The Windrush generation celebrated across the UK


Across the UK, in cities such as Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Cardiff and London, the 70th anniversary of the Windrush generation was gloriously celebrated.

The nation's official event was at Westminster Abbey where the Prime Minster Theresa May, and the other party leaders, including Jeremy Corbyn and Vince Cable paid tribute to the enormous contribution this generation of Caribbeans made to the United Kingdom.

My mother was one of thousands of young women who uprooted from Barbados on the invitation of the UK, to come and work as a nurse, as they saw it, in the ‘motherland’.

My grandfather was a strict headmaster in Barbados who taught a colonial curriculum rooted in British history. Therefore, my mother , like many Bajan’s of that time were not only well versed in the kings , queens and prime ministers past and present, but also had a grammatical diction, the likes of which you’d only find in the posh fee paying schools today.

On her arrival to the ‘mother land’ she often tells me how shocked she was on hearing the poor language of most Brits that she encountered. Undeterred she made the UK her home and spent her whole adult life caring for others in the UK’s flagship public sector body -The National Health Service.

So last Friday was about her and her generation that gave so much to the UK in every aspect of social, political, cultural and economic life.

I was honoured to be a key note speaker in Cardiff at their wonderful celebrations at the Welsh Assembly. And whilst the recent immigration scandal that targeted children of Windrush generation was not ignored by me and other speakers, it would not overshadow the celebratory mood that not only paid due homage to the Caribbean’s who were there, but also it was a great platform to educate the wider Welsh society of its own Caribbean history.

In years to come I very much look forward to a British Curriculum that teaches all children about the contribution my mother and many others like her made to make Great Britain great.

Simon Woolley