THE replica of the Mayflower could be returning to her home port of Brixham as part of the 400th anniversary celebrations of the historic Pilgrims crossing.
The Mayflower II is now berthed in Plymouth, Massachusetts in the United States — not far from where the first Pilgrims landed in 1620.
Brixham is hoping it can share in celebrations being organised by Devon council neighbours Plymouth and see the Mayflower II take pride of place in the fishing port.
The vessel, a replica of the 17th-century Mayflower famous for transporting the Pilgrims to the New World, was built at the Upham's Yard in Brixham between 1955 and 1956 in a collaboration between Englishman Warwick Charlton and the Plimoth Plantation, an American museum.
It was built to commemorate the alliance between Britain and the USA during the Second World War.
Brixham and Torbay councillor Mike Morey remembers seeing the Mayflower II as it set sail from Brixham for her voyage across the Atlantic in 1957.
He said: "The building of the Mayflower II played a major part in Brixham's maritime history.
"I was fortunate in having an uncle who worked on her at Upham's Yard, so I watched the different stages of construction as well as witnessing its launch on a miserable wet morning."
As Plymouth prepares for the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims' crossing, Brixham is bidding for the Mayflower II to be allowed home as part of the larger celebrations.
It was in September 1620 when 102 people, now revered in America as the Pilgrim Fathers, set sail from Plymouth on board the Mayflower.
The Mayflower II was built by skilled Brixham shipwrights as accurately as possible, with English oak timbers, hand-forged nails, hand-sewn linen canvas sails, hemp cordage, and the Stockholm tar of the type used on 17th-century ships. She was launched on September 22, 1956.
Cllr Morey said: "For a short period of time the eyes of the world focussed in on Brixham.
"If we can secure its homecoming, even if it is for a short visit, people will be able to see the brilliant work of local craftsmen and, of course, it will be a major tourist attraction that will benefit the whole of the community."
He will be contacting Tudor Evans, the leader of Plymouth City Council, to see what can be achieved.
He aid: "Fortunately, we have some years to seek agreement but we need to start the discussions early."
A Plymouth City Council spokesman said: "Discussions are under way with business partners in Plymouth, Massachusetts, exploring opportunities for collaborative working for the Mayflower400 celebrations."
Cllr Morey said: "Brixham Town Council is already behind the principle and we will be asking Torbay Council to get in on it as well for planning future events.
"We are asking both Plymouth in Devon and in Massachusetts to lend Brixham the Mayflower II for a few days during the 2020 celebrations as this is where it was built."