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Arrival: celebrating Windrush and the communities who followed

It’s 70 years since the ship Empire Windrush arrived into Tilbury Docks from the Caribbean. Caribbean migration has a long history in London, and Windrush is a significant moment within this. It precipitated future waves of post war mass migration and has shaped our open and diverse identity ever since.

Arrival will tell the stories of the Windrush generation and celebrate their contribution to life in London. It will also be a platform for the many people and communities, from Europe and the rest the world, who’ve embarked on similar journeys. Through events and broadcast, it invites discussion and offers advice for those wanting to know more.

It will also shine a spotlight on the recent immigration and visa issues affecting so many Commonwealth citizens.

The Mayor will thank the Windrush pioneers with three special happenings:

'Arrival' event

On Saturday 30 June, City Hall will host a free event to bring the story of ‘arrival in London’ to life.

There’ll be talks, music, workshops, film screenings and installations. The day will honour the Windrush generation and also act as a springboard for four key community conversations:

  • Making the journey – personal testimony on the reality for a London migrant
  • Telling our stories how we encourage discussion and preserve these stories for the future
  • Windrush women –social and economic role of Windrush women in creating strong workforces
  • Looking back and moving forward - recognising Caribbean migration before Windrush, understanding what happens next for all of London’s migrant communities

Radio programming

Our exploration of the Windrush generation highlights the impact of Caribbean migration in London. We’re working with Voluntary Arts and BBC Radio London to invite Windrush pioneers as well as Windrush descendants to tell their stories to radio audiences.

Our first broadcast will be on 30 June to coincide with Arrival.

If you have a story to share, email us at [email protected].

Arrival roadshow

Using Windrush stories as prompts, we want Londoners to talk about migration in the city, through the lens of arrival and welcome.

We will launch our conversation booth at Arrival in June. It will then go on a roadshow around the city for the rest of the year. 

This mobile recording facility will record the stories of all who come in and take part. Look out for it at your local high street, school or museum – we’ll be popping up all over the place. All stories collected will be shared back with London’s communities.

Let us know if you’d like to host the booth or find out more at [email protected].

Get involved

Our advisory group is made up of Gal Dem, Hackney Museum, Voluntary Arts and Windrush Foundation.

Together we’re creating volunteering opportunities across ‘Arrival’.

If you’d like to know more or have suggestions for communities to take part, email us.