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Windrush Day

Find out more information about Windrush Day 2023.

Celebrate Windrush 75

The HMT Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury Docks on 21 June 1948. The ship carried 500 passengers from the Caribbean who disembarked the following day. It's a moment that helped define modern Britain and became known as Windrush Day. On 22 June 2023 we mark its 75th anniversary.

The 'Windrush Generation' refers to people who migrated from Caribbean countries to Britain between 1948 and 1971 after the UK government invited citizens from across the Commonwealth to help rebuild the country after WW2. We are proud that many settled in Lewisham and we celebrate their immense contribution to every aspect of British culture and daily life. 

In addition to our flagship event at Broadway theatre on Thursday 22 June 2023, we’re excited to have funded ten community projects through our Windrush 75 micro-grant scheme. Read on for details of the full programme.

Sunday 18 June 2023

Reggae Rocksteady & SKA (Lewisham Windrush Day Deptford Dub Club)

Fox & Firkin | 316 Lewisham High Street, SE13 6JZ | Free before 7pm, £5 after

Vibe at Reggae Rocksteady & SKA. On the Sunday before Windrush 75, Deptford Dub Club is hosting a night of electric roots reggae music. The night will be hosted by Professor William (Lez) Henry, who goes by the stage name Lez Lyrix, who is known as one of the UK’s original lyricists. Head there to dance the night away and be one with the rhythm.

This event is family friendly and will feature a soundsystem-style evening session.

Book tickets for Reggae, Rocksteady and Ska at Fox & Firkin.

Thursday 22 June 2023

Windrush 75: The Lewisham Story

7pm | Broadway Theatre, SE6 4RU | Tickets £5, £2 concessions and free for over 65s

A special tribute to the legacy of the Windrush Generation at Broadway hosted by Robbie Gee and Eddie Nestor. Expect live performances including music, spoken word and more. Buy tickets, free for over-65s broadwaytheatre.org.uk

Free over 65s tickets can also be collected from Catford Library – maximum of two tickets per person.

Book tickets for Windrush 75: The Lewisham Story at Broadway Theatre.

Then and Now: 75 years Tapestry of the Windrush Generation by Hillview Community Services

2-8pm | V.P. Rodney Suite, 39 Kitto Road, SE14 5TW 

A cultural afternoon commemorating the rich tapestry, legacy and heritage of the Windrush Generation since the ship Empire Windrush anchored at Tilbury Docks, Essex on 21 June 1948. Alongside workshops, breakout rooms and an exhibition, the highlight of the event will include people from the Windrush Generation sharing their stories, comparing life then to life now.

An essential part of the Windrush generation is their Caribbean Cultural Cuisine. Taster dishes such as ackee and saltfish, curried chicken, roti, cook-up, coconut drops and sweetbread (as well as other dishes) will be available throughout the event.

Why not cook some Caribbean food with your children or grandchildren before the event and bring it along to share?

Funded through Windrush 75 microgrant scheme.

Remember Windrush by Pepys Community Forum

If you’re looking for a morning of talks, storytelling and collage making engaging with the Windrush generation and their descendants along with local people and wider, look no further than this event.

Earl, Slaine, Kenneth, Juleen and Judith present as first generation Windrush children born in the United Kingdom now living within Lewisham.

It will begin with remember the boat itself. It will explore the big cultural influence those who came on HMT Windrush have had on the UK and include talking and remember the New Cross fire in 1981 resulting in ‘13 dead and nothing said’, they were the first Windrush descendant Teenagers who lost their lives. The event will be one of reflections.

Funded through Windrush 75 microgrant scheme.

Empire Windrush Outdoor Library

Adamsrill Primary School aim to put on a Windrush Parade Day. The festivities will begin by transforming the school hall into a near replica of the Windrush Boat with resources, books and artifacts of the Windrush.

The activities don’t stop there. There will be drama pieces from actors and storytellers showing what it was like to be on the boat and a tea party for the grandparents that were on HMT Windrush and all other families of the school.

Funded through Windrush 75 microgrant scheme.

Friday 23 June 2023

The Caribbean Experience by Hummingbird Senior Citizens Club

St Laurence Church | 37 Bromley Rd, SE6 2TS | Free

Developed in response to a survey and table discussions, the project will be delivered in two phases. It will also be led by a steering group of people with Caribbean heritage.

The first phase will be made up of a series of art and spoken word workshops culminating in a one day cultural event on 23 June 2023. Ultimately, it will unite local communities in celebration of the contributions of the organisation's members from the Windrush generation and their descendants in Lewisham.

Phase two of the project will centre on the stories and contributions the actual members of the club have made within the borough, ending with a book showing their stories alongside an appreciation event in October 2023.

Funded through Windrush 75 microgrant scheme.

Yard Away Home: Celebrating the Voices of the Windrush Generation by Spontaneous Productions Theatre Company

TNG Youth Centre | 111 Wells Park Rd, SE26 6AD | Free

A one-off event made up of a live theatre presentation, music, dance, Caribbean food, and culture at TNG Youth Centre.

The festivities will be co-created by Spontaneous Productions and James Ross Hunter Youth Support with the performances drawing on real life stories collected in the borough by community members Jean Beckford and Matanah Maya.

The impactful event will draw on the Windrush scandal of 2018 and how younger generations view those who came before them.

Funded through Windrush 75 microgrant scheme.

Tilbury Talks by IRIE! Dance Theatre

Moonshot Centre | Angus Street, SE14 6LU | Free

Prepare yourself for Tilbury Talks. Brought to you by IRIE! Dance Theatre, it will be an inter-generational event that reflects, communicates, and celebrates our community's experience and build on our longstanding relationships with local people and education, arts and community partners.

In celebration of 75th Windrush Anniversary, the event will consist of inviting elders and young people of different generations to share stories and performances at Moonshot, on the themes of arrival and settling. Participants can look forward to enjoying an English-Caribbean afternoon tea together.

Funded through Windrush 75 microgrant scheme.

Saturday 24 June 2023

Enterprising Windrush Legacies

Migration Museum | Lewisham Shopping Centre, SE13 7HB | Free

The exhibition provides the perfect context for the Migration Museum to commemorate Windrush 75. A full day of activities for the commemoration.

The museum will be full of activities for the entire led by those with lived experience as holders of the legacy of the Windrush Generation is set to take place.

The celebration will take place as part of the Taking Care of Business (TCOB) exhibition explores how migrant entrepreneurs have helped to shape Britain, our bands, and businesses.

Funded through Windrush 75 microgrant scheme.

Windrush 75th Anniversary Celebration hosted by Elevating Success UK

1-4pm | Honor Oak Depot, St Norbert Road, SE4 2BN | Free

There will be a BBQ, a live DJ, face painting and much more. Elevating Success UK is hosting an afternoon of festivities in honour of Windrush 75.

Community events (dates to be confirmed)

First Love Community Radio - Windrush Memories show

First Love Comunity Radio is a Black-led radio and digital media project and involves multi-generation African and Caribbean people that either live, work study frequent Lewisham to see friends and family members.

The project will record short stories, parables or songs from Caribbean elders, their children or grandchildren, capturing memories that bring to life the joyful and poignant experiences of Lewisham that have stayed in their family memory. These will often be first memories of people, places, events or celebrations.

Led by first and second generation children of Windrush parents, the audio will allow its listeners to feel like they're in the same room as the storyteller.

They hear the emotion; they resonate with their voice. As people listen to the stories, they will build their own images of how these stories, songs and memories unfold, make connections, and begin to fill some gaps in how Lewisham has become rich and diverse in its cultural heritage today.

The recordings will be made available via the First love community radio mix cloud archive and a limited exclusive copy made available on CD.

Funded through Windrush 75 microgrant scheme.

Tropical Treats Disco by Lewisham Mencap

Lewisham Mencap will host a live performance (by a Caribbean band or similar) promoting and representing the Windrush Generation and the cultural richness that it brought to the local area.

The team of members and volunteers, made up of people with lived experience of Windrush and their descendants, will work on an exhibition displaying items, such as photographs from their personal collections, which we hope will create space for meaningful conversations in honour of Windrush 75.

The event will be culturally representative with the goal of collaborating with a team of people from the Windrush Generation community.

With over 70 years of experience organising highly popular social clubs, and the Windrush community has always been an integral part of the wider Lewisham Mencap community.

Funded through Windrush 75 microgrant scheme.

England is de place for me - play read by Second Wave Youth Arts

In 1980s, young woman playwright, Killian Gideon, from Second Wave's young writers' programme wrote a play inspired by the lives of her parents and their friends of the Windrush Generation. The play, set in Lewisham, tells the story of two women and their families who face challenges and still follow their hopes and dreams in a new land.

This project to bring young residents of Lewisham together to rehearse and record a high quality play read that would be available on their website free for all to enjoy alongside a Q&A with the cast.

  • rehearsals for a playread week commencing 19 June 2023
  • 22 and 24 June the group will record key extracts from the play and conversations with actors about the development process and the context and background of the project and the Windrush era, and how it resonates today

Funded through Windrush 75 microgrant scheme.