Calypso celebration of a city’s Caribbean culture

Preston celebrates Windrush 2013
Preston celebrates Windrush 2013
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Preston will come together at the weekend to celebrate more than 60 years of a Caribbean community in the city.

Windrush 66 will honour the first generation of West Indians who came to Britain in June 1948.

“It is about those brave people who fought through the struggle of everyday life in a very different Preston to the one we have today,” said Adrian Murrell.

“If it wasn’t for them a lot of people wouldn’t have experienced the food, music, dance and fashion that they brought to England and to Preston.”

The Windrush event was launched last year at Preston Cricket Club and attracted 497 people, exactly the same number as the pioneers who arrived in London on June 22, 1948 to settle in the UK.

Windrush 65 was so successful that organisers vowed to make it an annual event.

Windrush 66, starting at noon on Sunday, will mark 66 years of black presence in Britain with a festival set around a Twenty20 cricket match between the Wailers and the Mighty Sparrows.

The event will have Caribbean food cooked by award-winning food writer Carol Harris who has appeared on the breakfast TV programme Lorraine and also The One Show.

There will be a steel band, fun and games for the children, a bouncy castle, five DJs and entertainment from Stephen Bayliss, Letitia Grant, Tripitaka, Louise Heatley and Phil Kaila and his Salsa Dancers. The Isle in Harmony will be advertising the Preston Carnival a week later.

“Last year was a great family event and all Prestonians came together and joined in the celebrations,” said Adrian. “It was so successful we just had to do it again.

“Windrush Initiatives have been fortunate enough to have so many people that understand what we are about and have offered their services for free.

“But it won’t just be about food, music and cricket. We will also be looking back in time at the fashions, having a pictorial look at the community back then and listening to some of the issues they faced.

“The reason why Windrush Initiatives started the event was that in Preston we have the biggest black population of black British and dual heritage people outside Liverpool and Manchester.”

The original 1948 settlers arrived at Tilbury Docks in London aboard the MV Empire Windrush after the British Government began to encourage mass immigration to fill shortages in the labour market after World War Two. Known as the Windrush generation, they took advantage of the offer of cheap passage from Jamaica to settle in the UK.