Illuminate event will light up Gainsborough to mark 400th Mayflower anniversary

A special Illuminate event is being held in Gainsborough to end a year of events to mark the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower story.

Last year’s event was held online due to the coronavirus pandemic, but this November the 400th anniversary event will bring people back together to look back on the story of the Separatists’ journey to America in 1620.

Many leading Separatists on the Mayflower, who later became known as the Pilgrims, came from the Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire region.

The event will take place at Gainsborough Old Hall and All Saints’ Parish Church on Saturday, November 13, from 6pm onwards.

The final event to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower story will be a special Illuminate event

A specially commissioned Pilgrim story will be projected onto the walls of the Hall and will be repeated at regular intervals throughout the evening. At the same time, fire sculptures and performers will dance and entertain visitors in the grounds of the Old Hall and the adjacent church.

Audiences can also join in by bringing along their own candle lantern and following a self-led ‘Pilgrims Survival’ arts trail around Gainsborough’s historic quarter. Gainsborough Choral Society will perform David Fawcett’s new choral work, ‘A Sure Refuge’, at a concert in the Parish Church at 7.30pm.

Coun Owen Bierley, leader of West Lindsey District Council, said: “The story of the Mayflower is of huge significance to the town of Gainsborough, and I welcome the opportunity to take part in the commemorations signifying the 400th anniversary of this incredible story.

“Following the challenging past two years, I welcome the opportunity for those both within West Lindsey, and those travelling to West Lindsey, to attend this extraordinary occasion and spectacular event.

“For many it has been a long and difficult 17-or-so months, and I am continually grateful that we are now in a position to bring events such as this back to the towns and villages of our district.”

Dr Anna Scott, Mayflower 400 officer, said: “This year’s final commemoration will be very special, bringing people together again and giving us the chance to think about a heritage which we share with places and communities across the world.”