As Nottingham goes on to celebrate the 75th celebration of the Windrush generation, the individuals who had to experience their citizenship being stripped are not forgotten but instead acknowledged for their courage and sacrifice.
The Windrush era consisted of people from predominantly Caribbean countries arriving in the UK between the years 1948-1971, to help with post World War Two labour shortages and rebuild the country. The ship that these individuals travelled to the UK in was named the Empire Windrush, where the origin of the name of the celebration derives from. The Empire Windrush set sail on the 22nd of June 1948, those travelling hopeful for a fresh start in Britain. Little did the individuals on the ship know political issues would arise for them in years to come.
Prior to the move, UK officials promised the individuals who travelled via Empire Windrush permanent residency in the UK, however new immigration laws required official paperwork to verify this. The Windrush generation did not acquire official documents to prove this which, led to complications with new UK immigration laws and to be able to access facilities such as, free hospital treatments in the UK. Rights that all UK individuals possessed became indefinite for the Windrush community and, children of the Windrush era, who grew up in the UK and had paid taxes all their lives were being stripped of their citizenship. Despite the barriers placed by the British Government, so many of the Windrush generation and their descendants have thrived and enriched Nottingham for many years.
Nottingham City Council and Nottingham Labour will be celebrating the courage and strength of the Windrush generation for their contribution to the city and hardship encountered through a series of events.
A civic service took place at Nottingham Council House today at 10:30am, followed by a lunch/ entertainment session at Binks Yard at 1pm. A worldwide Windrush cuisine and international celebration will take place after this on the 24th of June from 2pm-9pm followed by a gospel service on the 25th of June at 3:30pm. Through these celebrations the Nottingham city council want to show appreciation to the Windrush generation for their contribution to the city and welcome everyone to come join the celebrations.
Audra Wynter, the deputy leader, said: “I am very excited that in June Nottingham will again be hosting a number of exciting events, celebrating the extraordinary contribution of the Windrush generation to our city.
“This year is a significant time as it marks the 75th anniversary of the ship HMT Windrush coming to the UK in 1948.
“This is a great opportunity to thank the Windrush generation for overcoming great sacrifice and hardship and celebrate their descendants who have gone on to lead the field across Nottingham’s public life, in business, the arts and sport.
“As the city council’s first female black deputy leader, I am looking forward to celebrating my own heritage throughout June.