Illuminate Rotherhithe 2017

Rotherhithe | Illuminate Rotherhithe 2017


Illuminate Rotherhithe 2017

 Home Port of the Mayflower

Free local festivities | Thursday 23rd  – Monday 27th November


In parallel with the international build-up to the 400th anniversary commemorations of the sailing of the Mayflower in 1620 to the New World, Illuminate Rotherhithe is a free local five day event which aims to involve and include our diverse communities

The themes of Migration and our Local Histories run through the festival, beginning on Thursday 23rd November with a Lantern Procession, followed by a Mayflower Concert at St Mary the Virgin. With folk duo Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith, local people will participate in the concert, sharing music, song, poetry and discourse, with commemorations of the sailing of the Mayflower in 1620 at its heart.

Open lantern-making workshops for all are taking place now. Folk dance and song workshops, rope-handling demonstrations, and workshops delivered by the Museum of London Docklands are about to start in all seven primary schools on the peninsula. The folk dance workshops will culminate in a Schools’ Grand Ceilidh at Bacon’s College when 450 children from different schools will meet for the first time and dance together.

On the 24th of November, the Citizens of the World Choir will be singing songs of Migration, sharing the stage with local people who will describe how they, their families, even their ancestors ‘landed’ in Rotherhithe. There will be a Free Family Ceilidh for all to have fun on Saturday 25th November; a free screening of ‘The Pilgrims’ film followed by a discussion chaired by the local history society on the 26th November; and an exhibition about ‘Rotherhithe Delft’ tin ware pottery manufactured here by a Flemish potter in the 1630’s.

This series of free events is supported by local TRA’s, businesses, charities, philanthropists, and Southwark council: the Illuminate

Committee says a huge thank you!




Thursday 23rd November 2017

Illuminate Rotherhithe Lantern Procession

Lantern procession starts at 5pm. Meet by Mayflower Park, Lagado Mews SE16 | Free

The themes of Migration and our Local Histories run through the festival, beginning on Thursday 23rd November.

Illuminate Rotherhithe 2017 first official event is a lantern procession in which everyone can participate. Many of those taking part will be carrying lanterns designed in the free family friendly lantern making workshops thanks to London Bubble Theatre and local artist Cathy Wren.

  More information

Mayflower Concert

Mayflower Concert starts at 7pm. St Mary The Virgin Church, St Marychurch St, SE16 4JE | Free

No booking required. The church has limited seating

After the parade ends in the site of St Mary’s Church, there will food and hot drinks outdoors by the building while waiting to listen to the Mayflower Concert at St Mary The Virgin from 7pm to 7:30pm. With folk duo Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith, local people will participate in the concert, sharing music, song, poetry and discourse, with commemoration of the sailing of the Mayflower in 1620 at its heart

  More information


Friday 24th November 2017

Songs and Tales of Migration at Sands Films, 82 St Marychurch St, SE16 4HZ |  8pm | Free,  booking required


Songs and Tales of Migration event will be featuring music by the Citizens of the World Choir and speeches by local speakers who will be inspired by the theme of migration and who will tell the audience their views while sharing stories and facts about the main theme and history related to the Mayflower, Rotherhithe and more.

The choir is to convey its stories of migration, which they will be doing with four solo performances and four songs from our repertoire. They are pleased to be part of this wonderful community cause and very excited to perform with them.

  More information   Book your tickets here

Saturday 25th November 2017

Illuminate Rotherhithe brings two events, each very different from each other. A free family Ceilidh Dance experience for everyone to join and a special edition of the popular Midnight Apothecary in the Brunel Museum (this is a paid event)

Family Ceilidh at the Mayflower Hall

Mayflower Hall | 31 Neptune St, London SE16 7JP | 4pm – 6pm |Disabled access | Free

First, families are invited to join us for this free event at the Mayflower Hall in Neptune from 4pm. This is an afternoon to dance and have fun all together. If you are not familiar with Ceilidh, don’t worry. We have put together a quick explanation.

Free. Everyone is welcome and no booking required

  More information

Midnight Apothecary American Thanksgiving Special

Brunel Museum | Railway Ave, Rotherhithe, London SE16 4LF | 6pm – 10.30pm | Disabled access may be limited| 18 and over | £8

Cocktails, Cabaret, Campfires and Candlelight with this Down The Shaft Illuminate Rotherhithe event at Brunel Museum.

The campfire in the Brunel Musum roof garden will be roaring as usual to warm your cockles and toast your complimentary marshmallows. The giant flares, hurricane lamps and all round cosiness will be very much in evidence.  The deluxe hot rum toddy stand will insure your blood is pumping and your singing voice is warmed up.  But that’s only the start of it.. Midnight Apothecary invites you to descend the brand new grand staircase of Brunel’s underground  Grand Entrance Hall, described as one of the most exciting new performance spaces and cultural attractions in London today for a very special SINGALONGA knees up with some amazing cabaret talent. And of course they will be serving our beautiful seasonal botanical cocktails and Hiver honey beer in their underground cocktail bar.

Paid event. Over 18 only. Booking required

  Book your tickets here


Sunday 26th November 2017

Screening of The Pilgrims followed by a discussion at Sands Films, 82 St Marychurch St, SE16 4HZ | Free, booking required

The Pilgrims brings to life the real story of the men and women of the Mayflower: both the ardently evangelical English Protestants who led the mission, as well as the less fervently evangelical “Strangers” who went with them. Embedded in the deep social, political, cultural, economic and religious currents of their own world, from the first decade of the reign of Elizabeth I through to the first decade of the Thirty Years’ War in America, the film uncovers the challenges the Pilgrims faced in making new lives for themselves, challenges concerning the tension of faith and freedom in American society, the separation of Church and State, and cultural encounters resulting from immigration that even today, remain relevant and vital.

Discussion: The significance of the Mayflower


Illuminate Rotherhithe is part of a national and international series of events leading to the commemoration of the Mayflower 400. The Mayflower was an English ship that famously transported the first English Puritans, known today as the Pilgrims, from Plymouth, England to the New World in 1620. Much has been said about the Mayflower and today’s panel will be discussing different aspects related to the ship’s history. This event is organised by the Rotherhithe and Bermondsey Local History Society.

  Book your tickets here

  More information

Monday  27th November 2017

Canada Water Mystery Object Group field trip

Sands Films Studios | 82 St Marychurch St, London SE16 4HZ | No disabled access | 7pm| Free, no booking required | This activity is suitable for anyone aged 15 and over.

Illuminate Rotherhithe and Southwark Libraries bring together this special session of the Mystery Object Group, a monthly event in the Canada Water Library with a field trip to Sands Films Studios in where a Cuming Museum artefact with special significance to the theme of the Illuminate Rotherhithe will be unveiled.

  More information

Schools’ Grand Ceilidh (This is not a public event)

Following a series of folk dance and song workshops, rope-handling, demonstration and workshops delivered by the Museum of London Docklands in all seven schools in the Rotherhithe peninsula,

these folk dance workshops will culminate in a Schools’ Grand Ceilidh performed by more than 400 pupils dancing together


Rotherhithe’s Mayflower Links:

  • In 1620 the ship set sail from its mooring close to The Mayflower Inn.
  • Her captain and part owner, Christopher Jones, lived in Rotherhithe and was buried at St Mary’s Church.
  • Part owner John Moore and first mate John Clarke also came from Rotherhithe, as did many of the ship’s crew and passengers.
  • Some of Christopher Jones’ children were baptised at St Mary’s Church. The ship returned to Rotherhithe in 1621 and was broken up there.



Getting to Rotherhithe

Tube: Rotherhithe Station on London Overground (trains every 3 minutes, 2 minute walk)

Buses: 381, C10, 47, 188 and P12 all serve the locality however due to the current closure of Tower Bridge Road, we do not advise travel by bus.

On foot or cycling: the Thames Path is a beautiful and safe way to approach Rotherhithe Village




Explore Rotherhithe and learn more about Illuminate Rotherhithe

There so much to explore in Rotherhithe to understand the links with the Mayflower. SE16-Worg has been sharing their knowledge about the local area in both online and offline by taking part in events such as the Scandimarket and distributing the Rotherhithe Map with useful information about local places.


  Discover Rotherhithe

Do not forget to share your images and follow the hashtag on Twitter and Facebook


Iluminate Rotherhithe 2017 Official Programme

Places and links

St Mary’s Church

Discover the fascinating history of St Mary’s The Virgin church in Rotherhithe. Christians have worshipped on this site for at least 1000 years.

Sands Films Studios

Sands Films Studio survived thanks to the generosity of the community by allowing individuals to become shareholders and maintain this cultural hub standing.

The Brunel Museum

Rotherhithe will not be explored properly without a visit to the Brunel Museum to understand the London connections of Sir Marc and Isambard Brunel.

The Norwegian and Finnish churches

The Norwegian and Finnish churches are essential in the culture and most recent history of Rotherhithe. Both churches organise the famous three Scandimarket events during the year

Rotherhithe & Bermondsey Local History Society

The Rotherhithe and Bermondsey Local History group organises talks and events to understand and appreciate the heritage that this part of Southwark offers.

The Harwich Mayflower Project

The Harwich Mayflower Project is building an authentic replica of the ship that carried the Pilgrims to America to a better life in the New World.

Time and Talents

Time & Talents knows that ‘community’ doesn’t just happen by itself. It has to be nurtured, supported, and brought together.

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