National Windrush Day

Windrush 2020

The ship HMT Empire Windrush arrived at the Port of Tilbury on 21 June 1948 and its passengers disembarked a day later. The ship carried 492 Caribbean migrants, many of them veterans of the Second World War. The ship and its passengers have a symbolic status as the start of the Windrush Generation. The Windrush Generation denotes the people who emigrated from the Caribbean to Britain between the arrival of the HMT Empire Windrush on 22 June 1948 and the Immigration Act 1971, including the passengers on the first ship.

Haringey has a proud history of welcoming migrants from all over the world to live and work here. The collection at Bruce Castle Museum and Haringey Archive reflects a long association with diversity - a heritage reinforced with the arrival of the HMT Empire Windrush in 1948. The Windrush Generation have contributed to all aspects of life in Haringey and are integral to community life in the borough helping to create a welcoming, nurturing environment for people from all over the world.

The Windrush Generation, and their descendants have made a large contribution to not only Haringey but Britain’s cultural, social and economic life. You can see and hear more in the films made for Windrush Day below, as well as explore the Timeline for Black History Haringey 365.


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Windrush 2020

For Windrush Day 2020 we presented a collection of films, images and exhibitions highlighting the stories, memories and significant contribution the Windrush Generation and their descendants have made, and continue to make, to our borough and British life beyond. 

Watch our community films, read the stories - all made and told in Haringey - and get involved by creating your own oral histories, photographs and memories to be added to our archive.

Windrush 2020 Message from Cllr Joseph Ejiofor, Leader of Haringey Council

Watch Cllr Joseph Ejiofor share his Windrush Day message outside the Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Tottenham.

N17 Radio Programme

N17 radio programme has won Best Arts Project in the 2021 Hearts for the Arts Awards. The awards celebrate the unsung heroes of Local Authorities who are championing the arts against all odds. 

The N17 radio programme was created by students of Haringey Academy Tottenham in partnership with Kick it Out, Threads Radio, RoughHouse Theatre playwright, Dougie Blaxland and Haringey Council. With the support of the Windrush Day Grant, the partners worked collaboratively to produce and broadcast a radio programme - N17 - to coincide with Black History Month. N17 celebrates the extraordinary contribution made to British Society by descendents of the Windrush generation who settled and brought up their families in Tottenham. 

Find out more about the N17 Radio Programme

Exhibition: Windrush Legends and Legacy, June 2019

Part of a wider exhibition held in 2019 at Bruce Castle Museum, these exhibition panels tell the stories of the commitment and contribution to democracy, education, business, culture and general life of Haringey’s black community, often with greater significance beyond. Inspired by stories from the Bruce Castle Museum and Archive collections, follow the timeline celebrating the presence, the significant contribution and the lasting impact by Haringey’s Windrush generation and their descendants in our community, from 1945 to 2008. 

You can also read an essay and poem - 'Windrush Generation Art and Celebration' - written in response to the exhibition by Alex Pascall OBE. Alex is a renowned broadcaster and campaigner who arrived from Grenada in the 1950s and has been living in Haringey ever since. 

Windrush Legends and Legacy exhibition panels:

A Life in Tottenham, Interrupted - Video

Watch extracts from Vernon Vanriel’s story as told to Tottenham MP David Lammy and Mike Phillips in June 2019. Vernon came to live in Tottenham as a young child, as part of the Windrush generation.

Known as 'The Entertainer', his successful boxing career took him to prominence in the 1970s and 80s, but after travelling to Jamaica 13 years ago he was refused re-entry to the UK. After a long fight to gain a passport, he finally returned to the UK in September 2018. 

We are delighted to welcome him back to his home and to hear his story.

Note for iPhone users and Youtube. There is a known bug with iOS and Youtube, Two buttons are read before the player but provide no functionality. We advise that you skip these to access the content.

Windrush Day 2019 - video

Watch an evocative film, made on the evening of 22 June as part of A Day of Lights and Kites, and marking National Windrush Day 2019. The day included workshops, music, activities, exhibitions and talks, and concluded with this celebratory light projection.

The Projection shows a curated collection of images from Bruce Castle Museum and Archive, including local Windrush elders, projected on to the façade of Bruce Castle. 

Note for iPhone users and Youtube. There is a known bug with iOS and Youtube, Two buttons are read before the player but provide no functionality. We advise that you skip these to access the content.

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Take Part

  • Are you part of the Windrush Generation, or know someone who is and want to share your story with us? 

At Bruce Castle Museum and Archives we are committed to collecting community histories and memories that tell the story of our borough - our people, places and events. We want to continue developing our collections of oral histories, photographs, objects and archive material that tell the story of the people that came to the UK from the Caribbean and settled in Haringey, from after the Second World War to the early 1970s.

If you have, or know someone with their own recollections and stories, and would like to add them to our collections at Bruce Castle Museum and Archive please read our Windrush Archives callout document (PDF, 55KB) to find out how to take part.


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Page last updated:

24 February 2021

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