Series of events planned in Enfield to commemorate 75th Windrush anniversary

Enfield Caribbean Association is hosting book readings, performances and film showings

Arrivals from the Caribbean pictured at Waterloo Station in 1962 (credit Wikimedia Commons)
Arrivals from the Caribbean pictured at Waterloo Station in 1962 (credit Wikimedia Commons)

Enfield Caribbean Association (ECA) is organising several events to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Windrush ship’s arrival at Tilsbury Docks in 1948.

The week of commemorations kick-off on Windrush Day this Thursday (22nd) with the launch of ECA’s children’s illustrated version of Windrush Voices at Millfield Theatre in Edmonton from 6pm-9pm.

The evening will include a reading from the book by its author Kamilah McInnis, complemented with poetry by Moina McInnis about the experiences of the Windrush generation. A specially composed monologue by actress Sharron Pillay will also be performed at the event. Sharron will transform herself to become characters from the book Windrush Voices – 20 Stories of Determination and Triumph.

ECA says the event “promises to be a wonderful and entertaining way to bring the Windrush generation experiences to life”. Free tickets can be booked via Eventbrite.

On Friday (23rd) from 1pm at Green Towers Centre in Edmonton, ECA will hold a celebratory lunch followed by a performance at 2pm by Jazanne Arts, about the life of Cislin Parry. Cislin left Jamaica as an 18-year-old in 1959 to become a nurse but left the profession and eventually founded Aquarius, one of the UK’s first black hair salons.

Tickets for the Caribbean lunch are £10, tickets for the performance are £5. Email [email protected].

On Sunday (25th) at 4pm, ECA’s Windrush Voices film documentary will be screened at Dugdale Art Centre, as part of Enfield Council’s celebrations of Windrush. The film features men, women and children telling their stories about living somewhere warm and lush, full of vibrant colours and aromas, among the love of extended families, to then be travelling, many for the first time by air or sea, to arrive to the drabness of a grey, monotone, war-scared London, where racism was rife.

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The film documents how these pioneers overcame widespread ignorance, to survive and challenge the everyday prejudices they experienced and make a massive contribution to British society. The 80-minute showing will be followed by a roundtable discussion with the Windrush Voices contributors.

Tickets for the film showing are £6 and can be bought from the Dugdale Arts Centre website or by calling 0208 807 6680.

Oveta McInnis, ECA’s chair, says of this week’s events: “ECA is grateful for the grant made available by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, which has enabled us to prepare creative and exciting activities for Windrush week. We are confident these events will entertain and stimulate discussion and further interest among all communities across the borough.

“This year’s 75th commemoration of empire is particularly significant. This landmark is increasingly being taught at schools across the country, and the economic, cultural and social contribution of that generation of Caribbean people acknowledged.

“It should also act as a reminder for the current administration to honour its commitment to those members of the Windrush generation who endured the ‘hostile environment’ of the Home Office. They are still waiting for compensation from the government.”

ECA is also launching an educational lessons pack, designed to absorb the Windrush Voices book, into specific areas of the school curriculum such as history and English literature. ECA has been working closely with teachers at Heron Hall Academy in Ponders End to incorporate the book into lesson plans to be taught to secondary school pupils at key stage five.

For more information about this week’s Windrush events:

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