Wednesday, September 23, 2020

New Scotia Creek installation to celebrate Mayflower anniversary

A new structure, celebrating the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrim Fathers will be installed at Scotia Creek near Boston later this year.

The metal viewing platform will allow visitors to look out to the Wash and beyond, at an important spot in the story of the Mayflower Pilgrims and their voyage to New England in the 1600s.

The joint project between Arts Council England and Lincolnshire County Council is part of a series of projects in the Boston area celebrating the Mayflower’s 400th anniversary.

It also adds to a series of other shelters and lookouts installed on the Lincolnshire coast in recent years. Installation for the structure at Scotia Creek is planned for November 2020.

Cllr Colin Davie, executive councillor for economy and place at the county council, said: ‘Lincolnshire played an important role in the iconic story of the Mayflower Pilgrims and the county has some incredible links to their journey as they sought religious freedom.

“Although the Mayflower 400 celebrations have mostly been postponed until summer 2021, the connection this part of Lincolnshire has to the founding of America is well worthy of our celebration at any time.”

Peter Knott, Midlands Area Director for Arts Council England, said: “Recognising significant events in history like the Mayflower voyage, through arts and creativity is important for us all and can help us acknowledge what the Mayflower journey has come to symbolise to different people.

“We’re really pleased to be supporting the Scotia Creek project through our National Lottery Project Grants, and hope the installation will give visitors space to reflect and the opportunity to learn about the history of Boston and Lincolnshire’s coast.”

The new structure incorporates an elevated 5m metal deck with a balustrade containing features depicting the navigational journey to the New World, and the stars in the night sky used to get there.

The deck is level with the top of the new bank profile, and accessed from it. The design considers themes of navigation relating to migration, flight and exploration of unknown worlds.

The platform provides shelter and has seating that can be altered by visitors to give views back to Boston, as well as out to sea.

The £115k memorial is jointly funded by Arts Council England (£90k)and Lincolnshire County Council (£25k), with the land provided by Boston Borough Council.

Architectural practice, MSA Gruff, was chosen to design and build the new structure following an international design competition held in 2018.

In the 1600s, a small congregation of separatists (known as the ‘Scooby Congregation’) decided to flee the UK and head to Holland. They met at Scotia Creek in 1607, but on the night they were due to leave for Holland they were betrayed, captured and imprisoned in Boston Guildhall. A year later the Pilgrims succeeded in their escape to Holland, before eventually sailing from Plymouth in September 1620, landing on 9 November at Cape Cod in New England.

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