Attention on deck, prepare to abandon ship!
Sad to report, I’ve drawn a definite blank from Plymouth Mayflower 400 so consider that lead closed. Disappointing in part because the original committee approached me not I them, back in 2014.
Not much better with The Harwich Mayflower Project which I’d love to see succeed. HMP’s success would prove a huge benefit for Harwich town and the county of Essex. With Britexit looking increasingly like a very hard exit, all the more reason to make an imaginative project at Harwich successful.
For Plymouth with some Plymouthians help we carried out much research, discovered quite a lot that is currently unknown about Mayflower and Plymouth 1620.
I make a series of concept sketches as a basis for further discussions.
The original pilot committee was absorbed by the council so inevitably become bureaucratic in outlook so turned to what the officials think are ‘safe’; thus the usual mediocre, unimaginative, uninspired, boring, short term solutions are now sought for Mayflower 400, nothing of enduring worth that will attract International publicity and continue for generations to remind the American people of Plymouth England.
Unfortunately the city also ignored my offer of help with sponsorship, so unsurprisingly has failed to find a major sponsor.
Finding a sponsor is not a job for ameteur beaurocrates, it is a specialists task.
A Mayflower III.
As for The Harwich Mayflower Project, while the team remain very enthusiastic, they have proven to be very poor communicators and having asked for sound advice have ignored it when given and I don’t mean only my advice.
This is saddening in part because the 2020 anniversary aside, there is a great opportunity for Harwich and Essex to have a long term ongoing benefit.
Much has been learned about ships since the Mayflower 1957 reproduction was built and sailed to the U S A
We could improve on that ship with an updated more accurate version, a Mayflower III.
The opinion which I share, among people I know with practical experience of the difficulties of funding, building a reproduction ship, operating and maintaining her, is that HMP should employ professional specialists to find sponsors, generate publicity, build their site and ship.
HMP should in my opinion restart by the core team taking a very serious look at and advice from two successful projects with which I’m familiar including having visited both places so I could act as a liaison officer, The Batavia Wherf, at Lelystad in The Netherlands
and the ‘Hermione’ project at Rochefort sur Mer near La Rochelle in France.
I still wish HMP the very best of luck but unless the project sets a new course, Mayflower III will never be built at Harwich.
The bottom line for Harwich is the town, the Essex country, and this is not only my opinion, is they need a flagship project to stimulate an impoverished district and that can be guided by local and regional business men BUT this only be achieved with suitable professional help.