About Us

Key Objectives and Mission Statement

The town of Harwich has a wealth of local history. Set on the east Essex coast it was, and remains, an important sea port. More than that, Harwich was the home port of the Mayflower and its master, Captain Christopher Jones. In 1620 this ship made one of the most influential journeys in global history and a seminal moment in the shared history of Britain, the US and the Netherlands. 2020 marks the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s voyage and this anniversary provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to inspire people in Harwich, and beyond, with the narrative of that voyage.

The Harwich Mayflower Heritage Centre is being established as a legacy for Essex. It will be part of a national and international commemoration of the Mayflower story. Working with local, national and international partners we will highlight the significance of the Mayflower’s part in creating the special relationship between our nations; a relationship that transforms communities, provide cultural, business and visitor links; explores the different sides of the story; and celebrate the people and places of this epic pioneering tale.

The Harwich Mayflower Heritage Centre has the following key objectives:

+ To build a full-size, shore based replica of the Mayflower that will become the centerpiece of the former Harwich Station Yard and the focus of the 2020 Mayflower 400 commemoration in Harwich.

+ To preserve and develop the Harwich Station yard as a significant museum and major tourist destination by constructing a reproduction of the stockade village constructed by the first-generation settlers in 1620. This will include dwellings, the common house (church), barns and contemporary cultivation.

+ To develop the use of the Visitor Centre. To provide specialist support to schools and colleges. To create a “Pilgrim” exhibition, to tell the story of the pilgrims and settlers lives.

+ To curate the Hazelton collection and make it available for public view.

+ To refurbish and recreate the Harwich Town Railway Station complex as it was in 1924. The ten Station rooms will house the extensive Bob Clow collection of Rail & Shipping Memorabilia, not seen by the public before.

+ To gather exhibits to celebrate the Maritime and Rail heritage of Harwich people including campaigning for the restoration of the Ferry Terminal“Link Span”which has dominated the Harwich estuary for nearly 100 years.

+ To promote the history of Harwich Town, including the commissioning of statues of Christopher Jones and John Alden.

+ To achieve accredited Museum Status for the Centre.

+ To fully participate in the International Mayflower 400 compact.

+ To create a Mayflower descendant rose garden and form a new public entrance to the Centre. Descendants will be invited to buy the “Mayflower Rose” an old English rose bred by David Austin in 2001.

The above objectives are expanded in our Business Plan.

The Values That Underpin these aims:

+ Listening to the local and wider community and by building partnerships with other national and local organisations.

+ To promote Volunteering as a means of building social cohesion.

+ A new Membership Scheme, to promote good governance and hold the Organisation to account.

+ Transparency, Professionalism, Inclusivity.

General Outcomes:

+ To promote Tourism

+ Community development and cohesion

+ Capacity building

+ Economic growth in the local economy.

+ A legacy for Harwich.