Celebrating Liverpool’s Windrush generation

Liverpool will premiere a major new play this week as part of a series of celebrations and reflections about the city’s Windrush Generation.

Home from Home has been penned by city-based playwright Marjorie Morgan and looks at the turbulent recent events of the ‘hostile environment’. The play tells the story of a Liverpool woman who enjoys a celebrated career in the NHS but also faces the threat of deportation after being caught up in the Windrush scandal.

It will premiere at Liverpool’s Blackburne House on Friday 28 June as part of a weekend of events aimed at celebrating and recognising the huge contributions made to the city by our Commonwealth members.

Home from Home author Marjorie Morgan said: “I have been writing about Windrush for some time now and this is a story that I thought would both celebrate and show the truth of the reality that some people are stuck in. It is like people have a dual identity, on one hand they are happy to be British and on the other they are not sure if they are British because people are telling them they are not. So this indication what reality is like for many people with a Commonwealth background. We are all Windrush. This affects all of us, it’s about all of us.”

The Empire Windrush was the first of a number of ships that transported British members of the Commonwealth from the Caribbean Islands and across the globe to London and Liverpool in 1948.

More than 70 years on, the city will once again celebrate the newcomers that brought so much with them, through a series of special events.

Liverpool City Council’s Mayoral Lead for Race and Equality, Cllr Anna Rothery, has spearheaded a city-wide project to keep the memory of Windrush alive.

Cllr Rothery, said: “The UK made a call to action to our Windrush and Commonwealth British citizens and they came when asked to work in our NHS, housing, public transport and helped to rebuild the infrastructure at great sacrifice, often leaving families and children behind in order to respond to the call. We owe our Windrush and Common wealth British citizens a huge debt of gratitude.

Liverpool City Council is proud to be funding the celebrations. It is also a time to reflect on recent events which have seen members of this community, who responsed to the call to action to help re-build our nation, face the grim spectre of unjust deportation after a lifetime of devotion to their adopted home.”

Earlier this year, a partnership consisting of Blackburne House, The Steve Biko Housing Association and Writing on the Wall, successfully bid to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government for funding to host the celebration.

The award was match-funded by Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson’s City Fund.

Since then the partners have been working on a stunning series of events that will pay a fitting tribute to the Windrush Generation as well as exploring some of the issues they still face today.

On Saturday 29 June, Faulkner Square Park in Toxteth will play host to a special family fun day.

The event, which runs from noon to 6pm, promises a feast of live music headlined by the international Queen of Lovers Rock Carroll Thompson. There will also be performances from the likes of Levi Tafari, Steele Pan Duo, Caribbean Regals and Maxine Brown’s Riddim and Roots.

There will plenty of arts, crafts, food, fun and games to keep everyone entertained.

The day will also see the launch of Writing on the Wall’s special musical heritage project – From SS Orbita to Orbital.

The Orbita was one of the sister-ships of the Windrush which arrived in Liverpool. The project looks at the Windrush Generation’s last influence on the British music scene.

Whilst Blackburne House will also launch an exciting new documentary film project entitled Children of the Windrush Generation which traces the descendants of the 68 men from the Windrush who settled Liverpool.

  • The Windrush Celebrations are free for anyone to attend but you places for the Home From Home performance must be reserved in advance by calling Blackburne House on 0151 709 4356 or online via Eventbrite.

More details about the Windrush to Liverpool events can be found on the Writing on the Wall website: www.writingonthewall.org.uk

Liverpool Waterfront