Babworth Arts Festival 2022

Saturday 19th November 10am-4pm & Sunday 20th November 12-4pm

All Saints’ Church, Babworth, DN22 8EP

A brilliant display of quilts to complement the usual excellent pieces of artwork will be on display at the 2022 Babworth Arts Festival. Contributions from Retford U3A and individual quilters will test the ingenuity of organisers to display these works to their full effect.

Quilts created by the U3A

There will also be a range of paintings and other works from artists and art groups in and around Retford – some of which will be for sale.

Mayflower by Gerry Fruin

At 10am on Saturday 19th November, Bassetlaw District Council Chair, Madelaine Richardson will officially open the Pilgrims Trail and the Babworth Arts Festival. The Mayflower Pilgrims story has deep roots in and around Bassetlaw, with Babworth forming the “crucible” where the key elements of Richard Clifton, John Robinson, William Brewster and William Bradford met and started to form their ideas. Bradford and Brewster went on to found and run Plimoth Colony in America, and Robinson supported the expedition to Holland, and also founded the Congregational Church. Pilgrim Churches at Austerfield, Scrooby, Sturton le Steeple, and St Swithun’s Retford which form the Pilgrims Trail will also be open to visitors.

At 10.30am on Saturday 19th November, Retford Business Forum will present cheques worth £200 each to local charities, Focus on Young People in Bassetlaw, and Bassetlaw Hospice. Mayor of Retford, Cllr Sue Shaw will accept on behalf of Focus on Young People in Bassetlaw and Bonney Baggaley will accept on behalf of Bassetlaw Hospice.

At 11.00am on Saturday 19th November, local author, and historian Adrian Gray, will give a talk on “Rebellious Women of Nottinghamshire”.

At 12 noon on Sunday 20th November, local tour guide and Pilgrims expert, Maggy Watkins will also give a talk on “Mayflower New Beginnings” with an emphasis on the characters and what happened on the voyage and arrival in America.

Babworth Church is part of the Pilgrims Trail

Refreshments will be available throughout the weekend and there is free parking in the car park. Any artists wishing to show their work should deliver items to Babworth Church between 10am and 3pm on Friday 18th November. BCH is very grateful to Cath Ray Studios, Jenny King, Adrian Gray, Maggy Watkins, Brushstrokes Art Group, Bassetlaw Museum, and all at Babworth Church for their support.

The Pilgrim Roots Heritage Project display during the art exhibition

The theme for this year’s Arts Festival is “New Beginnings” which is reflected in the overall approach of Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving was a meal which was shared between the newly arrived settlers to North America – the Mayflower Pilgrims – and the local population (the Mashpee Wampanoag) who had formed an alliance with them. However, Thanksgiving has been marked, since 1970, among many Native Americans as a National Day of Mourning.

Millions of Americans mark Thanksgiving as a celebration of family and an opportunity to give thanks for what they have. People travel across the country to enjoy a meal together, usually featuring turkey, but the original meal would probably have consisted of shellfish and cereals.

Babworth Church wardens Peter Swinscoe welcomes the art exhibition

The Babworth Art Exhibition has been a collaboration between BCH, All Saints’ Church Babworth, and Bassetlaw District Council (BDC) for over five years commemorating the story of the Separatists and Mayflower Pilgrims. The theme of Thanksgiving which became popular in North America developed from these stories. Today its relevance is perhaps broader and can be seen as an opportunity to give thanks more widely.

BCH and BDC are partners within Pilgrim Roots.