70 years ago today, on June 22nd 1948, The Empire Windrush docked in the Essex Port of Tilbury.
On board were several hundred immigrants from the West Indies- many of whom were former RAF servicemen who’d served in WWII- who were bound for London in the hope of securing decent employment.
One of the men onboard The Windrush was 26 year old Trinidadian Aldwin Roberts, a calypso singer better known by his stage name, ‘Lord Kitchener’.
During the long voyage from Jamaica to Britain, Lord Kitchener penned a song entitled ‘London is the Place for Me’ which he famously performed A cappella for a Pathe News film crew whilst preparing to disembark at Tilbury.
The full newsreel (which opens with a story featuring Ingrid Bergman with Alfred Hitchcock) can be viewed below, with Lord Kitchener appearing at the 2 minute mark:
A fuller studio version of Lord Kitchener’s song, which became an anthem for the Windrush Generation can be heard below:
I have seen that clip so many times, and never cease to be staggered by the patronising tone of the announcer/narrator. I watched a report today saying the government have made this day ‘Windrush Day’, to be celebrated every year. Might be a better idea to give citizenship to those people who have lived and worked here for 70 years. 🙂
Best wishes, Pete.
Thanks Pete, couldn’t agree more.
Do you remember…sorry, know of…his calypso ‘Cricket Champions’? I prefer it to Lord Beginner’s ‘Cricket Lovely Cricket’
I do indeed Helen! Good call!