade to support this local community event.

Other events in the Pilgrims Festival include an Arts Weekend at Babworth Church on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th November – featuring works inspired by the Mayflower Pilgrims story. The Pilgrim Embroiderers will be working and on Saturday 23rd there will be a talk on buttons by local crafter, Diane Hemsley at 11.00am; a talk on Worksop Priory by Priory tour guide, David Caseldine at 12.00 noon; and Three Piece Suite play baroque music at 2.00pm. On Sunday 24th  at 3.00pm there will be a talk by local author and historian, Adrian Gray on themes from his new book. All are welcome, entry is free, refreshments will be available for a small charge.

A Thanksgiving Dinner at Spencer’s on the Square in Retford starts at 7pm on Thursday 28th November (Thanksgiving Day). Ring 01777 800230, or call in to book (£30 each).

On Wednesday 27th November, Worksop joins the ‘Illuminate club’ with its first Pilgrim’s Festival Illuminate event starting at 5.00pm for 5.30pm start at The Crossing on Newcastle Avenue, and a light projection on the outside of Worksop Priory.

As the 400th anniversary approaches the story is becoming better known. To find out more, please see, the Pilgrims Gallery in Bassetlaw Museum, Retford, the Pilgrims Museum at The Hub in Churchgate, Retford, and the Pilgrims Room at the United Reformed Church in Gainsborough.

See all photos at: