Posted by: travelrat | November 21, 2012

Mayflower Steps

Plymouth: 28th June 2012.

Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day in the US, maybe it’s appropriate that the Trip Diary landed up here, at the Mayflower Steps in Plymouth. It was from here that the Pilgrim Fathers set out for the New World, and it’s marked by a platform, a monument and flanked by the Stars and Stripes and the Union flag … although neither flag existed at the time.

Actually, the fact that the Pilgrim Fathers sailed from Plymouth isn’t quite right. The ship was originally prepared for its voyage in Southampton, where it was joined by the Speedwell, which had sailed from Holland. The two ships sailed from there in company for the New World, but Speedwell encountered difficulty, which forced both ships to put into Plymouth, where Speedwell was eventually abandoned, its passengers transferred to … the rest, as they say, is history!

A short distance away are a number of plaques set into the wall. These commemorate those who set out from here … voluntarily or otherwise … for Australia. For most of them, it would be the last time they set foot on English soil, and I feel they should be given greater prominence. Another memorial, perhaps?

Close by is the ice cream van! Its attraction was threefold. First, of course, was the delicious ice cream; remember, this is Devon, where it’s probably still a capital offence to sell bad ice cream. Then, there’s the van itself, a vintage model, dating from the 50s or maybe the 60s. And, for us, there was the number plate … which had Lorraine’s initials on it!


  1. I’ve been to this spot. Thank you for bringing back some nice memories.

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