Windrush at 75

Issue 1569

Windrush at 75

How Windrush makes Britain better

The arrival of HMT Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks on 22 June 1948 has become a defining moment of modern Britain. The ship carried more than 800 passengers from across the Caribbean, and that generation and those that came after have shaped society, whether by rebuilding post-war infrastructure, playing a key role in getting our growing transport network moving or supporting the fledgling NHS.

Yet the Windrush generation has not always been fairly treated, especially by the government keen to be seen to be tough on immigration. Windrush Day is a time to celebrate the impact of those who by seeking a better life made all of our lives better too.

This week we speak to Alford Gardner, one of the last surviving passengers on the original voyage. He reflects on his own life over the last 75 years, but also how the country has changed. Speaking about the Windrush scandal, where the government tried to deport citizens who’d called the UK home for decades, he said: “This is not the kind of thing to happen in a civilised country. My fellow passengers and I came to help when the UK needed help, to rebuild the infrastructure, to work on the railways, the buses, the postal ser- vice and to work in the factories. … We helped to put the great back into Great Britain.”

We also speak to Jen Reid, the activist whose defiant gesture defined the Bristol protests over the Edward Colston statue and young people with a Caribbean heritage share the family treasures that connect them to their roots.

Also inside

  • Art rock icons Sparks get set to conquer Glastonbury
  • BBC meteorologist Tomasz Schafernaker shares how the climate crisis has changed the jobs of weather presenters
  • How a Ukrainian refugee found hope with help from drinks company C&C and Big Issue Recruit
  • The young adult carers facing homelessness
  • And our vendor Gary in Oxford is a Manchester City fans so celebrates his team’s recent triumph with us

Plus much more!