Mayflower 400 Southampton

Mayflower 400 Community Programme 

Thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Southampton City Council, Mayflower 400 have been able to award £60,000 of grant funding to 22 local community groups to deliver their own projects. These projects will allow communities to tell their stories, give ‘hidden histories’ a platform to be explored and allow new voices to be heard in Southampton. The projects explore a wide range of heritage stories; the details of which can be seen below. 


Virtual Mayflower Holiday

Working with older people in the community and in care to create the experience of a ‘Virtual Holiday at Home’. Based around the themes of freedom and exploration. Mayflower Holiday took place on Tuesday 10 November. You can read more about the day here.

Cloud Kidz

Heritage Hunt

Cloudz Kidz CIC are leading a project which will explore heritage in BAME community around Newtown, St. Marys and Northam area. We would like to encourage the youth of these communities to rediscover and search their rich and valuable heritage. This project is supplying 3 weeks of activities for 100 children aged 7 – 12. Starting 8th December 2020.

It is well known that most stories of the BAME community from the past are only verbal, hidden to most people. This project will equip young people to engage in a process of uncovering these stories that are vital to understanding their linage, identity and heritage. It will help them gain a perspective as to when, why and how their forefathers came here and how their life has been since. 

This project is in 3 phases (weeks) WEEK 1: Art and cultural heritage. WEEK 2: Searching stories from the past. WEEK 3: Arts and Crafts.

Children aged 7-12 from Newtown, Northam and St. Mary’s area can benefit from this 3 week activity pack exploring their personal heritage. You can sign up to receive your free pack here.




All About Sea

This year, local artist Deborah Goatley-Birch was invited to work on a project ‘All About Sea’ with children from Maytree Infant School.

Ninety children collaborated with the artist, to create this largescale painting, currently on display in Southampton City Art Gallery, which took inspiration from the sea and the Mayflower voyage.

Exploring the work of painters synonymous with seascapes such as Turner and Maggi Hambling, the pupils, aged 5 and 6 years, learnt how to mix primary colours from powder paint. They practiced mark making on paper and then, in small groups of 5, were able to work on the big canvas with Deborah’s direction. During this messy and exciting day, the children contributed to the colourful collaborative painting which will go on permanent display at the school once this exhibition ends.

Watch the video here.

MHA Communities – Live at Home

Quilting with elderly residents

Working with the elderly community to explore their heritage through the design of a collaborative quilt. The quilt will celebrate the diverse background and history of the participants and will be a physical representation of places, people, events, objects that have been important in their history.

Mayflower FOLK – Southampton STORIES

Mayflower FOLK: Southampton STORIES took place in 2019, run by writers Nazneen Ahmed and Susmita Bhattacharya. They worked with Banister School Hounsdown School, Black Heritage Association and Women’s Integration Group, and Southampton City Libraries to explore Southampton’s contemporary and historical connections to the rest of the world as a city of journeys. As Susmita and Nazneen are of Indian and Bangladeshi origin, they used folk forms from South Asia, including Warli mural painting and naksi kantha embroidery, to enable participants to tell Southampton’s stories in new, imaginative ways.

Buy a copy of the book or a selections of postcards here.

Navigating a New World – The Story of an International Print Exchange

Inspired by the Mayflower’s epic journey in 1620 two print studios, on opposite sides of the Atlantic, are remembering the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower with an exciting international, cross-cultural print exchange project and exhibitions of contemporary printmaking. Artists from Cowprint of Red Hot Press, Southampton, in collaboration with Inky Hands Print Studio and Gallery of Plymouth, MA, planned to present an exhibition of prints at God’s House Tower titled ‘Navigating a New World’ in August 2020. Unfortunately, this was not possible – however there are now a selection of prints available from the Gods House Tower shop.

Read more here.

Sarah Siddons Fan Club Theatre Company

Virtual Mayflower Performance

An online documentary style performance, which will focus on the human stories relating to the time the pilgrims were in Southampton. The stories of the townspeople will reflect on their inter-actions with the Americas, Native Americans, their part in facilitating migration and colonisation.

“Due to Covid The Sarah Siddons Theatre Company were unable to perform their new production about the Mayflower, however thanks to a grant from Southampton City Council the company have been able to re-imagine their play into a film made in documentary style featuring the stories of inhabitants of Southampton in 1620 and some of the passengers of the Mayflower as they prepare for their trans-Atlantic voyage.”

Watch the performance here


Theatre for Life CIC


Theatre for Life CIC has teamed up with Southampton Children’s Hospital, Solent Mind and Southampton City Council Cultural Services in a cross-community film project titled ‘Emerge’.

‘Emerge’ will be a devised performance, humanising stories of communities dealing with hidden disability and mental health, connecting with audiences through stories of hope and resilience. Theatre for Life youth company will have the opportunity to explore stories respectfully and with authenticity using verbatim theatre to capture this time period accurately. The project aims to supports patient empowerment, self-esteem and resilience. ‘Emerge’ will provide an important creative lifeline at this time of crisis to support mental health. It will also improve access to arts and heritage for young patients aged 14-25 years old with long-term health conditions, some of whom are shielding and at higher risk from COVID-19.

You can watch the ‘Emerge’ film at public screenings in 2021, with the support of Southampton City Council Cultural Services, dates to be announced.

Upcoming Projects

More details soon:

Bantab4change CIC

Southampton Migration Digital Museum

The project will support the development phase of a Digital Museum dedicated to migrant stories of Southampton.


Black History Month South

Black Heritage Film (Oral History)

A visual representation of the local BAME community exploring experiences of living as a minority group within the UK and the importance of maintaining cultural heritage.


City Eye

Heritage Film Archive

The project will explore, catalogue and make accessible the archive material related to City Eye’s collected of migration stories.


Mayflower Theatre Trust

Heritage Open Day

The funding will support the editing and showcasing of four brand new Mayflower 400 inspired songs into short films which will be shown as part of Heritage Open Days.


Muslim Council of Southampton

Muslim Seafarer Trail

A memorial walk and prayers for Muslim seafarers buried in Southampton Old Cemetery. The graves are currently unmarked; invisible to the city’s Muslim community and wider community alike.


Northam Social Club

Traditional Dress Making

Through sewing and cooking, women group members from different cultures, will explore journeys from childhood individually and collectively. The results will be exhibited in Northam Community Centre. The aim is to expand the project into a citywide fashion show on migration.


Sal Chitulu, as part of Black History Month

Young African Oral Histories

A much-needed platform will be created for young black people to have a voice and share their experiences within Southampton and beyond. The project will take place during October.


SoCo Music Project

Young Migrants Music

This project will enable young migrant communities in Southampton to come together and explore their rich and diverse backgrounds through music.


South Hampshire Reform Jewish Community

Migration Trail

A fully illustrated walking tour booklet will be produced, which will bring into the open major sites associated with those who have arrived or departed from Southampton including transmigrants and refugees.


Southampton Festivals

History of Hip-Hop

A dialogue and a cultural exchange with the Hip Hop community in Boston, MA, USA. Exploring the role Hip Hop culture plays within Southampton through a shared heritage with trans-Atlantic communities.


Southampton University Players

Ghosts of the Mayflower

This project involves writing, rehearsing and presenting an anthology performance entitled GHOSTS OF THE MAYFLOWER. It will include storytelling, poems, short scenes, verbatim accounts and songs, connected to the Mayflower. The project will take place between September and December


The Polygon School

Art Mural

Encouraging the participation of all boys in exploring their experience of Southampton, a mural spray painted as a timeline, drawing inspiration from Southampton’s heritage and contemporary/historical street art.


The United Voice of African Associations

African Dance and Language for Young People

This project will introduce young people to Mandinga and Igbo African ethnic languages and dance, it will inspire them to take cultural languages and dance as an important part of their cultural identity.


UK Shaolin Temple

Chinese Culture Workshops

Chinese culture classes and tutorials that teach calligraphy, paper cutting, lion and dragon dancing as well as traditional tea and costume making.


UK Shaolin Temple

Shaolin Talks

The project will support interviews with members of the Chinese community, who will share their family stories about how they settled in Southampton and what they do to keep their culture and traditions alive and how they have adapted to and enriched each other. A series of interviews as part of Shaolin Talks online.


Umoja Na Upendo

African Bridal Traditions

An intergenerational project focused on the different African customs of a bride leaving her community to join her groom.


Zimbabwe Roots Association

King Mzilikazi Story

Re-enactment of the journey taken by King Mzilikazi (Ndebele King)’s two emissaries, in 1889 who travelled by sea from Cape Town, docking at Southampton Docks, before checking in at the London Hotel in Oxford Street, Southampton, then boarding a train to London the following day, to meet with Queen Victoria.

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