About National Windrush Day
On Tuesday 22 June 1948, the Empire Windrush docked in the UK carrying over 500 members of the Caribbean community, who were set to begin their new lives in the UK.
The Windrush Generation are the Caribbean men and women who aided the financial reconstruction of Britain from the World War II era and beyond. The Windrush Generation included soldiers, doctors, nurses, teachers, university students, transit workers, artists, politicians, and athletes, who came to London between 1948 and 1970 upon invitation from the British Government to rebuild a nation ravaged by war.
They represent a segment of the Caribbean diaspora whose origins stem from Africa, Europe and Asia and brought the music, food and a culture, that forms a vital part of British culture today. Until recently, the contributions and experiences of the Windrush generation was not widely acknowledged or celebrated and since the uncovering of the Windrush Scandal, it is evident that we need to remember the lives and contributions of the individuals who have made a huge difference to British society in recent history.
The City of Westminster has a large Caribbean community and we take this time to celebrate the contributions made by those who took the journey to come to the UK.
This year's events
Windrush Window Exhibition, Church Street
The Windrush Window exhibition has been curated by artist Michael McMillan and Mia Morris, with Westminster Council’s Global Majority Network. It will be available to view in the windows of 35 Church Street, London, NW8 8BS, until 31 August. This front room display is created from items generously donated by Westminster residents, and explores the migrant experience of African-Caribbean families setting up home in the UK as part of the Windrush generation in the mid-20th century.
‘The Front Room’ artist talk with Michael McMillan
Join us for a fascinating artist talk with Michael McMillan’s about his internationally acclaimed installation "The Front Room”. The talk will take place on Thursday 20 July from 6:30pm to 8pm at Church Street Library, 67 Church Street, London, NW8 8EU. Book your free ticket on eventbrite.
Photo credit: Michael McMillan, The Front Room, permanent 1970s period installation at the Museum of the Home, London, 2021. Photo courtesy of EM Fitzgerald.
Windrush Documentation and Compensation Schemes information session
Join the Windrush Outreach and Engagement team to find out more about the Windrush Documentation and Compensation Schemes. This event will take place on 25 July 2023 from 6pm to 7pm.
Please note, the location of this event has changed. It will now be held at City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, SW1E 6QP.
Members of the Windrush Outreach and Engagement team will deliver a presentation on the Windrush Documentation and Compensation Schemes. The team will outline who can apply for the scheme, categories to claim under, and support available for claimants. There will also be a question and answer session.
Artist Carl Gabriel’s Carnival Sculptures
Carl Gabriel is an iconic Carnival sculptor and creator who works in the traditional wire-bending technique as well as papier mâché. He will be displaying his artwork in the front window of Westminster City Hall, 64 Victoria Street, London, SW1E 6QP, from 11 to 27 June.
Windrush 75 Film, Fashion and Music Festival
To celebrate our Windrush heroes, we hosted a film, fashion and music festival on 22 June at Picturehouse Central. Films from the Windrush Caribbean Film Festival were shown, dancing from Notting Hill Carnival Trust, and music performances from Heather Small, Omar (MBE) and much more.
This event was a collaboration between staff and our Global Majority Staff Network, and was supported by Westminster UNISON.
Last year's events
On Windrush Day, 22 June 2022, our BAME Staff Network hosted a film premiere that celebrates the contributions of the Windrush generation in collaboration with UNISON Westminster and the Windrush Caribbean Film Festival.
The event, which follows on from the pre-launch in 2021, included a screening of the epic documentary film ‘And Still We Rise’, a first-hand account of the experiences of Westminster residents who arrived in Britain as part of the Windrush generation.
Following the documentary there was a brief Q&A session with Rosline Monrose, Peter Straker and Sheila Ramsey, some of the Westminster residents that featured in the documentary.
Watch the trailer for the documentary below:
We are proud to have presented a new exhibition in collaboration with Kensington and Chelsea, that honours the Windrush Generation. Through artefacts owned by residents and community organisation, Unsung Heroes gave insight to the lives, experiences and contributions of the Windrush Generation.
Read the official exhibition booklet:
With Full Council taking place on National Windrush Day, actor, singer and Westminster resident Peter Straker, was invited to share his story. Watch his speech below: