Windrush: Songs in a Strange Land

Windrush: Songs in a Strange Land

Seventy years ago the Empress Windrush arrived at Tilbury Docks in Essex, carrying hundreds of Caribbean migrants to Britain. Marking this significant anniversary, the British Library is staging a new free enlightening exhibition.

Windrush: Songs in a Strange Land will display approximately 80 items, including sound recordings and oral histories, exploring the reasons people came here and what they left behind. The exhibition also marks the passing of the British Nationality Act, which established common citizenship and granted all British subjects the right to settle permanently in Britain

Through British Library collections of literature, music, oral histories, personal correspondence and official reports – from a 1940s suppressed report detailing labour protests and rebellions across the Caribbean to E.R. Braithwaite’s annotated typescript of To Sir, With Love – the exhibition will explore the significance of the arrival of the Empress Windrush within a broader narrative of Caribbean history.

The exhibition will also feature a number of loan items from Lambeth Archives, George Padmore Institute and Goldsmiths University, as well as loans from individuals with personal connections to the voyage.

The exhibition runs from Friday 1st June to Sunday 21st October in the British Library Entrance Hall Gallery space (on the upper ground floor). Entry is free.

For more information, please visit: or telephone 01937 546546.