National Geographic : 1957 May
720 Brixham: Mayflower Awaits Her Sailing in the Dry Dock at Upham's Shipyard I heard about it all first in a letter from Dr. Melville Grosvenor, then associate editor of the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE. England, he wrote, was building a Mayflower replica to be sailed across to America as a gift. So I wondered who was going to sail this extraordinary vessel. Because that was going to be a mighty interesting job-maybe a difficult one too, but, at any rate, the No. 1 maritime adventure of the year 1957 and for a good many other years. Where to Find a Crew? So I went along to the Mayflower Project's offices, which I tracked down in an old maze of a building called the Wool Exchange in the City of London, not far from the Bank of England. Nobody was exchanging any wool in this building when I got there, but on the top floor I found Warwick Charlton. I soon satisfied myself that the venture was real and well organized in the proper spirit. "Who's going to sail the ship across for you?" I asked, at the end of a fascinating interview. "As a matter of fact, we were thinking about you," said Mr. Charlton. "You can consider that arranged," I told him, and set at once about the business of selecting a crew. In that I was greatly helped by several things, though handicapped by the fact that, since this was a wholly British gesture, ob viously the crew must be Britishers. It was many years since there had been any ocean going British sailing ship, and more than three centuries since the Pilgrims' Mayflower. I was helped by the fact that that last British ship had been my full-rigged ship Joseph Conrad,* and I had done my best to keep in touch with the crew. I was fur ther helped by the fact that I'd had to get a crew together a year or so before to handle John Huston's extraordinary sailing ship, the * See "North About," by Alan J. Villiers, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, February, 1937.