The Windrush: Seasons of Migration & Settlement
The Second War World ended in 1945. A considerable portion of Britain had been destroyed by the war. In 1948, the British government called upon citizens from the Commonwealth to come and rebuild Britain. 493 passengers responded to that call and came on the ship called ‘The Windrush’.
June 22nd 1948, the day that The Windrush discharged its passengers at Tilbury Dock, has become an important landmark in the history of modern Britain. Caribbean migrants have become a vital part of British society and, in the process, transformed important aspects of British life.
In Hertfordshire, especially Stevenage, one of the new towns specifically built after WWII, the heritage of Caribbean migrants are still visible.
This project, supported by Heritage Lottery, is a partnership between Learning Through The Arts, The Stevenage Museum and Basement @ Bunyan, commemorates the 70th anniversary of the arrival of SS Empire Windrush in 1948.
But most importantly, it illustrates the invaluable contributions The Windrush migrants and subsequent generations have made to Britain over the decades.
Exhibition: Stevenage Museum
27th March -27th June 2019
To supplement the exhibition, the Stevenage Museum hosted one of their Lunch and Listen events. Listen Journeys to the New town. Ten adults attended the session in total; films were shown and the groups discussed different routes to Stevenage.
The museum also hosted a week of creative family workshops, celebrating the Caribbean during October for Black History Month. This was also a great opportunity to introduce the project and raise awareness.
Living Journeys – Short Film
Living Journeys is a short film, collecting stories from two Stevenage residents, Celia Wildeman and June Griffiths who came to the UK in the 1960s from Antigua.
Trip To Tilbury Docks Saturday 22nd June 2019
On Saturday 22nd June The Stevenage Museum hosted a trip to Tilbury in Essex, where the first Caribbean Migrants landed who travelled on board the Empire Windrush Ship in 1948.
15 adults attended the trip as means to see first-hand where the Windrush Generation would have arrived and educate participants on the history of the arrival of Caribbean Migrants and how this impacted British Society and local History in Tilbury.
The trip was an opportunity to visit the Cruise Terminal site, explore the local area and visit the English Heritage site of Tilbury Fort.
The group had lunch at The World’s End pub, which has a heritage of several hundred years, predating the town of Tilbury, and important part of the local history of the area.
Exhibition: Basement @ Bunyan Tuesday 21st May – Saturday 8th June 2019
“Great Photos, so interesting to read local news too.”
“An interesting snapshot into local and wide Windrush history loved reading the interesting news stories and particularly liked seeing the prints, designs and photos of the time. Together we are stronger.
“Good articles- interesting newspaper articles, excellent pictures/photos. Very impressive!”
“Interesting. I was 9 when the Windrush arrived. I remember seeing West Indians on the trains, buses + in hospitals. Sad that there was so much intolerance. I also noted that according to Evening Standard June 21 1948. The Government was organising cargo by aid to aid Russian Blockade of Berlin. I was on my way back to England as a young child. “
“Interesting exhibition. In the 1970s I was a student in London and remember many people from West Indies who helped me out. Nice to see a holistic approach.”
“I think that the photographs and sentiment of this exhibition is an excellent one. Lovely to see items from London Transport Archives and the Harry Jacobs collection from Lambeth is particularly fascinating. Eva Mcdonald from Peckham was a great revelation to me and her published book on hairweaving and beauty. This is so relevant today with conversations around natural hair and products. I enjoyed local stories from Bed Archives and Times and Citizen collection. It would have been interesting to have a bit more information and family tree with the Rupert Charles’ photos – having put on exhibitions in the past it is very difficult to cover everything. Some interesting people and stories capture here that are unique to the UK.”
May Half Term – Creative Family Workshops
To coincide with the exhibition at the Basement @Buynan, a provision of creative family workshops with a theme of the story of Windrush migrants (anniversary) of their arrival.
The aim of the activity was to capture an underwater scene from the viewpoint of a ship’s porthole using mixed media collage and imagining the journey on a ship from the Caribbean to England.
About the Heritage Lottery Fund
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