Windrush Day 2019: A celebration of contributions to Britain by the Windrush generation and their descendants.

Baroness Floella Benjamin said: “The Windrush generation helped shaped British society"

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The Windrush Day is a time to remember and celebrate the contributions made by the Windrush generation and their descendants to Britain.

On June 22 June 1948, the Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury Docks, Essex, bringing with it the first migrants from the Caribbean.

As a result of the losses suffered during World War II, post-war Britain was in great need of labourers.

Celebrations have been held across the West Midlands to mark the contributions to Britain made by the Windrush generation and their descendants.

A campaign began to entice people from the countries of the British Empire and Commonwealth to move to the UK with a promise of granted citizenship and right of abode in the UK.

Thousands of men, women and children left the Caribbean during the late 1940s to the early 1960s to start their new life in Britain.

Speaking after the Gold Medal winning Windrush display with Birmingham City Council at the 2018 Chelsea Flower Show, Baroness Floella Benjamin said: “The Windrush generation helped shaped British society. They are part of the rich tapestry of our culture and have had an influence on almost every aspect of our wonderfully diverse country.”

Windrush Day, which first started in 2018, on the 70th anniversary of the landing of the first Caribbean migrants, for the purpose of “encouraging communities across the country to celebrate the contribution of the Windrush Generation and their descendants”

Of the 1027 passengers on board the Windrush, according to the ship’s passenger lists, 802 of them gave their last country of residence as somewhere in the Caribbean.

Windrush scandal

The Windrush scandal refers to the 2018 scandal which saw members of the Windrush and their children be  wrongly detained, denied legal rights, such as access to healthcare, work, housing benefits, pensions, threatened with deportation, and some were deported from the UK.

History of the Windrush

Originally named the MV Monte Rosa, and was launched in 1930. It was used as a cruise ship for boat parties down the river Rhine.It was commandeered to transport German troops and support bombing raids during World War 2 – it shipped Jewish people being sent from Norway and Demark to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland.

The Monte Rosa was captured by the British in 1945 and became a passenger ship, named HMT Empire Windrush. In June 1948 the ship made the journey from the Caribbean with hundreds of passengers on board, including Polish and Maltese migrants and refugees.

On the 30th March 1954, after suffering engine failure, the Windrush sank in the Mediterranean off the coast of Algeria.

Video: Thank you to @StuartBirnie1 and the wonderful ⁦@S4EMusic⁩ Steel Band who were performing at The MAC today. 

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