Windrush Day will be celebrated in Northampton with a flag-raising ceremony at midday in front of the Guildhall on Wednesday (June 22).
The national standard Windrush flag will be raised at midday to mark 74 years since the arrival at London’s Tilbury Docks of HMT Empire Windrush — the ship that gave its name to a generation of Caribbean immigrants.
Invitees will see the Windrush Flag raised at 10am at The Guildhall before hearing from guest speakers including Bishop Donovan Allen, Vice Lieutenant Morcea Walker.
Later that day, at 6pm there will be a service of Reflection, Prayer and Praise at the New Testament Church of God in Northampton.
Northampton Town Council has teamed up with West Northamptonshire Council to organise the events celebrating the contributions to society made by the Northampton’s Windrush generation and their descendants.
Northampton Mayor Dennis Meredith will be among those attending the event.
He said “It is so important we celebrate and acknowledge our Windrush generation, to honour the British Caribbean community here in Northampton and across the country for the contribution they and their descendants have made in rebuilding our society after the Second World War.”
An estimated half-a-million people made their way to England after the Second World War, including several hundred of them on board the Windrush who were encouraged to migrate to Britain to address shortages in the labour market.
But thousands were caught up in the Windrush Scandal more than 60 years later after it emerged that they had been wrongly detained, deported and denied legal rights because the government lost or shredded landing cards belonging to children travelling on parents’ documentation.
Those who lacked documents were told they needed evidence to continue working, get NHS treatment, or even to remain in the UK.
West Northamptonshire Council leader Jonathan Nunn said “The legacy of the Windrush generation means so much to so many.
“I am delighted we are celebrating the fifth annual National Windrush Day this year in Northampton.
“It is extremely important to mark the outstanding contributions that the Windrush Generation and their descendants have made, and continue to make, to British Society, including West Northants.”