Marking the arrival of the Empire Windrush 75 years on

Thursday 22 June is Windrush Day, marking 75 years since the arrival of the Empire Windrush in the UK.

The Windrush passenger list is one of the iconic documents in our collection. It lists more than 1,000 people of all ages who disembarked the ship at the Essex port of Tilbury on 22 June 1948, almost a month after it had set sail from Jamaica. The Windrush would ultimately lend its name to an entire generation of people who made similar journeys to Britain between 1947 and 1971. The passenger list – which includes mechanics, tailors, carpenters, housing domestics and engineers – is currently on public view on the first floor of our building throughout June in our ‘Stories Unboxed’ display, and is one of the highlights of our Windrush 75 commemorations.

Other activities arranged to mark the anniversary include:

  • A new portal signposting all of our updated and existing resources relating to Windrush, including learning resources for schools
  • This Saturday (17 June) we will host Windrush Stories, a free family history event featuring a number of pop-up talks and a display of other documents from our collection
  • A live schools broadcast with Baroness (Floella) Benjamin, who came to Britain from Trinidad with her family in 1960
  • On Thursday 22 June (Windrush Day) members of our team will be at Tilbury Docks as part of a major community event to mark the day of the 75th anniversary
  • A new Caribbean family history research guide and other blogs and digital content to help understand the Windrush story
  • A special episode of our On The Record podcast, exploring some of the figures and key moments from the era
  • A new artwork inspired by the Windrush-related records we hold, by Sierra Leonean visual artist and designer Ngadi Smart, now on display on our ground floor
  • A new audio drama in production with Tamasha Theatre Company, created with input from community groups around the country and due for broadcast later this year.

Emmajane Avery, Director of Public Engagement at The National Archives, said: “Through our activities and events in June, we hope to offer people the opportunity to learn more about the history of the Windrush contained in the records that we hold, as well as explore their own personal migration stories.”

Tags: windrush