The Harwich Mayflower Project was established as a corporate entity and Charity in early 2010 and spent some months looking for suitable premises to support its growing activities. In August 2010, the Project was fortunate to lease the Old Railshed in Harwich Town Station from Network Rail to become its headquarters. The Railshed closed in the 1980s after a century of use, at the same time as the adjacent Train Ferry Terminal. More recently it had been used as a builder’s yard and a fruit and vegetable store. Due to years of neglect, however, the building was far from hospitable. Once cleared of debris and deluge, however, the building offered a good deal of flexibility and elegance. Currently the renovation is nearing completion and the Railshed is nearly ready for accommodation. During its various phases of repair it has provided a great deal of entertainment for visitors during open days.
In addition to the Railshed, the Project has also recently negotiated a lease for the Harwich Town railway station building. The train station still acts as a terminus for trains travelling on the Mayflower Line to and from Manningtree, although the building is empty and in a state of disrepair and has been for a number of years. At the end of the last year, on completion of the lease, Mick Monks led a team of volunteers and apprentices into the north end of the building to clear, decorate and convert the former fruit and vegetable shop into classrooms and a workshop area. Since November 2011 we have been using the classrooms and workshops to deliver our Youth East courses to young people from the local area with great success.