Flaming nerve: US fury at plan to torch the Mayflower
A GROUP of Devon villagers have caused outrage in the US after building a life-size replica of the Mayflower – simply to set it on fire.
The ship, which carried the Pilgrim Fathers from England to the New World in 1620, is a cultural icon for millions of Americans.
To make matters worse, the torching will take place during the 400th anniversary of the voyage from Plymouth next year. One American, Patricia Claus, wrote online that the plans were ‘almost sickening to think about’, while another said: ‘It’s the most important ship in American history. I would never want to see it set on fire.’
But residents of Great Torrington insist that our American cousins are being ‘oversensitive’. Volunteers from the Great Torrington Cavaliers, who spent four years building the impressive replica, are setting it on fire to raise money for charity.
It forms part of a 50-year tradition of building objects simply to burn them down. The group’s previous replicas have included Lord Nelson’s HMS Victory and Pudding Lane, the street where the Great Fire of London started.