Mayflower 400 Pilgrims Festival in Retford

by | 20 November 2019 | Community Event, Heritage, Retford

Thanks to funding from Arts Council England, Retford will see this year’s Pilgrims Festival Illuminate Lantern Parade travel from outside Wilko, along Carolgate, to the Market Square, starting at 5.30pm on Friday 22nd November. The parade will arrive at St Swithun’s Parish Church at around 6.00pm where there will be a light projection on the outside of the church and an event starting at 6.15pm, including performances by the acclaimed Rhubarb Theatre and the Songbirds choir, followed by the ever-popular ‘400’ photograph in the churchyard and light refreshments afterwards.Everyone is welcome and advised to wear warm clothes — it is November after all!

Local uniformed groups, schools and voluntary organisations helped to make lanterns and are invited to take part in the parade.

This will be the fifth year that Bassetlaw Christian Heritage (BCH) will deliver events in Bassetlaw to commemorate the sailing of the Mayflower Pilgrim Families’ journey to the New World, as part of the countdown to 2020, the 400th anniversary. There are also events planned at Gainsborough on Saturday 16th November, at Austerfield and Bawtry on Sunday 17th November, and at Worksop on Wednesday 27th November.

The ever-popular Arts Exhibition at Babworth Church returns on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th November, featuring works inspired by the Mayflower Pilgrims Story and this year there will be additional talks on Saturday 23rd at 11.00am, when Diane Hemsley will give a talk on buttons, and on Sunday 24th at 3.00pm Adrian Gray will give a talk on some perspectives from his new book arriving in 2020. All are welcome — for further information The Pilgrim Embroiderers will also be there. Refreshments will be available, and there will be some exciting new exhibits, and entry is free!

There will be a Thanksgiving Dinner, with entertainment, at Spencer’s on the Square, in Retford, at 7.00pm on Thursday 28th November (Thanksgiving Day). If you are looking for an excuse for a good night out or a location for a work Christmas ‘Do’, contact 01777 800230, or call in to book (£29.95).

BCH, part of the Pilgrim Roots group, is organising this year’s activities, supported by Arts Council England, the Diocese of Southwell and Nottingham and individual Bassetlaw district councillors.

Visitor numbers to the area are already increasing, and are forecast to increase further, as 2020 grows closer. The story of the Mayflower Pilgrim families and their roots in the area in and around Bassetlaw is becoming better known. It is hoped that more events and activities relating to this story will be developed, throughout next year.

To find out more about the story, 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.