A beautiful mosaic of the Mayflower has taken a commemorative journey to Southampton before going back to Plymouth. The mosaic was co-designed by the residents of Burtons, in Plymstock and Abbeyfield House, in Hartley, both of which are supported housing schemes.

In 2020, a venture between Abbeyfield and Mayflower 400 Community Sparks enabled our residents to embark on a creative mosaic project. Together, through a series of workshops and virtual consultations, and with support from staff, residents planned their vision of an artwork that would promote the legacy of the Mayflower voyage.

One of the motifs used was suggested by Gordon Hannaford, a resident at Abbeyfield House. “This design was painted by my father when I was a teenager,” he said, “so it has a very personal meaning to me.” Vicki Gillow, Community Engagement Manager and art enthusiast who conceived the project, also used china and sea glass in the mosaic, to provide a connection to the story of the Mayflower’s voyage.

The mosaic was initially designed to sit in a publicly accessible garden at Mayflower Court, a new 80-bed independent living scheme in Millbay.

Before the mosaic can take up its permanent home, it has begun its journey in Southampton, where it is temporarily displayed at Speedwell Court.

Vicki said: “We wanted to make the link between the two maritime cities and the significance of both places in the Mayflower and Speedwell journeys. The idea is to commemorate and acknowledge the importance of these journeys and their legacy, the hardships, the heritage and the links with America today.

“We strongly encouraged the residents to input their own ideas, and we hope to be able to add in some small panels they will be making when face-to-face workshops can safely resume later in the year.”