Please note Retford Ladies Probus Club are not currently meeting due to the Covid-19 restrictions but bookmark this for later.
On 12th February Dawn Cragg chaired her last meeting as president of Retford Ladies Probus Club and, along with other members, was thanked by all concerned for her contribution to a successful year in the club’s history. She then introduced Sam Glasswell who gave a very interesting insight into the Mayflower Pilgrims, a prominent topic since it is 400 years since the Mayflower set sail for America. People were only allowed to worship at their local church but Richard Clyfton, minister of Babworth Church attracted William Brewster of Scrooby and William Bradford of Austerfield. The term ‘gadding about’ is derived from this and was a punishable offence. In fact, The Ecclesiastical Courts were held at St Swithun’s Church in Retford.
Sam’s talk began with the premise that “the hand that rocked the cradle ruled the world” and she was keen to point out the role of women in this important event. It wasn’t the first voyage to The New World but the first with women and children. Two babies were born on board, Peregrine and Oceanus. The journey was dreadful, taking 66 days often crammed together in rolling darkness as they had set off in declining weather a month late due to the unseaworthy Speedwell being taken out of commission.
They were blown off course and would all have perished when they landed but for Squanto, the Indian who taught them his life skills, one of which was to put seeds into dead fish and bury them, which acted as fertiliser and ensured growth. How sad when we think of how the Native American people were treated after these auspicious beginnings in what should have been a symbiotic relationship with each one benefitting from the other.
Sam made it more interesting by putting names of women on the audience’s tables and telling them about each one. We should be proud that such a crucial historical event has roots here on our doorstep. Such diverse families as that of President Bush and Marilyn Monroe can apparently be traced back to these settlers. At Bassetlaw Museum in Grove Street, the Pilgrims Gallery is dedicated to this topic. If you haven’t been please go. It’s a little gem.
Retford Ladies Probus Club meet on the second Tuesday of the month at Ordsall Community Centre, Westfield Road, at 10.00am for 10.30am. All are welcome.