Mayflower II

The Mayflower II – Part 3: Solving Problems and Sailing the Mayflower II

*Guest post by Randal Charlton, author of The Wicked Pilgrim*

Warwick Charlton had successfully got his project to build and sail the Mayflower II off the ground. But, as the date of the launch grew ever nearer, new problems began to arise.

Early work on the Mayflower II in Brixham’s Upham shipyard – copyright Three Sisters Publishing Ltd

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The Mayflower II – Part 2: Making a Dream a Reality

*Guest post by Randal Charlton, author of The Wicked Pilgrim*

So now to the next question: how did Warwick Charlton build and sail the Mayflower II? Particularly since he was a man of very limited means, living paycheck to paycheck in an era of severe postwar austerity.

First off, he had a wonderful network of talented and powerful people that he had in part inherited from his well-connected parents as well the men he had bonded with during the war and the immediate postwar period. Some examples; Hugh Cudlipp later Lord Cudlipp head of the influential Mirror media group, Sir Francis de Guingand General Montgomery’s chief of staff and friend of president Eisenhower and Randolph Churchill the son of Britain’s famed war time leader Winston Churchill.

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Getting tipsy on the Mayflower II

One of the most fascinating and relatively recent expressions of Mayflower-mania came with the building and sailing of a ‘replica’ of the ship in 1957. Dubbed the ‘Mayflower II’, the idea for the project came from Warwick Charlton, a then London-based public relations expert who had fond memories of serving alongside Americans in the Second World War. Like the 1917 commemorative postcard we recently featured, the Mayflower II was a project conceived primarily to support Anglo-American relations – this time, in the guise of ensuring ‘the free world’ against the backdrop of the Cold War. We are currently researching the Mayflower II – from the idea to afterlife – and will be sharing a much longer piece soon. In the meantime, to ‘whet your appetite’, the below is a miniature souvenir Guinness bottle – next to a tangerine for scale – that was taken on board the ship (along with many other examples of industry, manufacture and commerce from the ‘British Isles’). When I bought this bottle on eBay, for a price I’m not willing to admit(!), I thought it was full-size… a cautionary tale that sometimes things are not always what they seem – much like the cultural afterlife of the Mayflower!

Randal Charlton, son of Warwick, has recently written a book about his father: The Wicked Pilgrim. You can pick up a copy here