Extract from the ‘Brixham Western Guardian’ 28th March 1957
As the time for the sailing of the Mayflower II, replica of the Pilgrim Fathers’ ship, approaches, controversy grows over the probable outcome of the adventure.
Sceptics insist stubbornly, “She’ll end up by being towed across.” And just as stubbornly – but in more picturesque language – her master, Alan Villiers, insists that she’ll sail her passage.
As the Mayflower II is entirely rigged with hemp rope, like her predecessor, instead of the steel wire and flexible steel wire ropes which stand up to the chafing so much better, Villiers spent six weeks last year in one of the last ships in the world with a galleon hull and cordage rigging – in the Maldive Islands.
In a 200 ton ship with no modern comforts he worked with the native crew, getting the feel of the cordage, sketching the run of the rigging and noting methods of avoiding chafe. He also questioned the men who made the ropes and tackle.
Formal creation of the Mayflower Foundation was announced by Sir Alfred Bossom, Conservative M.P. for Maidstone , at a reception at the House of Commons on Monday. The reception was given to mark the completion of Mayflower II, which as Sir Alfred confirmed, is to begin her voyage across the Atlantic “somewhere between April 10th and April 15th.”
Mayflower II is to be presented to the American people as a gesture of enduring goodwill, and Sir Alfred Bossom said that the duty of the Foundation will be to administer the surplus funds left after paying for her building and voyage, by providing Anglo-American exchange scholarships.
Mayflower II will begin her trials in Torbay on Monday, if the weather is suitable. After completing the trials, the length of which has still to be decided, the replica of the Pilgrim Fathers’ ship will sail to Plymouth.
And here’s an advertisement which appeared in the same edition of the paper…