Mayflower 2020

The Four Hundredth Anniversary of the Sailing of the Mayflower

2020, the 400th anniversary of the Voyage of the Mayflower with four Pilgrim Fathers from Billericay aboard, will be a special year for our town.  18 months ago Billericay Mayflower Twinning Association created a steering group from representatives from the town’s clubs and societies to co-ordinate a programme of some 40 commemorative events to run throughout the year but based around four key dates.

The complete programme will be printed in the spring and available through The Town Crier, The Resident, and the library.  In the meantime, as events become finalized, they will be gradually revealed on this website and through the Facebook page: Billericay Mayflower 2020.  We hope to include something for everyone – all ages and interests catered for – so that 2020 will be a truly memorable year, one our children and grandchildren will recall and one that Christopher and Mary Martin, Solomon Prower, and John Langemore would be proud of.

The programme below lists the events so far confirmed many more are in the process of being finalised and others are at the beginning of their planning phase

Only events advertised with the Mayflower 2020 logo are endorsed as part of the official programme.  Our logo seen above was designed by Acors Press.

January – December: Billericay Community Cinema

A season celebrating a century of classic American films.  Monthly from  January on a Thursday at 7 p.m. at Billericay Library.  Tickets: £5 from where details and contact information can be found.

Winter: Billericay Reading Rooms

Primary Schools’ Pilgrim Fathers Project with prize awarded.  A display of children’s work will be mounted in the Reading Rooms 13th-15th March.

Wed 22nd January: Publication of ‘The May-Flower Pilgrims 1620 and the Founding of Billerica, Massachusetts 1655’ by Julian Whybra

Available from The Cater Museum or Slipped Discs. Signings & sales at some of the events below (*).

Sat 7th March: Billericay Lions

A Taste of America.  Food with quiz.  Emmanuel Hall, Laindon Rd., 8 pm. 

Ticket details TBA.

Sun 8th March: Billericay Churches Together

400th Anniversary Civic Service: Building a more tolerant Society. 

The Most Holy Redeemer R.C. Church, 21 Laindon Rd.  2 pm. 

Fri 13th-Sun 15th March: Billericay Reading Rooms

A display of local Primary Schools’ Project work on the Pilgrim Fathers/Mayflower with one prize per school for the best composition.

March: Friends of Lake Meadows

A commemorative oak tree will be planted in the park.  Details TBA on

Sat 25th April:  Mayflower Morris Men

St. George and the Dragon Mummers’ Play (with Guest Appearance by Christopher Martin).  11 and 1145 am corner of High St. & St. Edith’s Lane.  Free event.  See

Sat 25th April: Mayflower Morris Men

A display of Morris dancing 2.00 p.m. The Chequers, High St.  Free event. See

Sun 10th May: The Norsey Wood Society

Norsey Wood Mayflower 2020 Open Day

Mon 18th May: Essex Handicrafts Association

Lecture* by Julian Whybra, The Fold, 72 Laindon Rd., 8-9 pm, open to  non-members (entrance fee); Contact: or 01277 213410 Essex and the May-Flower Pilgrims –  The voyage of the May-Flower to the New World in 1620 is an event of which most people are aware.  But who were these ‘Pilgrims’?  Did they flee England out of religious conviction or were they entrepreneurs  with an eye for the main chance?  How did they fare in the New World and how did their epic journey lead to the founding of the township of New Plimoth in Massachusetts?  Find out a little about your local history.

May: Friends of Lake Meadows

A specially-designed, American/English-themed planting will be unveiled in the raised badge bed in the park’s garden area.  Date will be bloom-dependent but details TBA on

Sat 20th June: Mayflower 2020 Summer Launch Day

Reading Rooms, High St., 10 am-4 pm.  A chance to preview all the 2020 commemorative events taking place and make contact with the participating groups.*

Wed 1st July: Billericay District Residents’ Association

‘Best dressed’ Billericay shop window competition begins (theme: the Voyage of the Mayflower).

Sat 4th July: Friends of Lake Meadows

Jazz in the Park 2020 with an English / American theme.  A variety of  music, dancing and a few surprises. Musicians include Nimrod Margalit &  Friends, The Law, and the Daisy Bowlers.  4-7.15 p.m.  Free event – no tickets required.  Bring chairs and a picnic.  Everyone welcome.  Fancy dress with an English/American theme, any century, may be worn.  For  details see

Sat 4th July: Billericay Choral Society

A Concert of Choral Music from North America 1620-2020: ‘The Mayflower Pilgrims’ – a new work by composer Clive Jenkins.  7.30 pm Emmanuel Church, Laindon Rd.  Ticket details TBA.

Sat 11th July: The Cater Museum

1-4 pm Historical re-enactment based on Christopher Martin & Family*

Sat 11th July: The Choir for All Seasons 

‘Across the Pond Again’.  A concert of American music – Copland, Bernstein, Gershwin, Randall Thompson, Billings, McDowell and traditional American folk. 7.30 pm Mayflower Hall, Chapel St. Tickets £8 from Slipped Discs, High St., or 01376 510382 or on the door.  Further info.:

Wed 15th July: Essex Pilgrims leave Billericay

Sat 18th July: The Cater Museum

1-4 pm Historical re-enactment based on Christopher Martin & Family*

Sat 5th September: Billericay Horticultural Society Annual Show

North American Indigenous Plant Display: Flowers & Photos.  2-4 pm.  Billericay Western Methodist Church Hall, Western Rd.  Entrance: free. Hot drinks & homemade cakes for sale.  For more info contact    

Sat 5th September: Mayflower Morris Men & Billericay Mayflower Twinning Association

A Merrie England 1620s’ Barn Dance for Milkmaids & Ploughboys,  7-10.30 pm Canon Roche Hall, Laindon Rd.  Tickets: £10 (incl. refreshments, but bring your own drinks).  Costume optional! Tickets on the door or in advance from

Sun 6th September:  Pilgrim Fathers leave England

Sun 6th September: St. Mary Magdalene Church, Great Burstead & Great Burstead and South Green Parish Council

400th Commemorative Service starting at 09.45am at the Great Burstead village sign for a prayer and a hymn followed by a procession to Great Burstead church 10.00am – Morning service at the church followed by refreshments.


Fri 11th-Sat 26th September: Billericay Art Trail

Make Something Mayflower – (a) the ship (b) A Mayflower-themed sticker collection.  Prizes and a display in the Children’s Library, High St., after the Trail.  See for details.

Sun 13th September    Mill Meadows Society & Billericay Town Rotary Club

 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Mill Meadows Mayflower-themed Fayre with Christopher Martin himself in attendance, plus a Scarecrow Pilgrim Father Competition.  With a genuine Mayflower passenger as inspiration you  must let your creative Scarecrow juices flow…The Fayre culminates with the announcement of the winner. 

Mon 14th September: Billericay Historical and Archaeological Society

Lecture by Julian Whybra, The Fold, 72 Laindon Rd., 8-9.30 pm, Open to non-members: entrance fee TBA*

 American Colonization: From Billericay to Billerica 1620-1655

Most Billericay residents know that four of its townspeople voyaged with the May-Flower to the New World in 1620 and most know that they all died in the first winter.  What is not generally known is how the settlement of the north-east American seaboard came about and how the Massachusetts town of Billerica came to be founded and named.  This is that story.

Autumn: Billericay Town Council

Commemorative Statue by John Doubleday of a Pilgrim family to be placed in Billericay.  Watch for announcement on Council’s website

Sat 3rd October: Billericay Archive: History Fair, Library, High St.

‘Christopher Martin’s Billericay’.  A display of the Cater Museum’s recent acquisition of the Ralph Agas Map of Billericay 1593. A chance to see Billericay at the time of Christopher Martin

Lecture: Christopher Martin & Family by Julian Whybra                                    

Everything there is to know and everything you wanted to know about Christopher & Mary Martin, Solomon Prower and John Langemore, the four Billericay Pilgrim Fathers, factual and fictional.

Details TBA on

Fri 9th – Mon 12th  October: Mayflower Morris Men

 Long Weekend trip to Leyden, Holland, home of the other half of the Pilgrim Fathers.  Includes coach, 3 night B&B in the centrally-located Ibis Hotel.  Visits to the American Pilgrim Museum and St. Pieters Church, etc.  Details TBA on

Wed 11th November: Pilgrim Fathers make landfall in New England

Sat 21st November: Billericay Folk Dance Club

A evening of 17th-century English Playford Dance and American Square Dance.  Contact:

Sun 5th December: The Choir for All Seasons 

Title TBA.  A concert of American music TBA. 7.30 pm Mayflower Hall, Chapel St.  Tickets £8 from Slipped Discs, High St., or 01376 510382 or on the door. Further info.: www.the

Fri (2020) / Mon (1620) 11th December: Pilgrim Fathers found their colony at Plymouth

Sun 13th December: Mayflower Morris Men

A commemorative display of Morris dancing 12.45 p.m. The Bear, Stock.  Free event. See


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