Home Local News Chorley explores its history with the Mayflower 400 anniversary

Chorley explores its history with the Mayflower 400 anniversary

A portrait of Myles Standish

The Myles Standish 2020 Working Group, in collaboration with Chorley Council, are looking forward to the year of events marking the 400 year anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower to America.

Locations around the UK, USA and the Netherlands are coming together this year to commemorate the momentous journey that departed from Plymouth England in 1620, taking passengers to a new life across the Atlantic. Myles Standish, the military officer on board, is believed to have been born in Chorley.

An exciting programme of events is planned in Chorley including drama, music and choral performances, exhibitions, guided coach tours and a 4 July Pageant.

Lincoln Shields, Chairman of the Myles Standish 2020 Working Group, said “In 2017, the Chorley Heritage Centre Support Group was asked to take a lead on planning the events for the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims sailing to America with Myles Standish of Duxbury as their military leader. The working group and I are looking forward to the wide variety of special events we have planned throughout the year as part of the Mayflower 400 nationwide commemorations.”

Commenting on the plans for Chorley’s Mayflower commemoration year, Charles Hackett, CEO of Mayflower 400 said “I am looking forward to seeing the diverse events in Chorley that will commemorate the Mayflower’s 400 year anniversary. As a partner to the Mayflower 400 year, the events in Chorley will bring to life this historic journey for residents and visitors alike. It is great to see the plans and I wish everyone well with their activities”

The Working Group’s next Mayflower 400 event will be on 7 March, when the ‘Cathedral Classics’ series of organ music concerts open at Chorley’s St. Laurence’s Church. The first concert is free to attend and will feature English and American music including two pieces written for the Mayflower 400 anniversary. There will be opportunities to purchase tickets to the rest of the series on the day.

A reception evening on 4 April featuring music and dance performances will formally mark the beginning of Chorley’s 2020 events. Free attendance to this and many of the Mayflower 400 events in Chorley is supported by funding received from the National Heritage Lottery Fund.

Many of Chorley Council’s most popular events including Picnic in the Park and the Chorley Flower Show will also feature links to the Mayflower anniversary.

Commemorations in all of the Mayflower 400 partner towns will conclude as they began, with spectacular light and projection-based events. Astley Illuminated 2020 will take on a new format this year in the form of a light parade through the park alongside beautiful light displays in the grounds around Astley Hall.

Commemorative Myles Standish booklets featuring the event timetable are available to purchase for £2 at a number of town centre locations, including Chorley Council’s Union Street Offices, Ebb and Flo Bookshop, St. Laurence’s Church, Chorley Library, Birkacre Garden Centre, Gilling Dod Architects and Nineteen Bar & Kitchen.

Event listings for Mayflower events taking place between March and June 2020 will appear in the next issue of What’s Happening magazine.

For the latest information on the national commemorations visit www.Mayflower400uk.org


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