Towns Continue Planning for Nutfield 300th Anniversary

Representatives from Derry, Londonderry and Windham met at Londonderry Town Hall to continue planning for the Nutfield 300 Anniversary celebration in 2019.  Nutfield was the area where settlers first arrived in this area.  In modern day, Nutfield consists of those towns plus the Derryfield section of Manchester.

Much of the discussion centered on how to structure various committees going forward to get started on the work to pull off this huge event.  There was also a lot of discussion about what Derry has come up with for potential activities that would take place there.

Paul Lindemann of the Derry Heritage Commission updated the group on what Derry has planned so far. A Founders Weekend on April 12-14, 2019 will kick off a month’s long series of events.  Preliminary plans call for a dedication dinner on Friday evening followed by Heritage Day on Saturday including historical talks and fun activities capped off with a semi-formal Nutfield Gala in the evening. The Greater Derry Arts Council is planning the gala. Founders Sunday would wrap up the weekend with a church service and luncheon.

Lindemann is hoping to get descendants of the original Nutfield settlers to attend the weekend’s events including those who live in the US and those who live in Northern Ireland.  Most of the original Nutfield settlers came from Northern Ireland.  Londonderry and Derry derive their names from Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

Lindemann noted that the events in Derry are tentatively planned to align with July 4 and DerryFest in September, with other smaller events occuring in between these major events. He also shared that the Town of Derry has allocated $50,000 to support Nutfield 300, but that fundraising will be needed for additional expenses associated with the events.

About fundraising, the group brainstormed a few options including commemorative coins, calendars, t-shirts, raffles, souvenir programs, event sponsorships, and town budget allocations, as has been done in Derry.

The group agreed that an immediate priority is to get a logo and artwork developed since this would be needed to brand Nutfield 300 and would be used in promotional and fundraising activities.  There was discussion about how to go about developing the logo and artwork, with a suggestion from Lindemann that they identify a few potential artists to work with and then choose one from there.

Kevin Smith provided an update on planning so far within Londonderry.  The major Nutfield 300 events would coincide with Old Home Day in 2019.  The events would be co-branded with the parade theme being Nutfield 300.  There would also likely be a “hootenanny,” an old country word for a party.  Smith also shared that 603 Brewery has offered to brew a commemorative beer for the occasion. There could also be bus tours of historic sites.

On historic site tours, Lindemann shared that a company called My Tours has offered to add Nutfield historic sites to their MyTourGuide smartphone app.  The committee would need to create the content and then My Tours would add it for free to the app.  In return, My Tours would sell a printed version of tour guide.

As an immediate next step, the group agreed to form two committees, one focused on the Founders Weekend and the other acting as an overall Steering Committee.

The Steering Committee will have multiple representatives from Derry, Londonderry and Windham, and one person from Derryfield.

The Founders Weekend Committee would have people from each town plus representatives from First Parish Church in Derry which is hosting many of the events.

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