Crowds enjoyed the Windrush 75th anniversary celebrations in Southport town centre. Event organisers Gemma (left) and Nadia (right). Photo by Andrew Brown Stand Up For Southport

By Sophie Swain Stand Up For Southport 

People are invited to celebrate the 76th Windrush anniversary with a special event held in Southport town centre.

Organised by the Southport African Caribbean Heritage Association, Saturday 22nd June 2024 will see a day of ‘vibrant culture and contributions’.

The group will start at Southport Town hall at 10am to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of the Windrush generation by holding a short ceremony. 

A flag will be raised as a mark of respect the night before on Friday, 21st June.

People will then make their way to The Bijou Cinema at 8 Post Office Avenue to watch Floella Benjamin’s film ‘Coming to England’.

First a book, the film is based on a true story about Baroness Floella Benjamin who travelled from Trinidad to London as part of the Windrush generation.

People attended the raising of the Windrush Flag at Southport Town Hall followed by a gathering of Windrush families at Southport Town Hall. Photo by Andrew Brown Stand Up For Southport

People attended the raising of the Windrush Flag at Southport Town Hall followed by a gathering of Windrush families at Southport Town Hall. Photo by Andrew Brown Stand Up For Southport

Nanny Pearl’s, a Caribbean Street Food vendor, will also be at the event providing authentic Caribbean food. They appeared at the Southport Food and Drink Festival during the Bank Holiday weekend.

The business is based on recipes from Nanny Pearl, who moved to the UK as part of the Windrush Generation in the 1940s from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

Gemma Collins is co-founder of the Southport African Caribbean Heritage Association (SACHA).

The group organised and hosted Southport’s first ever event to mark the 75th Windrush Anniversary in Southport in 2023.

Gemma said: “Last year’s event was brilliant and so exciting for the community.

“It was great to be able to get the word out there about the association and meet people who were part of the Windrush first generation and their descendants.

Crowds enjoyed the Windrush 75th anniversary celebrations in Southport town centre. Photo by Andrew Brown Stand Up For Southport

“We weren’t sure what to expect,but lots of people joined in the celebrations as they passed and saw us in the town.”

This year’s event is free of charge thanks to funding from the Liverpool Charity and Voluntary Service, however, spaces are limited so those who want to attend are being encouraged to book via Eventbrite.

Gemma said: “It’s great to be supported by a local organisation, it helps us get the word out there to more people across Southport and Liverpool too.

“We would like to thank the Liverpool Charity and Voluntary Service.

“Events like this are important to help create community cohesion and give a voice to the Afro-Carribbean community.

Gemma Collins is organising a Windrush celebration event in Southport. She is pictured with her Dad Michael Collins

Gemma Collins is organising a Windrush celebration event in Southport. She is pictured with her Dad Michael Collins

“As descendants of the Windrush generations we feel it is really important for our local community to acknowledge and to see the importance of the contributions that have been made by people from our community and what they did to help rebuild this country – their mother country – and to build the National Health Service in the years after the Second World War.”

Everything is in place for the big day, the group are now waiting for the anniversary date to arrive.

As well as having an event in place for Windrush Day, the Southport African Caribbean Heritage Association also has an exhibition planned for 7th September 2024.

Gemma Collins’ Grandad Charles and Grandmother Ruth with Auntie Sandra

Videos, audio listening points, portraits and items from the Windrush generation will be displayed at The Atkinson on Lord Street in Southport.

To find out more please email africancaribbeansouthport@gmail.com or follow their social media pages.

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