In September 2005 the next significant event was the appointment of Sandra Withington, now also Secretary of the Association, as Economic Regeneration Development Officer to Bassetlaw DC . Sandra is also passionate about the Pilgrims.
Sue Allan then introduced Dr. Jeremy Bangs, the Director of the Leiden American Pilgrim Museum in Holland. As Dr. Bangs is probably the world's leading historian on the Mayflower Pilgrims this link was exciting and invaluable. The enthusiasm became infectious and the 'project' was established.
It was now apparent that the economic ans social benefits to the local area could be significant and, as word spread, inquiries started to come in from outside the District. It was time to consider whether this was to be just a Bassetlaw District Council initiative or whether it should include other parties. Pilgrim Country straddles three districts - Bassetlaw in North Nottinghamshire, Doncaster in South Yorkshire and West Lindsey in Lincolnshire - in the guise of Babworth and Scooby churches, Austerfield church and Gainsborough Old Hall.
On 25th November 2005, Bassetlaw and Doncaster councils hosted a meeting of interested parties at Bawtry Hall where the proofs of the new Pilgrim Fathers/ Mayflower Trail brochure and guide were presented. The diversity of organisations attending made it obvious that it could not remain a Bassetlaw Council initiative. It was suggested that a Steering Group should be formed with a Chair who was independent to protect it from any local authority changes.
The first Steering Group meeting was held at Doncaster, Sheffield Robin Hood Airport on 20th January 2006. It was decided that this should become an independent, not for profit, Association, and Anthony Darbyshire was elected as its first independent Chair.
The 22nd of May 2006 saw the launch of the Pilgrim Fathers. Mayflower Trail brochure at the Crown Hotel, Bawtry attended by Dr. Bangs and the new Pilgrim Fathers UK Origins Association was also introduced. This was followed by a tour of Pilgrim Country for guests and the press. The Assocation was launched.
In June 2004, the plan to celebrate the anniversaries associated with the Separatists or Pilgrim Fathers as they had become known, and to promote their heritage started when Bassetlaw District Councillor, Barry Bowles, became responsible for Economic Regeneration and Tourism. Apart from his lifelong interest in the Pilgrim Fathers, he could see the economic benefits of encouraging people to visit North Nottinghamshire. Few appreciated his vision at first, so support and progress was slow. Fortunately, Roger Ransom, Head of Economic Regeneration and Tourism, shared his enthusiasm and slowly but surely progress was made.
In July 2005, the first notable important milestone to help Barry’s concept become a reality happened when he received an invitation to attend a book launch and signing at Gainsborough Old Hall. The book was an historical novel, ‘Mayflower Maid’ written by Sue Allan and American, Roger Vorhauer. Both were as passionate about the Mayflower Pilgrims as Barry
In September 2005, Sue and Roger went to America to promote their book amongst Mayflower descendants and to assist the developments in Bassetlaw, they took as many Bassetlaw and Pilgrim Fathers Guides as could be shipped over. The links began to come together.
Background to the Association
- Bassetlaw District Council
- Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council
- Gainsborough Town Council
Private Sector Organistions:
- Mayflower Pilgrim Tours
- Experience Nottinghamshire
-South Yorkshire Tourism
- Bassetlaw Museum
- Austerfield Field Study Centre
- Gainsborough Old Hall
- Historic Bostons Partnership
- Sherwood Forest Trust
- Scrooby Parish Council
Barry Bowles Sue Allan Sandra Withington Anthony Darbyshire
The Association is a not-for-profit, non-political party and the Chair is independent of any religious or political affiliation.
If you belong to an organisation that you feel should be represented, but at present is not, then please email the address of your website, with a request for inclusion, to the Chair of the Association.
Heritage is a treasure.
But unlike gold and jewels it needs to be shared or it will disappear. ©
About the Pilgrim Fathers UK Origins Association