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EFG London Jazz Festival
November 15 - 26, 2018

Grant Stewart Quartet @ Toulouse Lautrec
Day 10 Saturday, November 24, 2018

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The Ride On Bus 188 To The Mayflower Pub

Yesterday we tried to just drop in at The Mayflower Pub for dinner at 5 PM but they were totally booked up for the entire evening. We tried to make a lunch reservation there for today at 2 PM but they were booked up until 2:30 PM, so that is the time that we made our reservation for. Once again we boarded Bus 188 in front of our hotel and took it to The Mayflower Pub. Below are photos taken during that ride on Bus 188.

St Mary's Rotherhithe
St Marychurch Street, Rotherhithe, London SE16 4NJ, England
across the street from The Mayflower Pub.

This church is the spiritual home of the good ship "Mayflower".

It has long been known locally that it was the Rotherhithe "Mayflower" that carried the Pilgrims over the Atlantic, yet facts accepted in a district are sometimes unknown elsewhere. Within a short distance of the churche are a Mayflower Street and a Clark Orchard, the latter named after the second-in-command of the ship, John Clarke, whose marriage and baptism are recorded in the church.

At the beginning of the 17th century "Mayflower" was a common name for a ship. "The Mayflower" which eventually carried the Pilgrim Fathers to New England was registered in Harwich, but during the period from 1611 to 1624, when she was broken up, she is given as "of London", under the command of Christopher Jones.

Church registers in Harwich and Rotherhithe show Jones to have been a native of Harwich, son of Christopher Jones, shipowner of that town. He married Joanne Gray, of Harwich, and in 1611 changed his home port of Rotherhithe, London, the centre of England's trade.

The baptisms of their children are noted in the registers of this church and in the year 1622 there is a record of Jones' burial in the churchyard, soon after his return from America. The last entry in the Port of London Customs Book for "Christopher Jones, of 'The Mayflower'", is October 1621.

In those days of difficult land travel crews were largely recruited in the home ports, but although the burials of other "marriners" are recorded here there is nothing to identify them with "The Mayflower". On the other hand, three out of four of the owners lie burried here: Christopher Jones, Richard Gardener and John Moore. The registers can be seen. The fourth owner is unknown.

The churchyard, with the old burial ground across the road, was taken over by the Borough Council subject to certain rights retained by the rector, and is now laid out as a public garden and a playground. Who knows where beneath the shrubs the men of "The Mayflower" lie?

The will of William Mullins, one of the passengers in "The Mayflower", was drawn by John Carver and was the first will drawn in New England. This will, with the signature of Christopher Jones as witness, is extant in the archives of the Prerogative court of Canterbury. The other witnesses are John Carver and Giles Heale, surgeon. The name of Thomas Ridley also appears. On "Primus April, 1601" Ridley had given his written opinion in the first of our registers, started in 1556, that the Clerk should be paid forty shillings for the task of writing the record of baptisms, marriages, funerals, etc. To this, as can be seen, he signed his name.

For long the village of Rotherhithe mirrored the other villages of England. It was a small community with two centres, the church and the inn. Official charts show that when "The Mayflower" sailed on what proved to be her famous voyage the inn stood where it stands today, separated from the churchyard wall by a few feet. The church was the place of worship: the inn was the village club. The walls of what is now known as the Mayflower inn must many times have echoed to the stories told by the "marriners" of the little ship of 180 tons that battled across the Atlantic with the Pilgrim Fathers.

The Mayflower Pub
117 Rotherhithe St, London SE16 4NF, England

The Mayflower Pub Menu & Wine List

Barbara & Stephen in the First Floor Restaurant Dining Room. This is actually on the 2nd Floor. In the UK and Europe, the Ground Floor is considered "Level 0" and the Second Floor is considered "Level 1". Keep this in mind if you book a hotel without an elevator and your room is on the first level. You may find you actually have to climb a flight of stairs to get to your room!

Some tradional British food that we ordered at The Mayflower Pub. Left photo: Seasonal Sausages with Mashed Potato, Black Pudding, Caramelised Onion, Gravy & Seasonal Vegetables. Right photo: Atlantic Scallops on Caramelized Cauliflower Puree with Chorizo, Parma Ham & Paprika Oil.

As mentioned in yesterday's story, we had tried to go to The Mayflower Pub the previous day but were not able to get in because it was totally booked. However, I did take the four above photos of the place when I was there yesterday. The below is a story that is promoted by The Mayflower Pub:

Mayflower Story Needs Rewriting

By Desmond Wellern. London -- A London priest claims to have found evidence that the Mayflower, which carried the Pilgrim fathers to America, sailed from London and not Plymouth. He is Rev. R. A. Shute, rector of St. Mary's Church, Rotherhithe, in London's dockland, who says many years of research have convinced him that the history books will have to be re-written.

"There is now little doubt that the famous ship sailed from London and that all except a few of her passengers were embarked in the port." he says.

He has found that the MAYFLOWER was based on London and was used both in the whaling industry and in the wine trade with France. Her captain was a Christopher Jones (and not the notorious namesake Thomas Jones who was aboard the FALCON at the time of the MAYFLOWER'S voyage), who was a Rotherhithe man, as the parish register proves.

Three of the MAYFLOWER'S four joint owners were Rotherhithe men and Clark's Island was named after the ship's first mate -- also a Rotherhithe man.


The Pilgrim Fathers, in order to obtain a passage across the Atlantic, had to enter the service of the Virginia Merchant Adventurers Company and became little more than hired servants of the Company for the duration of the voyage.

When the MAYFLOWER met up with the SPEEDWELL at Southampton at the start of her voyage there was nearly disaster. Twice the SPEEDWELL had to put back into port because she was in such a poor state. This nearly caused the postponement of the whole voyage. Ventually, 20 of her passengers were transferred to the MAYFLOWER. Thus there were more merchant adventurers than Pilgrims aboard the ship.

After returning from her now world-famous voyage the MAYFLOWER went back into the French wine trade and was scrapped in 1624 for the sum of 128 pounds, eight shillings, and four pence.


Quite apart from Rotherhithe being the port of the Pilgrims' departure, here is an old local legend that the Rector of the time of St. Mary's Church gave then food and shelter for the night in his church.

To celebrate the discovery, which seems likely to cause widespread interest on both sides of the Atlantic, a party was arranged last week in the Mayflower Inn close by St. Mary's Church in Rotherhithe. The pub itself has a unique distinction in that it is the only one in Britain to sell postage stamps.

Guest of honor for the evening was Rear Admiral J.S. McCain Jr., U.S.N., who has been handling the Information Bureau set up in London for the recent NATO naval exercises. Mrs. McCain and a party of U.S. naval officers and U.S. and U.K. press men attended.

The bill came in this mini treasure chest along with two mint chocolate coins. In England they call it a "bill" and never a "cheque". Something I like about the United Kingdom and the European Union is that I have never found they ever take your credit or debit card away from the table. They always bring the charge machine to you and let you put your card in and out of the machine. Thus, you never have to worry about what is going on with your card in the back room or will ever forget your card at the restaurant. In Britain they almost always automatically include a 12.5% gratuity. This is listed on your bill as a "Service Charge". I know in America and on Cruise Ships and in hotels that a "Service Charge" is not a tip that goes to your server, but in Britain IT IS the gratuity. And, unlike on Cruise Ships and Hotels, I have never seen anywhere on the bill a line where you could even add an "Additional Tip"! In most cases if you really want to leave more of a tip you would have to leave it on the table in cash. There have been a few places I've encoutered in Britain where they add no service charge at all but rather do provide the option to add a gratuity when you insert your card into the machine. In those cases you can just type what tip you want to leave right on the machine.

Walking through the park on the way back to the bus stop and then riding the bus back to our hotel.

Grant Stewart
Toulouse Lautrec
140 Newington Butts, Kennington, London SE11 4RN, England

Tenor saxophonist Grant Stewart presents a straight ahead quartet with Rob Barron (piano), Dave Chamberlain (bass) and Matt Home (drums).

Grant Stewart on Saxophone

Saxophonist Dave O'Higgins made a surprise guest appearance.

Taking The London Underground (Tube)
From Toulouse Lautrec to PizzaExpress Soho

Jay Phelps and Friends
PizzaExpress Jazz Club, Soho

Only FREE for his very first performance during the EFG London Jazz Festival. We did not attend that first free performance. We did go to the other two times that Jay Phelps performed, but even those were only about $6 per person. The performances by Jay Phelps and Friends were every bit as good as, or maybe even better than, some of the more expensive performances by world known musicians in the larger venues.

Trumpeter Jay Phelps hosts a late-night hang for friends from all over the globe. You'll be blown away by a wide range of music played by artists of many talents. Spanning a career of 20 years, Phelps still at only 36 has played and recorded with the top names in music today from Wynton Marsalis to Amy Winehouse.

VQ 24 Hour Restaurant
111A Great Russell St, London WC1B 3NQ, England

The doors for the Midnight Performance at PizzaExpressLive in Soho were supposed to open at 11:30 PM. There was another performance from 10 PM to 11 PM and the crowd from that performance had no all left by 11:30 PM. Thus, PizzaExpress did not start letting people into the venue until almost midnight. The PizzaExpress kitchen closes at midnight so they did not allow anyone to order food for the performance. All we could order were drinks from the bar which was open for the entire performance. Because of this and other technical difficulties, the Midnight Performance did not start until almost 1 AM. Barbara and I stayed for just part of the first set and left at about 2 AM. We were still hungry not having had dinner and went to the VQ 24 Hour Restaurant around the corner from Pizza Express. We had discovered this 24 hour restaurant on a prior visit to London.

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