Nottinghamshire County Council reveals its Pilgrim anniversary plans

14 November 2019

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Nottinghamshire County Council has announced a series of pilgrim-inspired events to help mark next year’s 400th anniversary of when Nottinghamshire helped form a nation.

Many of the most influential pilgrims who sailed to America on the Mayflower were from Scrooby in North Nottinghamshire and the surrounding area.

The £316,500 plans were agreed by councillors at Nottinghamshire County Council’s policy committee (13 November) 

Councillor Kay Cutts, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Councillor said, 

“We have a history and heritage to rival the very best the UK has to offer.

“The Pilgrim story, which started right here in Nottinghamshire is one which needs to be showcased, so I’m delighted to announce our planned series of local educational, community and creative  events to help commemorate this historic milestone.

“These 400th anniversary plans present a fantastic opportunity to show the rest of the country and the world what we have to offer to boost the county’s tourism credentials.

“These events will hopefully inspire more people to learn more about this extraordinary journey where people travelled across the world set up a new colony and establish principles for the foundation of freedom and modern democracy, led by William Brewster from Scrooby. 

“Afterall what happened here in Nottinghamshire hundreds of years ago had a far-reaching impact in Britain and beyond.

 “And to help younger generations learn more about how a boy from Nottinghamshire grew up to help  to change the world,  I’m delighted that a new book, created by council staff which uses digital technology is also due to be made available to every school and library in Nottinghamshire throughout the county in the coming months. 

“The book really brings the story to life - via augmented reality – and is designed to encourage young people to earn a special arts award too.

“As well as the pilgrim book and a commemorative art installation planned in Scrooby, Nottinghamshire County Council-funded events planned throughout 2020, with final details and venues still be confirmed, include:

• A Pilgrim-themed garden also based at the National Civil War Centre, Newark

• A thanksgivings school meal across the county in November 2020

• Pilgrim survival challenge event for young people

• A community play award  to be offered to local theatre groups to produce a Pilgrim play

• A community planting scheme involving 400 major oaks and also a special Pilgrim Apple Tree

• A festival-style event to help celebrate local food and drink and our extensive heritage.

• Special pilgrim exhibitions, including one planned at  the University of Nottingham followed by a proposed county-wide tour.

• Plans to install heritage lighting columns across Scrooby

• Support for a Pilgrim music festival and opera programme 

Nottinghamshire County Council will be working with partners throughout 2020 including support for Mayflower 400 National partnership and the Pilgrim Roots regional partnership as part of the national programme of events beginning with a series of illuminate light shows later this month in the Retford area. 

Further details of these County Council funded events, including confirmation of venues and dates, will be announced in the coming months via, on Twitter @nottscc and on Facebook @Nottinghamshire

For more details of the national programme of events go to

There will also be a host of Pilgrim-related talks and exhibitions taking place at Nottinghamshire Libraries. For more details to go


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