Thursday 22 June 2023

Windrush Day 75 events with Brent Council - first starting soon at Brent Civic Centre with more to come

From Brent Council

This year marks the 75th anniversary of HMT Empire Windrush arriving in Britain with more than 800 passengers from the Caribbean, ready to embark on their new lives.

Brent Council is proud to celebrate Windrush 75 with a host of events around the borough this summer.

Kicking off the celebrations, on Thursday 22 June, Brent Civic Centre will come alive with a free flagship Market Place to celebrate the legacy and contribution of the African-Caribbean community with music, live performances, and food stalls.

There will also be a Windrush exhibition, charting what it was like to settle in a new country from those who experienced this firsthand and what it meant to be British. The event is set to attract hundreds of visitors throughout the day so mark it in your diaries – there is no need to book in advance.

This will be followed by a Tea Party in Gladstone Park on 24 June to celebrate the elderly survivors of the Windrush generation. There will be live performance with a reggae choir, and the opportunity to learn from the wisdom of elders in the community as they share more about their lives. Get your tickets from Eventbrite.

Councillor Mili Patel, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, Resources and Reform, said:

Celebrating seventy-five years of Windrush is a hugely significant and special way to honour our African-Caribbean community.

Time goes by very quickly, but a lifetime of memories, service and contribution is never forgotten. It is a privilege to celebrate and acknowledge the work, sacrifice, and achievements of the Windrush seniors.

Councillor Muhammed Butt, Leader of Brent Council said: “The Windrush Generation holds a significant place in Britain and Brent’s history and must becelebrated and respected for their vast contribution to society.

The legacy of the Windrush community will continue for many more years to come through the many talented Brent residents who are direct descendants of Windrush pioneers.

This is what sets us apart from so many other London boroughs and I am incredibly grateful to all those who came to Brent and continue to call this borough their home.

Windrush Workshops
Englan' Voice: Celebrating Windrush Generation Artists
Thursday 22 June
Kilburn Library
10:30am to 12noon
Harlesden Library
1pm to 2:30pm

Discover the work of three Windrush-era artists painter Tam Joseph, writer Beryl Gilroy and musician Aldwyn Roberts and their influence on British culture.

Harlesden Library Coffee Morning

‘You called, we responded’: Celebrating 75 years of Windrush and the NHS

Thursday 6 July
11am to 12noon
2023 marks both the 75th anniversaries of the arrival of the Empire Windrush and the start of the NHS. Join local Dr Joan St John to explore some of the impacts of that shared history.

Windrush 75 – Family Craft
2.30 to 4.30pm
Wembley Library – Wednesday 16 August
Kilburn Library – Friday 18 August
Age 3+. Drop in.

For more information:


Anonymous said...

As a Marxist, I feel compelled to provide a critique of the importation of cheap labour from abroad, particularly in relation to the Windrush generation and the celebration of their contributions. While it is important to acknowledge and appreciate the struggles and achievements of the African-Caribbean community, it is equally important to recognise the underlying systemic issues that led to their migration in the first place.

The arrival of the HMT Empire Windrush in Britain symbolises the historical exploitation of labour under capitalism. The British government actively encouraged the migration of Caribbean workers to address labour shortages, but this was not an act of benevolence. It was a calculated strategy to import a cheap and easily exploitable workforce. These workers were subjected to low wages, poor working conditions, and discrimination, all in the pursuit of capitalist profit.

The celebration of Windrush 75 should not be limited to praising the individual contributions of the African-Caribbean community. It should also serve as a reminder of the structural inequalities and injustices that persist today. Instead of solely focusing on cultural events and festivities, it is crucial to address the systemic issues that continue to perpetuate exploitation and marginalisation.

While it is important to honour the legacy of the Windrush generation, we must also recognise the ongoing struggles faced by immigrant communities in the present day. The importation of cheap labour from abroad continues to be a tactic employed by capitalist systems to drive down wages and undermine workers' rights. This not only harms local workers but also perpetuates global inequality and exploitation.

No Gladstone in the Park said...

Interesting to read the platitudes bestowed on the Windrush generation by Councillors Patel and Butt, yet the reality of their interaction with us as 2nd generation Brent Windrush descendants is somewhat different. Since 2020 Ethical Name Change/ No Gladstone in the Park have tried to have meaningful engagement with LB Brent around the issue of Ethical Name Changes for Leopold Primary School and Gladstone Park ( and the school and road named after it )for historical reasons which have been brought into sharp focus in the wake of George Floyd's murder.
Instead of engaging with us they have embarked on a policy of obfuscation, referring to African enslavement as "contested history" and taking a unilateral decision to install a "art and history trail" in Gladstone Park without any meaningful community engagement.
Ironically the council leadership have "hidden" behind a decision supposedly taken by their own steering committee, The Black Community Action Plan ( BCAP) to justify this decisiion. We have raised our concerns with BCAPin meetings which took place in November and December of last year and at the meeting on January 31st of this year a number of Councillors and Stakeholders expressed support for the name changes. At that meeting 3 clear objectives for BCAP for the coming year where set out. 1.Raise the profile of BCAP 2. Address issues relating to Employment in Brent's Black Community and 3. In relation to mental health. The date for the next meeting was confirmed as the 2nd March.

BCAP has not met since then. On contacting the council for clarification we were told that the meeting had been postponed due to "unforseen circumstances". An email was sent to Cllr Patel asking her to clarify the situation to which she has not replied. It was also clear from the communication with officers that we had been removed from BCAP'S mailing list. We assume that this is because the leadership were not happy with the direction that BCAP was moving in with regards to Ethical Name Changes. The leadership have chosen to stymy BCAP'S work for political expediency. How is BCAP supposed to carry out it's objectives if it doesn't meet? It is against this backdrop that the decision was taken to hold "The Windrush Elders Tea Party " in Gladstone Park of all places when clearly the appropriate place for it to be held was Roundwood Park in Harlesden where the majority of Brent's Windrush residents/ descendants live. We believe this was a politically motivated decision by Cllr Butt to attempt to cement a decision which is now subject to growing opposition in the community. We look forward to the time when Cllr Butt will finally follow the GLA guidelines on community engagement on this issue instead of playing political games to further the Council's own agenda