Scrooby villagers snub Mayflower voyage 400th anniversary over ‘wrong’ date

A rebellious Bassetlaw village famed as the origin of the Mayflower voyage has snubbed today’s 400th anniversary - by celebrating it 10 days before.

By Ben McVay
Wednesday, 16th September 2020, 2:26 pm

The tiny village of Scrooby - a regular stop-off for American tourists paying homage to the first New World settlers - is the birthplace of senior pilgrim William Brewster.

Scrooby villager Brewster was a Church Of England separatist who later became senior elder and the leader of the colonists’ community which sailed from Plymouth to what is now the USA in 1620.

Today people on both sides of the Atlantic are marking the anniversary of the famous voyage however it is just another day for Scrooby residents - who had already observed the occasion on Sunday, September 6 with a party on the village green.

Villagers celebrated on Sunday September 6 with a socially-distanced party

The defiant locals - who say the rest of the world has the dates wrong - argue that when the colonists departed the old-world ‘Julian’ calendar was still in use.

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They say the ‘Gregorian’ calendar which we use today is 10 days ahead of when the Mayflower actually departed and is incorrect.

Ed Marshall, a Scrooby parish councillor and organiser of this year’s Mayflower 400 celebrations, described the September 16 anniversary as ‘absolutely wrong’.

Parish councillors with county councillor Tracey Taylor and district councillor Jack Bowker - with a flag gifted by the people of Plymouth, Massachusetts, in the background

He said: “Why was the date changed? The history is quite clear - they set off on September 6.

“We’ve always celebrated the anniversary on the 6th and so why would we celebrate it on a Wednesday this year?”

Scrooby Parish Council had hoped to cap-off off six months of planned celebrations with a two-day village show - including a concert by American blues and jazz musician Luke Winslow-King.

Retford performance poet Paul Cookson with Scrooby kids in their Mayflower t-shirts doing a Mayflower poem

However 10 days ago locals still got together on the village green in social-distancing squares to watch a jazz/funk band - while enjoying a drink or two in the outdoors.

Before the pandemic the village had been fundraising for a toilet block with exterior access on the town hall for the benefit of all the American tourists they had expected to host during the coming months.

Though this project has been put on hold, Mr Marshall told how the village had successfully gone through a process of ‘prettification’ - including resurfaced roads and new village signs.

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