Gainsborough exhibition tells fascinating story of Mayflower II

Feb 24, 2020

The Gainsborough Heritage Centre is running a special exhibition that will showcase the fascinating story of the Mayflower II, which includes a collection of memorabilia courtesy of Victoria and Randal Charlton, the children of Warwick Charlton who decided to recreate the Mayflower ship and voyage.

Alongside the Centre’s temporary exhibition that shares the story of the Mayflower II project, the exhibition also tells the story of the original Mayflower voyage in 1620.

Andrew Birkitt, chairman, said: "We are proud to be telling the amazing story of the Mayflower II and how this replica ship in 1957 retraced the historic voyage of our ancestors from back in 1620.

"Randal, the son of Warwick Charlton, has written a book titled ‘The Wicked Pilgrim’ that details ‘The True Story of the Englishman who gave Mayflower II to America’.

"We are privileged to announce that this momentous book is for sale in the Centre and is currently the only shop in the North of England where a copy of this book can be purchased."

Gainsborough Heritage Centre

The exhibition includes many historic documents relating to the celebration of the 63rd anniversary of the Mayflower II voyage - including a letter signed by Bill Clinton, sent from the White House in 1997, congratulating Warwick Charlton on his fantastic and worthwhile project.

The letter also highlighted the achievements of those people who made what was, at that time, a dangerous voyage to start their new life in America.

There are many other fascinating documents, photographs and memorabilia, including a Certificate of Pilgrimage given to Randal Charlton and a copy of an envelope and the Compact that was written and mailed out to families from the ship.

Also on display is an article from the Gainsborough News dated 5 May 1970 that details the 350th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage.

Lynne Birkitt, exhibitions officer, said: "It is a good opportunity to come and see the untold story of the Mayflower II, but also gain knowledge of the original voyage from 1620 and our local connection. We also have a fantastic video installation outlining the story with unseen footage made available for the public."

The exhibition details the Mayflower story that originally began with the creation of a popular movement towards freedom of religious belief during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Make sure you visit the Heritage Centre to learn more about Mayflower II and Gainsborough's fascinating connection with the original Mayflower story.

Andrew Birkitt added: "We are holding a talk on Wednesday, 21 October titled ‘Puritans, Pilgrims, Saints and Strangers’ by Margaret Watkins at Gainsborough House.

"The Centre is also working on arranging a talk to be given by Randal Charlton on the story of Mayflower II, so please check our Facebook page or website for further details."

The Centre and Telephone Exchange tea room is open on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 10am to 4pm, and Sundays from 11am to 4pm. Entry is £3, with the last admission to the Centre at 3.30pm. The Centre can now take card payments.

Further details are by visiting www.gainsboroughheritage.co.uk, by emailing chairman@gainsboroughheritage.com or by calling 01427 610526.

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