Mayflower centre to close.

The aim of this blog has always been to update the public on the build of the Mayflower, especially those of you across the pond who get no joy from the Project itself. While the build is sadly stagnant and has been since 2014, I’ll still bring any updates that I can. Thank you all for your continued support and comments. I will eventually get round to replying to you, especially the gentleman working at Plimoth Plantation, again thanks for your input and your thoughts,

This post was originally going to update you with a news article from 8th April. But recent events mean I am re-writing it to take account of the latest news to come out of the Project.

8th April ( From Harwich and Manningtree Standard)

Concerns have been raised there had been a lack of progress at the Harwich Mayflower Project, which aims to build and sail a replica of the Mayflower to the USA in 2020.

Harwich Town Council heard residents were worried about the lack of visible progress at the project’s yard in George Street.

Dr Terry Rogers said he feared the project, which has been running for six years, would not be complete in time for the celebrations.

He called on the council and the Harwich and Dovercourt Tourism Group to ensure alternative arrangements were put in place.

“I agree that if progress on the Mayflower was real and visible, it could have a major positive impact on tourism in the area,” he said.

“However, the highly visible lack of construction progress makes me wonder if the tourism group has put too much emphasis on the yet-to-be achieved success of the project.”

Lynda Chase-Gardener, vice-chairman of the Mayflower Project board of trustees, said the ship would be ready on time.

“It’s a two-year build and professionally qualified engineers have confirmed it is a two-year build – so we are on track to sail in 2020,” she said.

“We expect to recommence the main structure of the build later this summer.”

********** End of article.

I’m guessing that this is the same Ms Chase-Gardener that previously said the build would start in January 2016, while still ignoring repeated requests from local residents for information as to why the build has not progressed since 2014 even though donations are still being made and asked for.  As there has been no build in the last two years, where have all those donations gone?

I look forward to bringing you all up to date as the build progresses in June, July or August. (Officially British summer, but as us Brits know, summer is usually three days in July)

 

Anyway, on to the latest…

6th May (From Harwich and Manningtree Standard)

Harwich Mayflower Centre to close. 

HARWICH Mayflower Project’s training centre is set to close “temporarily” due to a lack of funding.

Bosses at the project, which is based in George Street, said staff at the training centre had been asked whether they want to accept voluntary redundancy.

Graham Richardson, general manager, said the move would have no impact on the plans to build a full-size ocean-going replica of the English merchant ship that took the Pilgrim Fathers to America in 1620.

“We are going through a short-term closure of the training centre to seek further funding for the training programme,” said Mr Richardson.

*********End of article

That really is sad, but not unexpected news. While the Project as a whole continues to keep people in the dark, refusing to be transparent with funding and continually taking donations without accounting for them, and refusing to update the build progress, I think we may expect more bad news on the horizon.

Here are the comments from the newspaper articles:

 

smokeyjoe,colchester6:10pm Fri 6 May 16

No surprises there then. Some nice buildings going up though.

(This refers to the ‘viewing gallery’ currently being built with £20,000 funding from the local council.. Which may have been better spent on the training centre hm?)

 

Robert Maughan8:00pm Fri 8 Apr 16

Lynda Chase-Gardener is either extremely gullible or complicit in the ongoing “training” scam that is The Mayflower Project. Who exactly is going to build the ship in two years? Unskilled trainees? I think not. I would like to see a list of the qualified instructors, shipwrights, skilled craftsmen and administrators who will build the ship in two years. I would also like to have sight of the professionally qualified engineers’ reports that prompt Lynda Chase-Gardener to
risk her name and integrity by claiming that “the ship will set sail in 2020”.

Harwich Town Council seem confident that alternatives to the ship itself would provide a focus for the celebrations. Not quite accepting that the Mayflower Project is crooked, Harwich Town Council officers appear undisturbed by the racket in our midst.

I am waiting for a report from accountants with their opinions, and when I have studied that I will finalise the draft I am preparing for the Charity Commission copied to Bernard Jenkin MP.
I accept that I too risk my name and integrity by pursuing this course but if we cannot rely on Council officers to intervene then we the public must take a stand. I urge you to join me.

Robert Maughan.

One comment

  1. Richard

    Overall very disheartening, that a charity that operated by deceptive behaviour has been allowed to continue.

    If the RSPCA stopped looking after animals and instead began building some fools errand of a visitors centre, there would be national outcry… But at least the RSPCA is creditable.

    The HMP has lost all credibility, the one section of the project that was actively making a difference is shut.

    The build has stopped for close to 2 years and management are saying it’ll only take 2 years to build… Well why isn’t it done yet?

    What are they doing? And why hasn’t anyone publically left the project because of this?

    One of the above comments draws a parallel to a football team. When results arnt met managers step down. When teams fail, players arnt sacked managers are. Why isn’t anyone being forced to resign? And most importantly who is policing this project and public money?

    Who decided to spend thousands of pounds on yet another shed when the soul point of the project was to build a ship… This isn’t the Harwich Shed Project is it??

    I so badly want to support this endeavour, to make this work. But the team in charge arnt doing anything worth while, there are no fundraising events, there are no sponsored efforts and nothing of any real note. And the only reason why the most productive side of the project is closing, is probably to coerce more money from a failing council, an easily fooled public and a sympathetic government. We are all being deceived by liars and cheats.

    It was a great idea, and forever will be a great idea but only an idea.

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