Windrush generation of Wales celebrated in new project

A project celebrating the contribution of the Windrush generation in Wales has been by Race Council Cymru.

‘The Windrush Cymru Project – Our Voices, Our Stories, Our History’ aims to collect stories from those who settled in Wales from countries across the Commonwealth after World War Two.

The Empire Windrush
In June 1948, the SS Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury Dock in Essex. Credit: PA

Organisers say the project is the result of calls from older people in the Windrush Generation who want to ensure that the legacy of their generation is captured for posterity.

Over the last year, the Home Office has come under criticism for its handling of the Windrush scandal.

Windrush arrivals
Credit: PA

Around 500 passengers from Commonwealth countries in the Caribbean arrived on the SS Empire Windrush in responding to Britain’s invitation to help rebuild after World War II.

Race Council Cymru say the project wants to engage with the Windrush Generation and their experiences of forging a new life in Wales.

Celebrations
There were celebrations at the launch of the project Credit: ITV Wales

Chair of Windrush Elders Cymru, Roma Taylor, came to the UK when she was 15-years-old. She said, arriving from Antigua, people were “ill-equipped to spend an unknown amount of time on the station platform in a strange, cold, country”.

Celebrations and audience
Many people gathered to celebrate the project Credit: ITV Wales

Material gathered from the project will be stored at St Fagans, National Museum of History. Sioned Hughes from the National Museum of Wales said it was important to record personal histories “before they are lost”.

We support the project’s aims to record and archive these personal histories before they are lost, and the cultural right of the Windrush Generation to freely express their stories and be part of the national history of Wales and the wider UK.

– SIONED HUGHES, KEEPER OF HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY AT NATIONAL MUSEUM WALES

Patron of Black History and Windrush Elder, Vernesta Cyril OBE, said the project “will put us on the map”.