Thurrock set to celebrate Windrush Day

COMMUNITY events are being held across Thurrock this year to celebrate Windrush Day (22 June) – a day dedicated to recognising the contribution of the Windrush Generation and their descendants.

On Tuesday 22 June, a pre-recorded video from Cllr Deb Huelin, Cabinet Member for Communities, will be shared on the council’s social media channels to mark Windrush Day.

Zedgeneration CIC and Thurrock BME are organising an event which will include a tribute recreating the arrival of the Empire Windrush at the Port of Tilbury (booking essential) on Tuesday 22 June. There will also be a celebration at the Worlds End Pub, Tilbury. Contact Thurrock BME or Zedgeneration CIC for details and prices.

The Tilbury Bridge Walkway of Memories, an immersive visual art experience installed on 432 panes of glass collaged with photographs, documents, original boat passenger tickets and memorabilia, opens to the public at the Port of Tilbury from Sunday 27 June.

It was commissioned by Creative Estuary, a consortium of public sector and cultural organisations including Thurrock Council, which aims to turn the Thames Estuary into one of the most exciting cultural hubs in the world.

As part of the Essex Book Festival, author Louise Hare will talk about her debut novel This Lovely City, set around Brixton’s Windrush community in London in the aftermath of the Second World War, on August 4. This event takes place at Grays Library at 7pm. Tickets cost between £5-7 and can be purchased from the Essex Book Festival website.

Cllr Huelin said: “I’m delighted that once again events and celebrations will be held in Thurrock to mark Windrush Day, which could not be held last year due to coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

“The Windrush story is an important part of Thurrock’s history and our motto ‘By Thames to all the Peoples of the World’ acknowledges this heritage and our commitment as a council to recognise everyone in our diverse communities.

“We are grateful for the wide ranging contribution that the Windrush Generation has made to British culture today, and we will continue to address the issues, including racism and discrimination, which many of those who stepped off the Empire Windrush in 1948 have experienced and still do today.

“Please remember to stay safe following any COVID-19 secure guidelines, and enjoy the activities that are being held in Thurrock to celebrate this historic day.”

This year, the T100 Dream Festival, supported by the council, launched on Thursday 10 June with a ‘Tilbury is the place for me’ walk. This was inspired by Lord Kitchener’s 1948 Calypso “London is the Place for Me” sung upon arrival at Tilbury Docks on the Empire Windrush.

More information about the Empire Windrush and Tilbury Docks can be found on the council’s history and heritage webpage.

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