Windrush stories to be celebrated at special event this week
A celebration of the Windrush communities and how they became a part of Leeds will be hosted by the Lord Mayor on Thursday 1 August at a special ‘Memories of Windrush’ event.
Falling on both Emancipation Day and Yorkshire Day, the event will be held at Leeds City College’s historical Printworks facility.
Leeds has welcomed migrants to the city for many years which has contributed to the city’s rich history and diverse cultural landscape, including Irish workers fleeing the great potato famine of 1845 to 1850, Russian and East European Jews arriving in the 1880s, and new migrants arriving during the Second World War.
In a post-war era, Leeds also saw migrants arrive from the former colonies, including Windrush communities. The ‘Memories of Windrush’ event will therefore draw on the fascinating memories and experiences of the Windrush Generation, who moved to the city in the 1940s, 50s and 60s.
They were named after the MV Empire Windrush, a ship which arrived at Tilbury Docks, Essex, on June 22 1948, bringing workers from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and other islands, as a response to post-war labour shortages in the UK.
Encouraged by the British government to fill that shortage, they went on to make a huge and lasting contribution to Leeds’ culture which can still be seen today.
The event will be a fantastic opportunity to hear the stories of the Windrush Generation and celebrate their invaluable role in the social and economic success of the city. The Lord Mayor will also announce details of the Leeds Windrush Trail.
The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Eileen Taylor said:
“I am delighted to host the Windrush Memories Event to recognise the fantastic contribution that this community has made to Leeds. The event will commemorate the Windrush Generation and hear personal stories and memories.
“Events such as this one gives us chance to celebrate the positive impact that these communities have had on our city and to help younger people learn more about this important chapter in the story of Leeds.”
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