Bexley celebrates Windrush

Bexley celebrates Windrush

A fantastic weekend of celebration took place in Bexley over the weekend of the 23 and 24 June to mark the 70th anniversary of Windrush.

The event was inspired by the Rev Ann Norman, Community Deacon for the Erith Deanery, who successfully brought together partners and community groups, including Bexley African Caribbean Community Association, (BACCA) and the London Borough of Bexley, as well community organisations and faith groups.

Windrush Exhibition

Over the two days, crowds gathered to enjoy entertainment, community stalls lining the Broadway, as well as Caribbean and Asian food. They also visited a Windrush Exhibition which brought together oral histories of migration in the Borough. On Sunday the new mayor was greeted, as he led the Civic parade along the Broadway to a Service at Christ Church which celebrated both the Mayor and the Windrush anniversary.

As well as a marching band and uniform organisations, the parade included a large contingent from the Bexley African and Caribbean Community Association, representatives from the Sikh community and from Women Together – a interfaith women’s group established by Rev Ann Norman.

On a stage in front of the Clock Tower, crowds enjoyed a wide variety entertainment from choirs, dancers, musicians, which included the choir of Christ Church Erith.

A great celebration

Ann said: “I really wanted to help honour and celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the arrival of the Empire Windrush in Tilbury, the Windrush Generation and the cultural diversity of the Borough.

“The performances really gave a flavour of the rich cultural diversity of the Borough. It was a wonderful weekend and the crowds were fantastic!”

Over the next few months the Windrush Exhibition will tour the Borough; it is hoped that more stories of migration will be added to those already collected. These oral histories and the history of Empire Windrush and the Windrush Generation will eventually be stored in Bexley Archives as a permanent record of migration to Bexley.

Diocesan service

A special service was also held on Saturday 30 June at St. Maragret's Church in Rochester, at which the Bishop James presided, offering a time of prayer, thanksgiving and reflection around the Windrush anniversary. Details here.




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