Sailing smack set to star in 'historic' Mayflower celebrations

Excelsior leaves Lowestoft to take part in The Mayflower ceremony in London. 

Excelsior leaves Lowestoft to take part in The Mayflower ceremony in London. - Credit: Bill Hancock

An historic sailing trawler has taken to the sea again for "an exciting" first trip of the season.

One of the nation’s most important historic ships left her home port of Lowestoft on Tuesday, June 8 on a significant voyage to London.

The historic Lowestoft-based sailing smack Excelsior departed to take part in the ‘Mayflower’ ceremony commemorations in London.

Excelsior leaves Lowestoft to take part in The Mayflower ceremony in London

Excelsior leaves Lowestoft to take part in The Mayflower ceremony in London. - Credit: Bill Hancock

With Excelsior LT472 - the last remaining working Lowestoft sailing smack - marking its 100th anniversary in 2021, there was joy for the trust that operates it after being invited to take part in the "historic celebrations."

A spokesman for The Excelsior said: "Celebrating her centenary this year, this icon of Lowestoft’s maritime heritage has been invited to take part in the 400th anniversary events commemorating the voyage of The Mayflower - the historic ship that sailed from London in 1620 carrying the persecuted Pilgrim Fathers to the New World.


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"This significant anniversary has been delayed until now due to the Covid pandemic."

Excelsior leaves Lowestoft to take part in The Mayflower ceremony in London. 

Excelsior leaves Lowestoft to take part in The Mayflower ceremony in London. - Credit: Bill Hancock

This Friday, June 11 The Excelsior - representing the historic ‘Mayflower’ ship - will be moored close to Tower Bridge in London to receive salutes from a flotilla of vessels carrying civic dignitaries from both London and the USA.

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The Excelsior spokesman added: "This unique River Thames event concludes at The Palace of Westminster with a ceremony of acceptance by the speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Lindsay Hoyle."

Excelsior Trust Chairman, Jamie Campbell, said: “To be invited to take part in these historic celebrations in London during our own centenary year is warmly welcomed by Excelsior and her supporters.

"In over 30 years of providing sail training to young people this stands out as one of the most significant historic events we’ve been privileged to be involved in.

"East Anglia should be proud of us!”

Back in her home port of Lowestoft, the historic sailing smack Excelsior is available for day sails.

Also, depending on the lifting of Covid restrictions, residential voyages will once more become available until the end of the sailing season in October. 

Visit www.theexcelsiortrust.co.uk email: sailing@excelsiortrust.co.uk or call 0845 308 2323 for further details.

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