The Harwich Mayflower Project is building an authentic replica of the ship that carried the Pilgrims to America to a better life in the New World. The new Mayflower ship will embark on a new re-enactment and crucial journey that will carry today’s Adventurers as they face up to the environmental dangers and challenges presented by climate change.
This is a project that will inspire and deliver personal transformation, strategic local regeneration, community resilience and global co-operation.
The Harwich Mayflower Project
Trustees position statement July 2017
The current Trustees board have been in place for approximately six months and in that time we have built on the foundations laid by our former Trustees, acknowledging the huge contribution they have made to the project and to the people of Harwich. This includes personal donations to the Charity of more than £350,000.
In recognition of his unstinting commitment and generosity to the project Tom Daly has been invited to become President of the Charity. The Trustees are delighted to welcome Tom into this role.
The Harwich Mayflower project was established in 2009. The foundation documents tells us that the charity has the following objects.
“BUILD A NEAR REPLICA OF THE MAYFLOWER. PARTICIPATE IN THE MAYFLOWER 400 COMMEMORATIONS. CREATE A HARWICH MARITIME HERITAGE MUSEUM. SUPPORT THE RENEWED SHIPBUILDING SKILLS. PROVIDE APPRENTICESHIPS, TRAINING AND SKILLS DEVELOPMENT TO YOUNG PEOPLE AND ADULTS”
The founder Trustees Group enhanced the objects by committing to build an ocean-going ship to make the crossing to the USA in 2020 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the original crossing by the Pilgrim Fathers.
The current Trustees inherited that vision and have continued to seek funding for the construction of the ship. This work will continue, though to meet the 2020 deadline, and build the ship in the way planned, funds must be in place by March 2018 or the 2020 date will be missed. We recognise that construction of an ocean going vessel is a significant undertaking and requires an investment of some £10m at today’s prices. The Trustees will continue to seek funds for this ship build up to, and after, March 2018 as the construction and operation of a seagoing vessel will be of great benefit to the Harwich economy.
It was always the intention that once the seagoing vessel was built another would be constructed which would remain in Harwich. The Trustees have brought forward this commitment and are now also seeking the necessary resources to build a shore based replica of the Mayflower which will become the focus of the 2020 Mayflower 400 celebrations in Harwich.
This replica Mayflower will be the centerpiece of the former station yard, part of which is to be developed as a Heritage Centre and tourist destination. Thus, preserving it for local people.
The Charity is to be re-named as the Harwich Mayflower Heritage Centre to reflect this expanded vision. The construction of the ship will retain the existing project title.
The Station buildings are to be adapted to house two significant historic collections.
Training will transfer to the main site once a new scheme is devised.
In addition to housing the “Mayflower” the station yard will also have some other important exhibits, all serviced by the recently completed Visitors Centre.
The Trustees are working with others to promote the history of the town, including the commissioning of statues of Christopher Jones and John Alderton.
The Trustees have agreed a new Volunteers Policy and have launched a recruitment plan to encourage volunteering in Harwich.
A new Membership Scheme has been agreed and will be rolled out over the coming weeks.
The Trustees are committed to listening to the local community, the regular community meetings will continue and steering groups will be established to support initiatives across the organization. Times for this will be varied to allow access by as many people as possible.
The Trustees are aware that there are individuals who, for whatever reason, wish to undermine our Volunteers and the Charities work. This is expressed in letters to the press and in the content of the “Ships Blog”.
The Trustees welcome critical friends but criticism that makes personal slurs on volunteers and staff, past and present is not acceptable. Neither is it acceptable to seek, by perverted means to use the Charity as a way to the settle old scores. This activity does great dis-service to the Harwich economy and people.
The Trustees will respond respectfully to genuine complaints and criticism.
Since the inception of the Harwich Mayflower Project in 2009 much has been done. Here are some reminders of our progress to date:
Under “Achievements” we have set out what had been done up to the end of 2016. Since the New Year (2017) we have regenerated our Board of Trustees, re-worked our plans and reviewed our ambitions to help re-generate Harwich as a tourist focus. The following adds more detail on these points of activity:
We now have a new strategic, approach which is likely to be more attractive to the various funding sources that are potentially available. There is the build which as ever requires the lion’s share of funding. To give an example, at 2016 prices, to build the Mayflower of Harwich within the Yard and to fit her out will cost about £4.2m. There will additionally be other costs for berthing, sea trials and the voyage, as indicated above, in 2020.
In 2016 we were very close to a deal with an international media company which would have covered the full cost of the Project. However at the end of the year they pulled out and that caused us a funding vacuum. Now our Trustees are having negotiations with other enterprises so that we may work together in achieving both donors and high-worth sponsors. We are re-opening bids with Heritage Lottery Funds and have another trans-Atlantic promotional/funding organisation in dialogue to help with joint US/UK donor lines; this will, as a matter of course, include the helpful 501(c)3 US tax exemption clause for American donors.
We are still keen to re-start the skills training in our workshops as this is one of the pillars of our project aim. Regeneration of marine related skills and follow-on employment in Harwich is still important to us. We have the facilities but the funding is again our difficulty but we continue to work on it.
The Mayflower was built in the Harwich area , she was commanded and part-owned by her Master, Captain Christopher Jones, whose house still stands on Kings Head Street. Jones sailed the Mayflower to Norway, the Mediterranean and France, exporting woollen cloth and importing wine.
In 1611 Jones decided to leave Harwich and move to Rotherhithe.
His house still stands in Harwich.
St Nicholas Church where Jones was married has a excellent collection of Delft tiles for public viewing.
Harwich Mayflower 400 – Replica Ship, Heritage Centre and exhibition – plans for the ambitious project include the European Tall Ships Festival visiting Harwich, a liveried train, development of
heritage skills, a training school, a mile of art installed along the railway station, a rose garden.
Guildhall – Harwich Compact Charter 1604 with James I and has Christopher Jones’ name included in the ancient script.
Councils and the local university are working with the team to to part fund a student to do a research project on the Mayflower in Harwich starting in the new year of 2017.
John Alden, who was the Cooper on-board the Mayflower was widely believed to be from Harwich, with family connections to the maritime town.
The connection with the Mayflower dates from 1609 when Jones was Master and part owner. This is confirmed in January 1610 when he is mentioned in an Admiralty document.
He was identified as Christopher Jones of Harwich, master of the Mayflower of the same place.
Developing Heritage tourism projects for the region leading up to 2020 and beyond
Local News Featuring The Project
A selection of regional TV news broadcasts covering the Harwich Mayflower Project
National News Featuring The Project
Griff Rhys Jones spends a whole day at the Mayflower Project Griff in conversation with Tom Daly
International News Featuring The Project
A selection of USA broadcasts about our project in Harwich. This includes some short promo films created by the project staff and students
Popped in here during a visit to Harwich following a friend’s recommendation and were very glad we did. We had a free tour from the well informed and enthusiastic manager and learned a lot about the history of the Mayflower and about this project to build a replica and sail it to the USA in 2020.
Visited the Mayflower Project on a quick visit to Harwich. Sean was very hospitable and eager to tell us about the venture to build a replica of the ship. He gave us a quick and personal tour of the new visitors centre and workshop. A very impressive and worthy thing they are doing here…can’t wait to hear more about it!
The Mayflower ship project is in its early stages but already the rail station (which houses some exhibits) is more welcoming. A former railway goods shed has been saved and converted into workshops. The replica Mayflower is just beginning outside.
An interesting and informative way to spend at least two hours. A very worthwhile project to support. A lot of work and coordination is going into this project to bring it to fruition for the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower.
Things are about to increase in pace for this project. The plan is to build a full-sized replica of the Mayflower and to sail it to America during 2020 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Pilgrim Fathers.
I wasn’t really sure about looking around this attraction when I was walking around Harwich, I’m now so glad I did. The group that are running this project are truly happy to show all around and discuss all aspects of the project with the public. Like most I’m sure I’ve only read a little on the Mayflower or seen the…
Thoroughly recommend visiting this historic project. Very enthusiastic team of volunteers who are very engaged in the history of the Mayflower and connections with Harwich. Most interesting and very educational. Do not miss this when in East Anglia.
This project is a really inspiring, feel-good story & for that reason one of the best tourist attractions I’ve been to! We just walked into the porta – cabin, were welcomed & given a tour round this amazing project & were blown away by the scale & enthusiasm of those involved. They want to build a replica of the Mayflower to sail…
Visited the Mayflower Project on a quick visit to Harwich. Sean was very hospitable and eager to tell us about the venture to build a replica of the ship. He gave us a quick and personal tour of the new visitors centre and workshop. A very impressive and worthy thing they are doing here…can’t wait to hear more about it…
Well worth a visit not only for the building of the replica Mayflower but also for the inspiration of local apprentices and school children who are being encouraged to explore the building and also learn about the history.
Here are a few of our friends, partners and associates. We don’t have enough space to thank everyone who has helped us over the years, but we routinely post our sincere thanks, and appreciation to our facebook page and blog.
It’s not everyday you wake up and decide to make a 17th century fully functioning and sea going vessel like the Mayflower. Each and everyone of our Volunteers will become a part of not just nautical history, but will be apart of an international and global event upon the world stage. You too, can be apart of this magnificent journey that we are undertaking in Harwich.
Not only do we intend on building the Harwich Mayflower for the world to adore, we also have a wide range of interesting community based projects for the local area to not only enjoy, and admire but also to become a part of. Our ambitions will continue to develop and support the local and wider arching community for many years after the Mayflower has set sail. And with your continued help, we can continue our successful journey.
Monday to Friday: 09:00 to 18:00
Weekends: By Appointment, unless otherwise stated.