Windrush Day celebrations in Oxford

This Windrush Day (Monday 22 June), Oxford City Council are highlighting the contribution the Windrush generation have made to Oxford.

As physical distancing rules remain in place, Oxford Council has announced their plans to enable Oxford residents to celebrate Windrush day remotely.

What is Windrush Day celebrating?

Thousands of people from the Caribbean responded to the government’s invitation to live and work in the UK from the 1940s-1970s, to help rebuild the country. Their contribution is still making a difference today.

As explained in this video of Anne-Marie Brown, whose mother was part of the Windrush generation, many of those who came to the UK had to retrain in completely new industries and ‘start from the bottom’ again in order to find work and to fill positions available.

The hard-working Windrush generation helped the UK build the fledgling NHS, work in essential services like transport, and in Oxford to work in the Cowley plant. As well as rebuilding the economy they helped shape our leisure, influencing things like our music, fashion and food.

Councillor Mary Clarkson, Cabinet Member for City Centre, Covered Market and Culture, said:

“Windrush Day is a celebration of the generation who came from the Caribbean to help rebuild the UK after the war, and all they have contributed to this country. Right now the Black Lives Matter demonstrations are reminding us to re-examine how we have treated and continue to treat people from the Black community and other ethnic minorities. We all need to learn more about the experience of Black people in the UK, so that we can build stronger communities where no one is excluded.

The Council is supporting an array of online activities so that the people of Oxford can get involved and help celebrate the Windrush generation.

Where can you celebrate?

The Museum of Oxford has organised an online exhibition and is calling for contributions to its digital archive. If you have a Windrush story you would like to share as part of Oxford’s history you can submit words and images at the museum’s digital collections page and it will become part of the Museum’s collection telling the story of Oxford and its people. The City Council is sharing videos from three children of the Windrush generation on social media. One of the interviewees, Jason Carbon, highlights the names of many Oxford families who came to the UK at the time, and the Museum would be particularly interested in contributions about these families or names that should be added. Names can be added by emailing

Throughout the day there will be online activity including talks, poetry and digital exhibitions. Highlights include:

A digital version of the Caribbean Living Room exhibition

A talk and Q&A with Natty Mark Samuels on the Harlem Renaissance

Find out more about what is on the Oxford Windrush Group facebook page

Nationally the Black Cultural Archives has organised a series of activities, including storytelling, poetry and a young people’s completion

The National Theatre has free streaming of its production of Small Island, a play that traces the tangled history between Jamaica and the UK from World War Two to the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush in Britan in 1948


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