Lambeth is the home of the Windrush Generation and this summer marks the 75th anniversary of the HMT Empire Windrush arriving in Britain. The Empire Windrush landed on 22 June 1948 with many of the arrivals spending their first month in rented lodgings in the deep shelter underneath Clapham South Tube station before settling in Brixton, the site of the nearest labour exchange.
This begin the area’s long celebrated association with Caribbean culture.
Lambeth Council’s library service has produced a series of events throughout June and the council has given out community grants worth £35,000 to contribute to local events and initiatives that will run throughout the month in celebration of Windrush 75.
A new Lambeth website is now live, featuring listings, local people’s stories and a new teachers pack for 2023 – lambethwindrush.com/windrush-voices/
Lambeth Council have also commissioned the Brixton Project to produce commemorative assets and and an education pack to raise wider awareness of this special date. The Brixton Project are producing a community procession on June 22 that will be broadcast live on Colourful radio at www.colourful.com will culminate with performances on Windrush Square involving a host of local cultural partners.
The Lambeth Procession is planned to follow a path from Brockwell Park to Brixton’s Windrush Square. The procession will tell the story of those who travelled to Britain through five connected themes, which demonstrate the rich history, spirit and culture of Caribbean people who have settled in the UK.
Cllr Jacqui Dyer, Lambeth’s Cabinet lead for Inclusive Economy and Equalities), said: “We hope that the programme we’ve put together with partners will be thought provoking, inclusive, engaging, education and entertaining as we look to share the message about the huge contribution of the Windrush Generation and their descendants.
“I’d encourage local people to visit the website to find out more and join in with what we have planned.”
Today Windrush Square sits at the centre of Lambeth in recognition of our links to the Windrush Generation, and the national Windrush Monument’s is in the north of our borough at Waterloo station due to its significance in the Windrush story.
Because Lambeth is the first home of the Windrush Generation in the UK and because the contribution of the Windrush Generation and their descendants has been so significant over the last 75 years we as a borough are determined to both highlight and celebrate their legacy.
The Windrush 75 anniversary in Lambeth will be an educational, inclusive and engaging celebration that highlights their huge contribution and builds a legacy of learning, sharing and respect into the future.