Windrush at 70: recording and sharing migration stories

Portrait of a young black man

Heritage Grants

WALSALL, West Midlands
Kingsway Project
£36600
Through its Windrush 70 and Beyond project, Kingsway Project celebrated the 70th anniversary of the ‘Empire Windrush’ by recording and sharing Caribbean migration stories.

Following the devastation of the Second World War, Britain desperately needed help to rebuild. Jobs and invitations to permanently settle in UK were advertised in its imperial colonies. The ‘Empire Windrush’ arrived in 1948 with over 1,000 passengers from the Caribbean.

Fifteen volunteers and students recorded 60 recollections of migration at ‘Trip Down Memory Lane’ events, with 1950s music and objects helping people with dementia recall their past. Further research in archives and heritage sites helped the volunteers turn these stories into pop-up exhibitions for fifteen venues.

"Over 8,000 easy-to-read booklets introduced what Windrush was with puzzles and brain teasers."

- Annette Robinson, project manager

Selected stories were translated into eight languages, including braille, and were shared through community events, a website, a film and a Windrush Activity Book.

Annette Robinson, the project manager, said: “The activity book made it easier to share key facts while discussing often unpalatable issues around power and equality. Over 8,000 easy-to-read booklets introduced what Windrush was with puzzles and brain teasers.” 

As a result of this scheme the Kingsway project advised major museums on how to include migration stories, helped libraries forge links with schools, sparked other groups to explore the Windrush and produced their own commemorative stamps.

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