Plymouth’s historic Mayflower Steps will be permanently in the spotlight, thanks to new lights which will be switched on for the first time as part of the city’s Thanksgiving celebrations this Thursday ( 26 November)
The monument, which commemorates the departure of the Pilgrim Fathers to America where they helped found a nation, will be lit up and the new lights switched on by Council Leader Tudor Evans.
Up to 16 million Americans can trace their ancestry back to the band of believers who set sail from the city in 1620.
Council leader Tudor Evans said: “These steps have a huge role in Plymouth’s history and huge role in the history of America.
“This was the last piece of England the pilgrims saw as they set off to the New World and these steps have become a pilgrimage in their own right for many Americans exploring their own history. We hope to welcome many more as we move towards 2020.
“As a city we are rightly making more of our heritage and celebrating our fascinating past.
“We have lit up a number of monuments so that evening visitors can enjoy what the city has to offer and in terms of lasting impact on the world, there are few more important monuments than the Mayflower Steps.”
The lights cost £5,500 and have been designed by LITE ltd and installed Hyde Park electrics.
Plymouth Waterfront Partnership contributed £5,000 towards the installation. Chris Arscott, chair of Plymouth Waterfront Partnership said: “Few cities have a waterfront as stunning as ours with the rich diversity it offers.
“With Mayflower400 on the horizon in 2020, to have the Waterfront’s important iconic structures lit up at night is essential in enhancing the cultural offer. We were very keen to fund a part of the scheme and applaud Plymouth City Council’s significant investment in lighting other structures in the Waterfront area.”
The ongoing project to light up the city’s landmarks has been incredibly popular. The world-famous Smeaton’s Tower was lit up in March and Charles Church, the city’s memorial to those who died in the Blitz followed in May and this month the 400 year old Mount Batten Tower was also lit up. The Council has bid through the Coastal Communities fund for further funding to light even more of our heritage along the coast line.