7 Fun Facts about Thanksgiving and Plymouth UK

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends across the pond. I hope you have a wonderful day eating yummy food and appreciating all the wonderful things you have.

Of course, here in Plymouth is where it all started (kind of), so I thought I’d share a few fun facts you might not know about Plymouth and Thanksgiving…

7 Fun Facts about Thanksgiving and Plymouth UK

1. In Plymouth we have the Mayflower steps to mark where The Mayflower and the Pilgrim fathers sailed from. However, this landmark was actually built around 1934 to commemorate the approximate location of the sailing (but don’t tell the American tourists that – they love ’em!)

2. There is some question as to whether the Pilgrim Fathers should have ever been in Plymouth at all. Originally 2 ships were supposed to make the voyage – The Mayflower and the Speedwell – but after setting sail from Southampton the Speedwell developed a leak and they stopped at Dartmouth for repairs. When they set sail again there were further problems with the Speedwell and they returned to Plymouth.

3. It’s thought that the problems with the Speedwell were actually crew sabotage because the men didn’t want to fulfil their contract and make the treacherous voyage.

4. Many of the Pilgrim Fathers (and mothers and children) stayed at the Gin distillery on Plymouth’s Barbican. It’s amazing they ever got back on the ship again!

5. Plymouth Gin is the best gin in the world and my favourite alcoholic beverage. Buy some and see for yourself! (my theory is the crew of the Speedwell sabotaged the ship so they could spend their days on land enjoying a tot of the Mother’s Ruin)

6. After deciding which of them would sail due to being reduced to one ship, The Mayflower set off from Plymouth on September 6th, 1620 with 102 passengers plus crew and made land 66 days later.

7. Although we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving as a holiday in the UK, there are a number of events held in Plymouth every year to commemorate the event for US ex-pats and visitors and, of course, Plymouth will be part of the Mayflower 400 celebrations in 2020..

OK, so all those facts were actually about Plymouth and the Pilgrim Fathers, the origins of Thanksgiving came a year later, but I hope you enjoyed them anyway 🙂


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