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You are in: London > Faith > Communities > black london > London celebrates 60 years since the arrival of MV Empire Windrush

MV Empire Windrush

MV Empire Windrush

London celebrates 60 years since the arrival of MV Empire Windrush

See how you can join the celebrations to mark the anniversary and hear the stories of the surviving passengers on board.

On June 22nd 1948, MV Empire Windrush disembarked at Tilbury Docks in Essex.  The ship had made an 8,000 mile journey from the Caribbean to London with 492 passengers on board from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and other islands. When the passengers walked down the gangplank onto British soil they could not have imagined that their journey would begin an important landmark in the history of London and the rest of country. 

Did you know?

The passengers on board the Windrush were invited to come to Britain after World War Two, to assist with labour shortages.

The cost of the passage was £28 10s

Many of the passengers had fought for Britain during the war.

On this 60th anniversary year of the arrival of the MV Empire Windrush, a number of events to celebrate the beginning of mass migration from the Caribbean to Britain have been scheduled.  There will also be celebrations to mark the contribution made to this country by what's become known as 'The Windrush Generation'.  On this page we highlight some of those events, so you can make a date in your diary. 

If you are planning an event linked to the Windrush anniversary and you would like it listed on this page, please send details to:
lainy.malkani@bbc.co.uk.

Meanwhile BBC London 94.9fm is doing its bit to mark the historic day with a special programme. The two hour show is dedicated to the Windrush pioneers and their families, to be broadcast on the Dotun Adebayo on Sunday show 22nd June from 8pm, but we also list a selection of the other highlights planned in the capital.

Sam King

Sam King and journalist Amma Aning.

Sam King is one of the great success stories to emerge from Windrush.  He arrived on MV Empire Windrush with a plan to rejoin the RAF. He had served with the Royal Air Force during the war. He booked his passage on board the Windrush and realised his dream. Sam has made history more than once in his lifetime. 1n 1983 he became Southwark's first black mayor and in 1998 was awarded an MBE. 

Events planned on 22nd June

A church service in celebration of the Windrush Generation takes place at the Ruach Ministries in Brixton.  The service will honour their contributions to British society. Location: Ruach Ministries at 122 Brixton Hill London, SW2 1RS 12:30pm – 2pm

A procession takes place from Clapham North Deep Shelter, where the new arrivals were temporarily housed, to the Clapham Common Bandstand. It’s a free event and includes speakers, drama, poetry, historical photo display and music. Location: corner of The Avenue and Clapham Common South Side 3.30pm

SS Empire Windrush, 1948

SS Empire Windrush, 1948

A church service will be held at St. John the Evangelist, Angell Town to honour the Windrush pioneers and those men and women from the Caribbean who fought in the Second World War. The service will be led by Revd. Dr. M. Rosemarie Mallet. Location: St. John the Evangelist Angell Town, Wiltshire Road, Brixton, London SW9 7NE 10.30am

A special journey along the River Thames from Tower Hill to Tilbury Docks will take place organised by Thurrock Council. On board the Windrush Ferry will be veterans and descendents of the Windrush generation back to Thurrock. Location: Tower Hill 1.30pm

Longer term events

A major Windrush Exhibition takes place at The Imperial War Museum. It tells the personal stories of the involvement of Caribbean men and women in the First and Second World Wars. Location: Imperial War Museum, Lambeth Road, London SE1 6HZ  13 June 2008 to 29 March 2009 10am – 6pm

last updated: 25/06/2008 at 14:13
created: 19/06/2008

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