Mayflower A Seachange: Plymouth & its hidden gems

by Team Wordfluential in Plymouth, England, United Kingdom

£27,077

raised in 379 days

181

supporters

We’re making a book! Help us tell the epic story of The Mayflower, Plymouth, its people and its hidden gems, to inspire generations to come

by Team Wordfluential in Plymouth, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Extra money will allow us to share the massive knowledge base we have developed: we’ll develop a programme to go to schools and community groups to talk about the project and engage people in their community’s history and the Mayflower Story. 

It will allow us to print more books and take these to America so we can show the world how brilliant Plymouth is!

We also hope we may be able to support a ‘Plymouth Greeters’ programme, getting people to give tours of the City to visitors. 

And we are exploring creating content for a new immersive dome at Market Hall with RIO (Real Ideas Organisation).


Hi - welcome to our Crowdfunder page! Help us by pledging on our project and choosing rewards from the right hand side of the page (scroll down if you’re on a mobile). Thanks!

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Make a difference with us: 10% of our book’s profit will go to The Ocean Conservation Trust, a global conservation trust that understands that to protect nature you have to start with people. The OCT runs the National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth.

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Our Story

It’s 400 years, 20 generations, 30 million Americans and a mass of cultural and technological changes since a small ship called The Mayflower, carrying 102 brave souls, and a crew of 30, sailed off to North America in 1620.

It was an epic voyage that was not only destined to change its passengers lives irrevocably, but the very course of world history.

We’re a team of writers, publishers, designers and artists, living in Britain’s Ocean City, who think there’s an even bigger story yet to be told about this most famous of global voyages, and the City that launched it.

And now is the time to tell it. 

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What we want to do

We’ve spent the last year out on the streets of Plymouth talking with the local community to research, write and design a book that will tell not just the story of Mayflower and Plymouth, but a story of the past and present, with a look into the 400 years to come. 

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[The Lord Mayor captured by Guy Harris on The Hoe]

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Three unique chapters: 

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  • The Mayflower Story

We want people to come on a journey with us to learn more about the Mayflower story, the story of its people and what led up to it casting off from the Mayflower Steps, Plymouth, on Sept 16, 1620 into the dark turbulent seas of the Atlantic during the stormy season. It was a horrifying trip - before the discovery of Vitamin C as a prevention for scurvy and the invention of sea-sickness pills! See how the forces that drove the passengers and its crew to take the ultimate gamble are still at work today - and consider what we can all do about them, together.

  • 20 Plymouth People

Meet 20 people who were in Plymouth around 1620 and their modern day counterparts today - 400 years later. Sailors, mayors, mothers, doctors, engineers, farmers, fishermen, cooks - discover what their lives are like today and find out their views on what the future holds.

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Talk to The Lord Mayor of Plymouth, The Commander of HMNB Devonport, the custodian of the oldest Ashkenazi synagogue in the English-speaking world, a fisherman turned fisher of antiques, cooks who are recycling food to bring communities together, the inventor of the world's biggest autonomous ship that’s set to revolutionise marine research, underwater archaeologists, a leading-edge fashion designer, a royal opera singer, and a mum who juggles the modern world of family and business - to name but a few!

It’s a fascinating look at where we are now and might be in the future - 400 years from now.

  • 400 Hidden Gems

Discover the astonishing secrets of the launchpad of The Mayflower: Plymouth. A city that’s often under-rated - sometimes even mocked in modern times - but a city that has a place in world history as the starting point of many of the world’s most important voyages of discovery, both physical and spiritual.

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[Catherine Hamilton - Plymouth's brilliant national opera singer]

Dip into 400 amazing Plymouth 'gems', which will amaze and inspire you. We've got ripping tales of Plymouth's towering historical figures: Drake, Darwin, James Cooke, Captain Bligh, Sir Francis Chichester, Pocahontas, Hawkins, Napoleon, Grenville, Scott of the Antarctic, Shackleton, Nancy Astor, Aldous Huxley's brother, The Beatles, Dawn French, Laurel and Hardy, Michael Foot and Sherlock Holmes - to name but a few!

  • And - if you or your business would like to be featured as a hidden gem in the book, buy a reward on the right of this page - and be a star!

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A book by the community for the community

The idea for the book came from Dawn Bebe, a founder of the Plymouth Culture Board, and an award-winning editor and publisher, who has been working to promote Plymouth over the last decade, with the community. It's being directed and written by Juliet Coombe, previously a travel writer and photographer for Lonely Planet; designed by Gordon Ramsay’s book designer, James Edgar; edited, co- researched and co-written, by Charlie Keeler, Mayflower 400 historic tour guide for Devon & Cornwall Tour Guides in Plymouth; illustrated by Sarah Smallden; 20 Plymouth people photographed by Guy Harris; picture Research by Plymouth University student, Jodie Lidstone; and our Crowdfunder video storyboarded and shot by ITV and Rick Stein’s cameraman, Dominic Husband. 

But the real stars are, of course, the people of Plymouth: their stories and their voices.

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The start of another journey - a social publishing company 

But that's not all - this book is the start of our social enterprise journey and we want it to create a platform from which we can build a new community publishing company called Bookfluential, which will have the social aims of sharing knowledge in the community, supporting local content owners with amazing ideas and also creating a love of books and reading in young people.

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What will we do with the money?

So far, this book has been fuelled by the passion and personal finances of its creators, over the last 18 months, and now, to bring it to life, we need everyone’s help.

  • Print and promotion

The book will be printed by local printers, Deltor, and, using local distribution and online channels, we hope to sell this book through the City, the rest of the UK and abroad, including America, where interest in the Mayflower celebrations and Plymouth is likely to be high.

  • School Workshops 

We'll engage Plymouth schools, and anticipate running a series of talks and workshops at local schools during Mayflower 400, to talk about the book, its stories and makers.

  • Tourism Promotion

The book will be visually stunning - providing a showcase for the history, culture and uniqueness of the City - and we intend to distribute it across the UK and America. We also want the book to be supported by Plymouth’s people, businesses and organisations, who will directly benefit from the Mayflower 400 celebrations and its associated tourism impact. 

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Important - if you are in the tourism industry in Plymouth, we hope you will support us by buying a book for your guests or some crowdfunded content [like the spread below] and letting us write your place into the book! Look for one of these rewards on the right.

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Costs


Our anticipated cost for an initial print run of 3,000 online and offline copies, will be a minimum of £25,000, which will cover paying our makers for their work and access to their talents, and also the print and distribution costs. But £30,000 will also allow us to run the school and talks programme and print more books.

10% of the book's profit, when it goes on sale, will go to the Ocean Conservation Trust in Plymouth, to help the National Marine Aquarium and their fight to protect and celebrate our oceans.

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Rewards

In return for a pledge of cash, we'll send you something nice as a reward or bonus. Here are some ideas:

Pledge £25 and get a first edition of the book - £30 and you'll get a signed copy! Choose on the right hand side of the page.

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Pledge £15 and you'll get a limited first edition print of this stunning map of Plymouth, designed exclusively for the book by talented Plymouth artist, Sarah Smalldon.

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Pledge £12 and get a unique Mayflower Tour from qualified tour guide, and Mayflower - A Sea Change book editor and researcher, Charlie Keeler. Charlie has deeply researched the City and Mayflower story, unearthing many treasures in the process, so it promises to be a fascinating tour! 

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Pledge from £75 and we'll write about you or your Plymouth place in the book, Pledge £150 for a 150 word feature, £500 for a full page and £1000 for a full double page spread like the feature below, and lots of other benefits. Choose your preferred content option on the right.

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Let's make 'Mayflower A Seachange: Plymouth & its hidden gems' happen

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