May 2019 saw a spring-time burst of activity for the team behind The Imagination Museum. Our Pilgrim Roots Hub had a busy month, with events focused on the town of Gainsborough in the West Lindsey district of Lincolnshire.
Amongst our activity locations were the timber-framed medieval Gainsborough Old Hall and the United Reformed Church. The latter was built as a memorial to John Robinson, a hugely significant figure in the Mayflower story, and Gainsborough Old Hall is believed to have hosted meetings of the Pilgrims. So, in addition to providing beautiful backdrops for our performances, both buildings hold huge significance to the Mayflower story and local history and are part of the town’s conservation area.
Events were held as part of West Lindsey Churches Festival and were supported by our partners the Pilgrim Roots Heritage Project. We were delighted with the positive feedback we received from attendees, who not only enjoyed the performances but also overwhelmingly reported that the events helped increase their awareness of their local area, its people and history.
Inspiring, imaginative, inclusive and educational
Maggy Watkins, our Local Producer for the PiIgrim Roots hub, had the opportunity to watch all the performances and speak to lots of audience members afterwards. She reported:
I enjoyed the performances – which were all slightly different too…people were surprised but then found it funny and intriguing. I also heard from several people that they liked walking through the various spaces and found out information that they did not know before. They enjoyed the interaction of the dancers. I also thought it was an excellent idea to acknowledge the Gainsborough area and say something about the locality - put it into context… People wanted to talk about what they had seen before they left [and they] told me how moving and emotional they found it.
Look out for our next events in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire on our What’s On page, coming up in Retford, Newark, Babworth and Gainsborough between August and November. We’ll also be working with schools in and around Gainsborough and Retford from September onwards. Take a look at our video here to get a sense of the project:
The Imagination Museum: Mayflower 400 project is produced by Made By Katie Green , supported financially using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England as part of the Strategic Touring programme, Hampshire Cultural Trust, The Box, West Lindsey, Plymouth, Nottinghamshire and Bassetlaw District Councils (including a contribution of Divisional Funding from Cllr Mike Quigley MBE and Cllr Susan Shaw) and the Surf the Wave programme, and also delivered in partnership with the Pilgrim Roots Regional Partnership, Transported, The Point, Plymouth Dance and Plymouth Culture.