Hundreds turn out to celebrate Croydon’s Windrush community
Croydon Council led the way in declaring an annual celebration of the borough’s Windrush community and organised a wide-range of events to coincide with the national celebrations, launched on 12 June at the Museum of Croydon Windrush exhibition.
The term Windrush generation refers to those invited to those invited to relocate in Britain from their homes in Commonwealth countries between 1948 and 1971. The first significant number arrived at Tilbury Docks aboard HM Empire Windrush on 22 June 1948 from the Caribbean, although migration was also from Africa and Asia.
Celebrations continued on Friday 21 June with a special dinner thanking the Windrush community for their contribution to British society at the De Vere Selsdon Estate Hotel. The event was free to attend for Windrushers aged 65 and over.
More than 300 guests attended the special event and ceremony attended by Seth George Ramocan, High Commissioner of Jamaica, where they were honoured and presented with an award recognising their contributions to the UK.
Saturday 22 June was national Windrush Day and hundreds of visitors flocked to a range of events including a special street party in Croydon town centre.
The party included Caribbean cuisine, arts, crafts, book stalls and free giveaways, steelpan performances, a poetry jam at the Front Room, and a Windrush party with music of the era from DJ Daddy Ernie & Neville King.
The multi-faith service at the Croydon Minster on Sunday 23 June was attended by more than 200 people from the community, and on Monday 24 June hundreds also attended the We Sing U Sing music festival featuring children from around Croydon performing with the award winner IDMC Gospel Choir, and the Fighting for King & Empire film was shown at the David Lean Cinema followed by a discussion with the producer & journalist Marc Wadsworth and Neil Flanigan MBE who fought for Britain in World War II and returned to help rebuild Britain.
Councillor Patsy Cummings, BAME Champion at Croydon Council, said: “This year’s celebrations have been a fantastic success, paying tribute to the Windrush Generation and their contribution to Croydon and British society.
“I hope everyone able to attend the events so far have enjoyed themselves but there are still more opportunities to celebrate the Windrush Generation coming up.”
The exhibition of Windrush memories in Croydon Museum will last until Thursday 31 October.
Other upcoming events include a TED X talk at the David Lean Cinema, Katharine Street on Monday 1 July and a second Windrush exhibition at the Fairfield Hall in September. Go online to find out more details of the upcoming events.