Sculptures honouring Windrush generationunveiled at Waterloo Station and Hackney

A statue of a man, woman and child in their Sunday best standing on top of suitcases will be revealed at Waterloo Station on Wednesday to mark Windrush Day.

It’s the work of Jamaican artist and sculptor Basil Watson, who said he was “truly honoured” to have been chosen.

The Government said the artwork will serve as a “permanent place of reflection and inspiration and be a visible statement of our shared history and heritage”. The Government funded £1 million for the project.

Meanwhile two permanent sculptures by artist Thomas J Price will also be unveiled on Wednesday outside Hackney Town Hall in honour of the Windrush generation.

The artworks complete the council’s Hackney Windrush Artwork Commission, which in October 2021 saw the unveiling of the UK’s first permanent public sculptures honouring the Windrush generation by Veronica Ryan OBE.

Artists Veronica Ryan OBE (left) and Thomas J Price (right)

/ Hackney Council

The sculptures come ahead of next year’s 75-year anniversary since the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush at Tilbury docks in 1948, bringing 500 passengers from the Caribbean.

Windrush Day honours the British Caribbean community, and the half a million people who travelled to the UK after the Second World War.

The first Windrush Day was held on June 22, 2018.

More than 100 leaders from politics, faith and civil society, sport, culture and business have signed a joint letter, published in The Times newspaper, starting the one-year countdown to the 75-year milestone.

They write: “This is not only black History – it is British history. It should be something we all know and commemorate.”

Patrick Vernon, convenor of the Windrush 75 network, set up to co-ordinate efforts over the next 12 months, said every child should learn about the Windrush generation at school.

File photo dated 22/06/48 of Jamaican immigrants welcomed by RAF officials after the HMT Empire Windrush landed

/ PA

It comes as separate polling released on Windrush Day found that 70 percent of British adults from an ethnic minority background think racist beliefs are widely held in society.

Almost two-thirds of ethnic minority respondents said they had experienced discrimination, down from 73 percent in 2020. And 42 percent said they had experienced abuse, down from 52 percent the previous year.

The survey found that “Kiddigrants” – the children of immigrants – are more likely to report experiencing discrimination compared to those born outside the UK.

Almost three-quarters think racist discrimination is common in the UK, compared to 60 percent of those born abroad.

The findings are based on an online survey of 2,000 UK adults and an online survey of 2,000 people from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Leave a Comment