Updated: Jun 29
Celebrating migration and shining a light on the important contributions the Windrush Generation made and continue to make in British society.
As part of our “The Wonder of Windrush” online session, Medway Culture Club Co-Founder, Camealia Xavier-Chihota, reads from Baroness Floella Benjamin's "Coming to England" children’s book.
The inspiring true story of Baroness Floella Benjamin: from Trinidad, to London as part of the Windrush generation, to the House of Lords. When she was ten years old, Floella Benjamin, along with her older sister and two younger brothers, set sail from Trinidad to London, to be reunited with the rest of their family. Alone on a huge ship for two weeks, then tumbled into a cold and unfriendly London, coming to England wasn’t at all what Floella had expected. This is a true story with a powerful message: that courage and determination can always overcome adversity.
The fourth national Windrush Day on 22 June 2021 marks 73 years since the HMT Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury Docks in 1948, carrying the first West Indian migrants to the UK to help re-build Britain after the Second World War.
The ship, originally called MV Monte Rosa, launched in Germany in 1930 and operated as a German cruise ship and troopship before being taken by Allied forces in 1945. The passengers aboard the ship included men, women and children from the Caribbean with a diverse heritage including those from Chinese, Maltese and Polish descent, as well as Second World War service men and women who had been there on leave and some stowaways.
For the passengers who landed opposite Gravesend that day in June 1948, it was just the beginning of a new life as they went on to transform aspects of every day British life.