New film explores Pilgrim Roots region's links to Mayflower story

Sep 21, 2020

With September marking the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower, West Lindsey District Council is keen to share the story of the Mayflower - not just when the passengers and crew set sail from Plymouth, but when their journey began many years before in this region of England.

Many of the group (also known as the Separatists) came from Lincolnshire, North Nottinghamshire and South Yorkshire, and it was here that they formed their ideas and decided to break away – or separate – from the established Church at a time when it was illegal.

Some of the Separatists were also thought to have worshipped in secret at Gainsborough Old Hall – now a much-loved visitor attraction and one of the best-preserved Medieval Manor Houses in England. A group of these Separatists also escaped from the riverside in Gainsborough and travelled to Holland in 1608.

The story has been creatively adapted by local theatre company, Talegate Theatre Productions, who have produced an entertaining yet informative video titled 'The Chronicles of the Mayflower Pilgrims' which is ideal for primary-aged children.

Watch 'The Chronicles of the Mayflower Pilgrims' as told by Ratty

James Worthington, Artistic Director at Talegate Theatre said: "There is an abundance of local history and exciting plot twists connected to the Mayflower Pilgrims' story, and we have touched upon every heart-stopping moment in this film.

"We thoroughly enjoyed working in this new genre of online film to continue telling this tale, despite not being able to present it as live theatre to children across the UK.

"In watching the film, we hope to light the candle of interest in children and families to learn more about their local history and visit these exciting places such as Gainsborough Old Hall."

Gainsborough Old Hall

The film takes you on board the Mayflower where you meet Ratty, the ship’s rat, who tells the story of the Mayflower Pilgrims and how they decided to leave their lives in England in search for religious tolerance in the Netherlands before they returned to England to leave for America.

Anna Scott, Mayflower 400 Officer at West Lindsey District Council, said: "Talegate Theatre are great at engaging younger audiences with their fun and irreverent approach to storytelling.

"By producing this online film, more people will be able to share that fun and find out a bit about Gainsborough's role in the Pilgrims' story."

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