Mayflower A Seachange: Plymouth & its hidden gems

by Dawn Bebe in Plymouth, England, United Kingdom

Total raised £27,119

raised so far



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 Dawn Bebe in Plymouth, England, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 19th November 2019 we'd raised £27,077 with 181 supporters in 35 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.

 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!


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.


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. 


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. 


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


Three unique chapters: 


  • 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.


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.


[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!


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.


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.


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. 


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.




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.



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.



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.


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! 


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.





This project offered rewards

£10 or more

A big tweet of appreciation - and eternal thanks!

We’ll give you a big tweet to show our eternal gratitude, and some social media love - please give us your social media tag to do so. PS. Some of our match-funding requires 100 pledges, so just a small pledge counts!

£12 or more

Go on a unique Mayflower Walk in Plymouth

Explore one of the world’s most historic yet underestimated cities, with expert Mayflower and Plymouth Guide, Charlie Keeler. Charlie has been instrumental in researching, editing and writing the book, but is also a qualified tour guide and can take you on a unique walk, showing you amazing insights into Plymouth & The Mayflower Journey. We’ll be in touch to discuss times and dates to suit you and our team.

£15 or more

Exclusive Mayflower City Map by Sarah Smalldon

Have a limited edition map of Plymouth, illustrated exclusively for the Mayflower book, by leading Plymouth artist, Sarah Smalldon - perfect for your wall!

£25 or more

A box-fresh 1st Edition of the Mayflower Book

We’ll wrap up our lovely book and send it to you, so you have your own box-fresh edition. Non UK postage may incur additional charges.

£30 or more

First edition signed by the author Juliet Coombe

Strictly limited number of first edition books signed by the author, Juliet Coombe - a once in a lifetime opportunity to own a unique copy of this amazing book, with the author's signature. Only 50 available. It will be gift-wrapped and posted direct to an address of your choice.

£45 or more

One for you, one for a school of your choice

Get two books. Keep both or keep one, and we'll send one to a loved one - or a school of your choice.

£50 or more

Fame: your name in our book!

£50 will secure for your name - or any names you'd like - a listing in the first edition of the book, with a big high five and thanks! You’ll also get a first edition copy sent to your door. What a Christmas present for you or a loved one! (Note: If it's a Christmas present, we'll send you a lovely postcard to give to your recipient, explaining what you've bought and that it will be sent to them the moment it's published).

£55 or more

VIP invite for two to our Book Launch

Come to our exciting book launch and enjoy a VIP reception with a glass of bubbly for two. Also, meet the author and some of the amazing people featured in the book and have a personally signed first edition of the book.

£75 or more

NEW! VIP behind scenes tour of NMA's shark tank

Four lucky people can go on a V.I.P Behind the Scenes Tour at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth. You'll be able to go deep into the aquarium to places the public don't normally see, including going to the top of our Sharks Tank - it's the largest in the UK. Watch our massive sharks and Green Turtle feeding. It's a money can’t buy experience! Convenient date to be mutually agreed with NMA and pledger. Pledge for this before it's snapped up!

£100 or more

5 x First Edition Copies of Mayflower A Seachange

Buy 5 copies of our amazing book for your and your friends and get a nice discount. Perfect if you’re a hotel, business or B&B looking to put copies in rooms for guests or customers.

£125 or more

Buy a Mayflower Workshop for your school!

Let us come to your school and deliver a brilliant workshop that’ll share knowledge of the Mayflower Story, Plymouth's place in history, amazing tales about the characters who lived in 1620, and insights into their equivalents now. Delivered by our storytelling experts, with props and prizes, it’s fun and engaging - a brilliant way to teach kids pride in their city and history. The school will also get a copy of the book for their library.

£150 or more

Quarter page feature on your business

Be a Plymouth Gem in our book. If you're a brilliant hotel, restaurant, shop or business in Plymouth or its surroundings, we'll write a special piece of content about you and feature you in the book with a lush picture. £150 for 150 words and a picture in the book. See image on the left on our page. Show all our readers how great you are and why they should visit you!

£500 or more

A page in our book

Got a great Plymouth story to tell about you or your business? Take some space in our book and work with us to tell that story. We'll write it as a genuine editorial, and design it beautifully, with stunning images, so everyone can see what a great Plymouth offering you have or how you contribute to Plymouth! You'll also get five copies of the book to share with your audience.

£1,000 or more

Be a headline partner!

Become one of our headline sponsors. Get a double page spread of your content in the book, regular social mentions through the year, and branding at all our events. Be a VIP guest at the launch and get 10 copies to share with customers. We'll also come to your venue and deliver an event of your choice (lecture, interactive workshop) to share with your audience, to up-skill, entertain or educate them.

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