Essential Information

Type Family fun
National Maritime Museum
Date and Times Saturday 24 June | All day
Prices Free

Join us at the National Maritime Museum for a free family festival celebrating the Windrush generation.

Experience a fantastic series of Caribbean-inspired workshops, talks and performances, and discover your own Windrush connections with our partners the Caribbean Social Forum.

Check out the event highlights below.

Event highlights

Get a taste of what's on offer at the National Maritime Museum.

Live performances

Watch spoken word artists and musicians with Caribbean connections perform in Speak Pon Dem, a live music jam designed and developed by young people.

Speak Pon Dem is a celebration and acknowledgment of the 75th anniversary of Windrush. Through the voices and music of the Caribbean diaspora, it speaks on the Windrush pioneers and the cultural legacy they have carved out in the UK and further afield through poetry and spoken word. The line-up includes DJ Nath EpsKareem Parkins BrownKat FrancoisNathaniel ColeZena Edwards and Maia Watkins. The show is produced by Lauren Gee.

See historical figures come to life as part of a series of performances known as 'Walking Images' developed by the Caribbean Social Forum. Find the characters around the Museum, ask questions and hear their stories from Caribbean history.


Fun and games

Vocal workshops Come and sing with performer Sharon Rose (pictured), fresh from her run as Eliza Hamilton in Hamilton (Victoria Palace Theatre).

Calypso dancing Watch or join in body-shaking Calypso dance workshops with Carol Morelle, and experience Caribbean dance culture first hand.

Family activities Take part in creative workshops throughout the day. Come and make your own Windrush flag with artist Shane D'Allessandro and get artistic with multi-disciplinary artist and activist, Zita Holbourne.

Dominoes Watch or join in with dominoes matches Caribbean-style, and take on the friendly but feisty players from the Caribbean Social Forum.


Family history

Family connections Learn how to explore and research your Caribbean roots with the Caribbean Family History Society and Caird Library of the National Maritime Museum. The Caird Library will be open the entire day, with items to describe the voyage of the Empire Windrush and also excerpts of experiences of people on the voyage. Discover your heritage through the maps and drawings from the library collection. Also highlighted will be excerpts about the Black Georgians and people of colour in Britain. The Michael Graham-Stewart collection reflects the anti-slavery movement in Britain and has many items relating to plantation records, a few lists of enslaved peoples and indentured servants, as well as examples of newspapers from the islands in the late 1700s and early 1800s.

Reminiscence workshops Take part in workshops designed to open up your family’s memories of the Caribbean, inspired by objects and images in the National Maritime Museum's collections.

Windrush stories Reunite with other members of the Windrush generation, and share your experiences of overseas journeys between the Caribbean and the UK with the Caribbean Social Forum.


Talks and tours

Engage with a range of speakers as part of our free talks programme.

Discover the cultural significance and impact of sound systems in the UK with arts organisation Lin Kam Art (pictured). The talk will include a screening of the short film ‘Lin Kam Art Sound System Futures Programme’ by Adam Razvi, which tells the story of the groundbreaking pilot to provide access for young people at the 2022 Notting Hill Carnival.

Hear from Carlston Walters of the Caribbean Family History Society, who will take you through simple steps to trace you family history.

Be inspired by the stories of the Windrush generation - and hear about their legacies - through panel discussions and films with Windrush elders, event speakers and Museum staff.

Learn about Caribbean family history and connections to Tilbury Docks with Evewright Studios and celebrate influential women of the Windrush generation with historian Stella Dadzie.

Royal Museums Greenwich curators will also be sharing objects and stories from the collections with Caribbean connections.

Image courtesy of Adam Razvi


Art and community

Community Portraits on the Great Map. Find out about local community heroes through a display of new portraits developed by the Caribbean Social Forum. ‘Unsung Heroes of Windrush’ will be on display showcasing individuals' contributions to British society. This display is supported by the Royal Borough of Greenwich's BH365 programme.

Artworks on the Great Map and Sammy Ofer Wing foyer. Don't miss our new display of artworks curated by current Practitioners in Residence, The Collective Makers.

Kareen Cox is a freelance digital artist, graphic designer, illustrator and photographer who has run her own creative business, Absolutely Kareen, for over ten years. Royal Mail recently asked five Black British artists to illustrate a set of eight postage stamps celebrating the 75th anniversary of the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush in Britain. Among them was artist Kareen Cox, whose work (pictured) appears on two of the stamps. 

Emily Alice Mitchell is a 21-year-old new media artist. Born in North London to British and Caribbean parents, her paternal family is from Trinidad. Emily uses moving image to explore ancestry, heritage and the duality of identity and place in relation to bodies of water.  Through collective memory and shared histories, ‘Home home’ connects us with ancestors and family beyond the sea in the Caribbean. 

Image courtesy of Kareen Cox

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About Windrush 75

On 22 June 1948, Caribbean migrants arrived in the UK on the Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks in Essex, their first stop before travelling towards London.

Many people from British Commonwealth countries travelled to the UK between 1948 and 1971, encouraged by the 1948 British Nationality Act that granted citizenship and right of abode to all members of the British Empire. 

On arrival in the UK, people were often met with racism, lack of acknowledgement of their professional skills and very different living conditions. 

Windrush Day therefore is a day to celebrate British Caribbean communities, and acknowledge the sacrifices and contributions the Windrush generation and their descendants have made to British society.

2023 marks 75 years since the arrival of the Windrush. It is a major national moment, a chance to come together and celebrate this shared history.

The National Maritime Museum is hosting two very special Windrush celebrations during this anniversary year. We're partnering with the Caribbean Social Forum, local schools and young people to shape the events, celebrating Caribbean culture and the legacy of the Windrush generation in the UK today.

Celebrate Windrush 75

Celebrate the 75th anniversary of the HMT Empire Windrush's arrival in Britain, and find your own Windrush connection at the National Maritime Museum

Our partners

Windrush Day events at the National Maritime Museum are funded by Spirit of 2012, the London 2012 legacy fund. The programme is organised in partnership with the Caribbean Social Forum.

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