Windrush Heritage Project: Our Voices, Our Stories, Our History

The Windrush Cymru Project – Our Voices, Our Stories, Our History, funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund, is a project which directly responds to a call from elders of the Windrush Generation who wanted to ensure that the legacy of their generation is captured for posterity.
“This is important. It looks at almost forgotten people and the horrors they endured. This will put us

on the map. Looking back, our stories are very important. These archives are for our children and

their children to go and look and see how we made a way for them and other people.”

-Vernesta Cyril OBE, Patron of Black History and Windrush Elder

 

The Windrush Cymru Project – Our Voices, Our Stories, Our History, funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund, is a project which directly responds to a call from elders of the Windrush Generation who wanted to ensure that the legacy of their generation is captured for posterity.

This project is about collecting, recording, documenting, sharing and celebrating the contributions of the Windrush generation who came to UK between 1948 and 1988. Although the Windrush period of immigration is usually documented as between 1948 and 1973, this project extends the period by 15 years to include the experiences of more citizens who moved to UK and eventually Wales, in response to Britain’s post-war recruitment drive.

June 1948, the SS Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury Dock in Essex. This ship carried around 500 passengers from Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean, who were responding to Britain’s invitation to help rebuild the ‘Motherland’ after the devastating effects of World War 2. Some of these passengers were ex-service men and women who served Britain during the war. Being citizens from countries that were colonised by Britain, these people, saw themselves as British. The next 40 years would see more Commonwealth people responding to this call coming from Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Caribbean countries such as Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, St Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Guyana. These diverse people are collectively known as the Windrush Generation despite the fact that some came here on a number of other ships, ports etc.

Windrush Heritage Project: Our Voices, Our Stories, Our History
Windrush Heritage Project: Our Voices, Our Stories, Our History

 

While recent media coverage has raised awareness of the Windrush Generation, little is known of those who contributed to Welsh society. This project engages where they came from, their stories of migration and their experiences of forging a new life in Wales.

The heritage information collected as part of this Windrush Cymru project will leave a long and enduring legacy. Aspects of this heritage will be shared on our website and on People’s Collection Wales. Outputs will include a touring exhibition, publication and teaching materials. The National Museum Wales, St Fagans will be the repository of this heritage adding the stories, voices and history of the Windrush Generation to the wider narrative of Welsh life.

“This is important. It looks at almost forgotten people and the horrors they endured. This will put us on the map. Looking back, our stories are very important. These archives are for our children and their children to go and look and see how we made a way for them and other people.” Vernesta Cyril OBE, Patron of Black History and Windrush Elder

 

 

This project is funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund and supported by Windrush Cymru Elders, Black History Wales Patrons, National Museum Wales, Wales Millennium Centre and People’s Collection Wales.

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