Illuminate Rotherhithe 2017

Iluminate-Rotherhithe-2017-Official-Programme copyIlluminate-Rotherhithe-2017-Official-Map-Low

Illuminate Rotherhithe 2017 | Home Port of the Mayflower

Free local festivities |Thursday 23rd  – Monday 27th November

In parallel with the international build-up to the 400th anniversary commemorations of the sailing of the Mayflower in 1620 to the New World,Illuminate Rotherhithe is a free local five day event which aims to involve and include our diverse communities

Thursday 23rd November / Thanksgiving Day

The themes of Migration and our Local Histories run through the festival, beginning on 23rd of November (with special significance to the Mayflower for being Thanksgiving Day) with a Lantern Processionacross Rotherhithe with the help of London Bubble Theatre and Tuned In London

The parade will be followed by a Mayflower Concert at St Mary the Virgin Church in Rotherhithe. With folk duo Jimmy Aldridge and Sid Goldsmith, local people will participate in the concert, sharing music, song, poetry and discourse, with commemorations of the sailing of the Mayflower in 1620 at its heart and leading to the Mayflower 400 in 2020. Open lantern-making workshops for all will take place during November.

Friday 24th November

On this day the Citizens of the World Choir will be singing songs of Migration, sharing the stage with local people who will describe how they, their families, even their ancestors ‘landed’ in Rotherhithe.

Saturday 25th November

There will be a Free Family Ceilidh for all to have fun at the Mayflower Hall in Neptune street and a special edition of the Midnight Apothecary at the Brunel Museum

Sunday 26th November

Free screening of ‘The Pilgrims’ film followed by a discussion chaired by the  Rotherhithe and Bermondsey Local History Society

Monday 27th November

Mystery Object Group field trip to Sands Films Studios

Illuminate Rotherhithe and Southwark Libraries bring together this special session of the Mystery Object Group, a monthly event in the Canada Water Library.

Canada Water Library Mystery Object Group meets around once a month to explore a different artefact from the borough’s collections or with relevance to the history of the area. The item chosen for each session is a secret until it is unveiled to the group. Members are encouraged to respond creatively to the items – in writing, artwork, creative photography, or however they might be moved to do so.

November event takes the group to a field trip to Sands Films Studios in where a Cuming Museum artefact with special significance to the theme of the Illuminate Rotherhithe will be unveiled.

Free. No advance booking required. This activity is suitable for anyone aged 15 and over.

If you would like to read more, visit, Tales from the Mystery Object Group

School activities

There will be folk dance and song workshops, rope-handling demonstrations, and other workshops delivered by the Museum of London Docklands  during November in all seven primary schools on the peninsula.

The folk dance workshops will culminate in a Schools’ Grand Ceilidh when 450 children from different schools will meet for the first time and dance together. (These are community events for local schools as part of the Illuminate Rotherhithe festival and restricted to pupils and their families and teaching staff)


There will also be an exhibition about ‘Rotherhithe Delft’ tin ware pottery manufactured here by a Flemish potter in the 1630’s at Sands Films Studios

This series of free events is supported by local TRA’s, businesses, charities, philanthropists, and Southwark council: the Illuminate

Committee says a huge thank you!

Events not requiring bookings

The Mayflower concert at St Mary’s The Virgin on the 23rd and the Family Ceilidh on the 25th are both open house and non-bookable.

Events requiring bookings

The Citizens of the World Choir concert on the 24th

Click here to book

The Sunday screening of ‘The Pilgrims’  film screening and debate on the 26th are both bookable.

Click here to book


Illuminate Rotherhithe is a celebration of our community’s history. Incorporating free events – talks, music and dance, it takes place across SE16 from 23 – 27 November 2017.

We would like to thanks all our sponsors and contributors for their help to make this community event possible

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