Celebrating the 75th anniversary of Windrush’s arrival
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the arrival of Windrush at the port of Tilbury. Windrush’s 492 disembarking passengers answered the call from the British Government to help rebuild Britain following World War II. The passengers came from the Caribbean, many of whom were veterans serving in the Forces during the War and were happy to be returning in order to help. They were answering the Government’s call for people to work in the newly formed NHS, postal service and public transport amongst others. Windrush heralded the start of Caribbean migration to Britain.
The Caribbeans came to Britain to work, due to the shortage of workers in the UK. Many islands in the Caribbean were British territories, this meant they were British citizens. It was seen as an opportunity to help Britain rebuild after World War II. The Caribbeans arrived using British passports and they also used pound shillings and pence.
Arriving with a sense of adventure, they expected to be greeted and welcomed as they were here to help. In contrast to where they had left, the first thing they realised that was different was the weather, followed by the food, food was still rationed until 1954.
In 1948, adults travelling with minors could travel with them on their passport, if they were the parent of the minor. A lot of the surviving Windrush generation arrived this way. The Windrush generation is considered to be people arriving from the Caribbean and Commonwealth between 1948-1971. You can read some of the Windrush generation’s stories here.
At Bolt Burdon Kemp, we have a BEqual group, initially set up following what happened to George Floyd, as a safe space where we can get together and discuss matters that are of concern, in a supportive way. As such, we will be joining in the celebrations taking part in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of Windrush’s arrival.
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of Windrush, there are events taking place all over the country, from concerts to museums and exhibits, there is plenty for everyone to take part and learn about its importance.
Here are a few things you can do to celebrate the 75th anniversary and learn about the Windrush legacy; The National Maritime Museum, Windrush Generation Legacy Association and Windrush75.