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Gravesham Borough Council given £10,590 for Windrush Day 2021 celebrations


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A recreation of the arrival of MV Empire Windrush on the River Thames will take place in Gravesend, with help from a £10,000 government grant.

Gravesham Borough Council will use the money for an exhibition on board the LV21 lightship, featuring stories from the local Windrush generation and an event with music, dance and food.

HMS Windrush (47588094)
HMS Windrush (47588094)

It will tie in with Windrush Day, which marks the anniversary of the arrival of MV Empire Windrush at the Port of Tilbury on June 22, 1948.

The arrival of the ship nearly 73 years ago marked a seminal moment in Britain's history and has come to represent the rich diversity of the nation.

The council will be collating stories and images from those who arrived in Gravesham during the 1950s, 60s and 70s, which local artists will use to inspire a recreation of the Windrush's arrival at Tilbury by designing and mounting life size cutouts on the LV21 lightship. The artwork will be revealed at dawn on June 22.

Throughout the day a calypso band will perform around St Andrew's quayside and will hold workshops in St Andrew's Arts Centre from 4pm.

Cllr Shane Mochrie-Cox
Cllr Shane Mochrie-Cox

You can sample the tastes and sounds of the Caribbean at Gravesend Market where Ms Earlyn's food stall will provide a range of celebratory and traditional food and drinks to sample and buy, and be entertained with live music and performances.

Author, playwright and TV presenter Trish Cooke will hold virtual storytelling sessions with local primary schools on June 21, reading from her books about the Windrush journey and moving to the UK from the Caribbean.

Building on the success of the past two years, in which 11 projects celebrating the British Caribbean community's culture and heritage were held, four projects across the South East will receive a total of £46,796.00 this year. Gravesham Borough Council received £10,590.

The Civic Centre is the home of Gravesham Borough Council
The Civic Centre is the home of Gravesham Borough Council

This year's projects have a particular focus on working with schools and recording the memories and testimonies of the Windrush Generation for posterity, telling their stories and celebrating how they have shaped Britain's heritage.

Other events include interviews of elders and children of the Windrush generation which will be shared at a virtual event for schools, with a live link to Barbados Museum and University of West Indies and school resources based on testimonies from the Windrush generation about their arrival into the UK as children.

Cllr Shane Mochrie-Cox, cabinet member for community and leisure at Gravesham council, said: "The influence of the Windrush generation, their families and those who followed them helped shape the country and borough we know and love today.

"Gravesham's Afro-Caribbean community plays an integral and important part in the life of the borough, which we will be celebrating this Windrush Day.

"We invite everyone to come into town and take part. We look forward to seeing you."

Read more: All the latest news from Gravesend

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