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Fishtoft Tapestry to commemorate Pilgrim Fathers

You've heard of the Bayeux Tapestry? Well, the history of Fishtoft's connections with the Pilgrim Fathers is set to be commemorated in a new tapestry.

Fishtoft played a crucial role in the Pilgrim Fathers' plans which eventually took them to America. The first group of Puritans, or Separatists, later to be known as the Pilgrim Fathers, who attempted to leave England assembled at Scotia Creek, close to where the Pilgrim fathers Memorial is located.

They sought religious freedoms and a purist interpretation of the scriptures and waited to board a ship near Fishtoft. Their plans to leave without the required permission of the King were thwarted when they were double crossed, arrested and imprisoned initially in the Guildhall in Boston.

Fishtoft's 400 Committee is determined that the 400th anniversary next year of the Mayflower crossing to the New World should not pass without commemoration in the parish where it all began.

The committee has been planning ways to mark the anniversary for the past three years.

The committee hopes local school children will become involved, providing drawings depicting the Pilgrim Fathers, wildlife and reflecting local history. This will be turned into a wall hanging in needlework which committee member Helen Staples will undertake.

The committee has also asked South Holland Wood Carvers to prepare a commemorative plaque to be sited at the Pilgrim Fathers Memorial and are coming up with ideas for a  children's trail along the river bank.

The parish council has planted trees and, with help from HM Prison North Sea Camp, the area has been tidied and owl boxes sited. There may also be the addition of some wood carvings.

It is also hoped to obtain a buoy which former primary school teacher Liz Harness, a superb artist, is going to paint to reflect the Pilgrim Fathers and Boston's maritime history.

Liz is also working with the Mulberry Trust Consortium to provide glass mosaic art works.

And Margaret Ordway has produced two walkers' maps, which tell of local history with photographs of flora and fauna and wonderfully humorous ditties which she has composed.

Helen said: "Our vision goes beyond 2020. We want to encourage visitors to Boston to explore our town, come to Fishoft and enjoy the open spaces such as Havenside Nature Reserve. We want to promote walking and enjoying the simple things in life which are free."

Helen, Liz and Margaret Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
Hatching up more ideas for Fishtoft 400, from left, Helen Staples, committee chairman Liz Armstrong and Margaret Ordway.