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Two Americans living in Plymouth, UK, are calling for people to send postcards from other places around the world named 'Plymouth' as part of a project to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower.
The project has been conceived by Bobby Inman, a Plymouth-based barber originally from Tennessee, and Matt Thomas, a painter and curator from Seattle, Washington who is co-owner of Royal Adelaide Art and Yoga (RAAY). The RAAY's studio in Stonehouse, Plymouth was once a pub known as the Royal Adelaide Arms. During the '80s and '90s, it received more than 250 postcards from regulars, many including sailors and naval personnel, who were traveling around the globe. Postcards were received from as far and wide as Scandinavia, Portugal, Egypt, the USA, and New Zealand. The postcards used to be pinned up on cork boards in the pub, and in a bid to reignite that international spirit, Matt and Bobby are asking for people to send postcards from the many places named Plymouth around the world.
Explaining the project, Bobby told us that "I'm fascinated by the connection and how the Plymouth name has spread around the world. The story of this city has inspired explorers to honour it by naming places after it worldwide. I wanted this project to highlight some of those connections and how modern Plymouths continue to inspire their citizens still today." According to US Census data, there are at least 30 locations known as Plymouth in the US alone.
Telling the story of how the idea for the project emerged, Matt said "Around the time we were first cataloguing and digitising the RAAY postcards, Bobby was exploring online all the places around the world named Plymouth, and when we put the two things together, the idea for the Plymouth Connection Postcard Collection was born."
An exhibition will display the postcards received by the RAAY at their Plymouth base during the latter stages of Spring 2020, so if you're in an international Plymouth, do send them a postcard! Cards will be added to the exhibition throughout the year. Postcards can be sent to:
Plymouth Connection Postcard Collection, RAAY, 9 Adelaide Street, Plymouth, Devon, PL1 3JE.
For more details on Mayflower 400 commemorations, check out www.mayflower400uk.org