November 15, 2021 5.21 pm This story is over 24 months old

Thousands in Gainsborough celebrate Mayflower 400th anniversary

Celebrations were delayed by a year due to COVID-19

The final Mayflower celebrations were finally held in Gainsborough over the weekend, celebrating the 400th anniversary of one of the town’s most famous stories.

Each year the town remembers its link with the Mayflower Pilgrims’ story, which was a voyage from England to America in 1620 that took some Pilgrims from the Lincolnshire region.

Each year, Gainsborough celebrates this event by parading lanterns through the streets to create a bright and colourful scene for all in attendance.

Over 2,000 people were in attendance for celebrations of the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower. | Photo: West Lindsey District Council

The 400th anniversary plans had to be shelved in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, with a remote event hosted in Gainsborough instead, inviting people to make their own candles and display them in their window.

Plans were pushed back to 2021 as a result of the pandemic, allowing it to come back better than ever in Gainsborough town centre on Saturday, November 13.

Projections went up on the walls of the Old Hall to detail the story of the Mayflower Pilgrims. | Photo: Discover Gainsborough

Held outside both Gainsborough Old Hall and All Saints Parish Church, there was a fire garden in the town, as well as hot food, entertainment and projections beamed onto the walls of the Old Hall.

Over 2,000 people went to All Saints Church to see the fire garden as part of the standout event, which also included a detailed story of the Mayflower, made by local production company Electric Egg.

Beautiful scenery making Gainsborough look like an illuminated paradise. | Photo: Discover Gainsborough

A £100,000 grant was awarded to West Lindsey District Council by Arts Council England to help fund the event, which has been in the pipeline for the last five years.

Leader of West Lindsey District Council Owen Bierley. | Photo: West Lindsey District Council

Leader of WLDC, Cllr Owen Bierley, said he was excited to see so many people turn out for the Mayflower celebrations.

“It is absolutely brilliant. The weather is superb for the time of year, and it is great to see so many people out and about in Gainsborough. The production and the organisation is top-notch.

“It’s just fantastic to be able to get out and about and to come together in groups of people again.”

Claire Shaw was at the Mayflower celebrations with her husband and two children, and they all had a great time! | Photo: West Lindsey District Council

People young and old were in attendance, including local resident Claire Shaw, along with her husband and two children.

Claire said: “It looked so good. We started attending the illuminate events a few years ago and took part in the lantern parade. We made new lanterns for the event this year.”

Claire’s daughter Willow, 7, added: “I think this event is really good. It didn’t take long to make our lanterns but I wanted to make one to bring.”