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Top 10 Facts About Windrush!

Do you want to learn about Windrush? Well you've come to the right place! Check out these 10 facts about Windrush...

Afro-Caribbean culture is all around us – whether food we eat, music we listen to and books we like to read. This is largely thanks to the many Caribbean people who arrived in the UK in the 1950s and 60s.

They answered a call to help Britain rebuild after WWII and their contribution has shaped the country and culture we see today.

On the 22nd June we celebrate 75 years since the boat from the Caribbean arrived in the UK.

Click here to find out more about the celebrations…

1. Windrush Day is on 22nd June every year.

Windrush Day is on 22nd June every year.

It is celebrated on this day as this was the date when the first ever Windrush ship arrived in Britain.

Lots more people followed in the coming years on ships.

2. It all started on Empire Windrush.

The first ever Windrush ship was called Empire Windrush.

This is where the name comes from!

The boat took three weeks to go from Jamaica to London.

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3. There were 1,027 people aboard the Empire Windrush.

The first boat to arrive in Britain from the Caribbean was huge!

There were 1,027 men, women and children aboard, heading over for a new life.

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Music has always been important to Caribbean life.Β A song that was popular at the time – not just in the Caribbean but also in Britain and America, was Jump In Line by Harry Belafonte.Β  It’s a type of music called Calypso which is still very popular today.

4. The ship arrived in Britain on 22nd June 1948 at Tilbury Docks.

Empire Windrush arrived on 22nd June, 1948.

The enormous ship arrived in Tilbury Docks in East London.

It was the first ship but there were many more ships to follow in the next coming years.

Learn more about ships in the Sean’s Ships series!

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5. The 1948 British Nationality Act came in.

The 1948 British Nationality Act gave everyone who lived in the UK or any British colony around the world, the same rights to live and work in Britain.

6. The British colonies included many of the Carribean islands.

Colonies were places in other countries that the British government ruled.

At that time, the British colonies included many of the Caribbean islands.

The British colonies included the Bahamas, Barbados, Trinidad and Jamaica, as well as countries like Australia and Canada.

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7. Nearly half a million people came over to Britain between 1947 and 1970.

Between 1947 and 1970, nearly half a million people would take up the offer and travel to the UK.

They saw Britain as a place of opportunity – for better jobs and a prosperous future. 

Tell us your Windrush stories here!

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8. The journey from the Caribbean took 3 weeks.

Some of the passengers would have found the journey hard.

They might have felt seasick and missed their family who they had left behind.

However, others used the time to make friends, relax and play games!

9. New arrivals didn’t get a friendly welcome.

It wasn’t easy for the new arrivals.

The weather is much colder in Britain.

Some people were very rude and racist to them which meant that it was much harder to rent rooms, get jobs and even go into some shops.

This was very upsetting.

Find out more about Windrush here!

10. Dominoes was a very popular game on the ships!

Have you ever played a game of dominoes?

It’s a lot of fun!

People played it whilst they were on their way to Britain.

In Caribbean culture, it’s a loud and noisy game where players slam their pieces down hard and really have a good time!

Learn how to make a game of dominoes here!

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Tell us about your Windrush stories here!

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Top 10 Facts

From the Tudors to rocks to fish, we have all the best facts right here!

More From Top 10 Facts