When did modern Britain begin? There’s a good argument for choosing 22 June 1948. On that day more than a thousand passengers stepped on to the quayside at the Thames port of Tilbury, a bleak spot on the Essex marshes. Among them were around 500 men and women who had travelled from the Caribbean to start a new life in the UK.
They had travelled on HMT Empire Windrush, and next year the Windrush Foundation (WF) plans a range of events to mark the 70th anniversary of the ship’s arrival.
The Windrush70 project will celebrate the lives of the men and women who left the Caribbean to settle in Britain. No one could have foreseen then just how their journey would change Britain for ever.
Through community workshops and other initiatives, the project will show how the ‘Windrush generation’ overcame hardships and prejudice to help build a more vibrant and inclusive society in London and other British cities. In particular, Windrush70 will highlight the contribution made by 70 community champions of Caribbean origin who, through their life and work, embodied the positive spirit of those pioneers.