Win­drush in their own words

All About History - - WINDRUSH REVOLUTION -

ALD­WYN ‘LORD KITCH­ENER’ ROBERTS

“We took the train from Tilbury to Lon­don and about a week af­ter I went to a place called the Paramount where there was a lot of danc­ing,” said the singer in Win­drush:

The Ir­re­sistible Rise of Multi-racial Britain by Mike and Trevor Phillips. “To my sur­prise, many of the stow­aways were in the Paramount jiv­ing, danc­ing and what-have-you. I had to laugh, I couldn’t be­lieve it. A man just stow­away and, af­ter a cou­ple of days, he was in a dance hall jiv­ing and danc­ing around. But en­ter­ing Eng­land, when the boat had about four days to land in Eng­land, I get this won­der­ful feel­ing that I’m go­ing to land on the Mother Coun­try, the soil of the Mother Coun­try. And I started to com­pose this song, ‘Lon­don is the Place for Me’.”

OSWALD DEN­NI­SON

“I got a job the first night in Britain. Ev­ery­thing was ra­tioned. I was given a job hand­ing out the ra­tions. I don’t know why they gave me a job but it hap­pened when I went to Amer­ica too. And be­cause I had a job I wasn’t too wor­ried about find­ing some­where to live” Oswald Den­ni­son told the BBC in 1998. “I had had a busi­ness at home then when I got work straight away there was no time to brood. All I had to do was go for­ward. I was dis­ap­pointed to find prej­u­dice here. Be­ing snubbed – it af­fects some peo­ple badly. Some peo­ple, they never get over it un­til this day. But there are peo­ple like me who shrug their shoul­ders and say ‘life goes on’.”

JOHN RICHARDS

“I know a lot about Britain from school days, but it was a dif­fer­ent pic­ture from that one when you came to face with the facts,” John Richards told the BBC in 2014. Richards ap­peared the iconic shot of Win­drush ar­rivals above, on the right. “They tell you it is the ‘mother coun­try’, you’re all wel­come, you’re all Bri­tish. When you come here you re­alise you’re a for­eigner and that’s all there is to it. The av­er­age per­son knows you as a colo­nial and that’s all. You cut cane or carry ba­nanas and that’s it. Any­one wants to did­dle you, they say I just come off the ba­nana boat and things like that.”

‘Lord Kitch­ener’ be­came a fa­mous Calypso mu­si­cian

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