An 18-foot replica of the famous 17th Century ship, the Mayflower, is to make an unusual voyage from Harwich to London to highlight tourism opportunities in Essex and Suffolk.
The 1/8 scale model will be part of the nationwide ‘Community Rail in the City’ event on 15 May which will see more than 42 groups joining forces across the country to showcase some of Britain’s most scenic rail journeys.
The Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership is transporting the replica Mayflower to London Liverpool Street station where it will become the centrepiece of their showcase, highlighting tourism opportunities in South Suffolk and Essex.
ESSCRP Officer, Terri Ryland said, “It’s going to be an eye-catching sight on the concourse at Liverpool Street and we really hope it will turn some heads and attract people to our stall.
“Our aim is to attract Londoners to visit Essex and South Suffolk by rail and enjoy the fantastic attractions, countryside, coasts and historic sites the counties have to offer.”
“Greater Anglia has some great value advance fares and it’s quicker to get there by train, leaving more time to relax, explore and discover something new.”
The highly detailed model was painstakingly built five years ago by college apprentices local to Harwich, originally for a reception at the American Embassy in London.
It took eight weeks to build after careful study of paintings of the ship and research into historic archives to find out its size so that the model could be accurately scaled.
It is due to arrive at London Liverpool Street 0600 on Wednesday 15 May accompanied by Tony Elliston, Chair of the Harwich Mayflower Heritage Centre who donated the ship for the event, returning to the Heritage Centre on 16 May.
‘Community Rail in the City’ is organised by the Association of Community Rail Partnerships (ACoRP), the umbrella body for community rail groups across Britain, whose chief executive, Jools Townsend, said: “Our members will be popping up at stations across Britain and engaging thousands of people to inspire and advise on daytrips, weekends and holidays by rail.
“Tourism by rail is great for families and holiday-makers as it’s more sustainable than driving, provides a critical boost to local economies, and allows people to explore our wonderful, often not-well-known, community railway lines, which showcase some real hidden gems.”
Community rail partnerships work at grassroots level to engage local communities, help people to get the most from their railways, and promote rail as a key part of sustainable, healthy travel.
For more information, visit communityrail.org.uk.