Project to remember Windrush Generation to be launched in Sandwell

A project to remember the first arrivals from the Commonwealth to the UK – along with the Windrush Generation – will be launched in Sandwell.

Paulette Wilson
Paulette Wilson

Chiefs at Sandwell Council say the 'What’s in the case?’ project will aim to attract their stories – or the stories from their descendants – for an exhibition.

It has been funded jointly through the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Windrush Scheme and the council’s museums and arts service.

Councillor Danny Millard, cabinet member responsible for museums, said: “Sandwell and the rest of the UK would not be the diverse and culturally rich place it is today without the Windrush generations and every new Commonwealth arrival since then.

“We want to hear from that generation and their descendants, about their journey and the lives and experiences they have had since arriving.”

Paulette Wilson was among those from the Windrush Generation who settled down in the Black Country, in Heath Town, Wolverhampton.

She made her home in the city having arrived in Telford from Jamaica as a 10-year-old girl in 1968 – and was later threatened with deportation by the Government.

The campaigner died last month – with hundreds of people donating more than £17,000 raised to pay for her funeral through a online fundraiser.

Councillor Jackie Taylor

Councillor Jackie Taylor, cabinet member for transport, became the first African-Carribean councillor elected in Sandwell in 2014.

She said: “'What’s in the case?' captures the dreams of my parents when they arrived in Birmingham in 1957.

“I am immensely proud of the bravery of that generation of people who travelled into the unknown from the Commonwealth.

“My parents arrived from Jamaica with not only the dreams for themselves and their families, but also that of British society and what they could contribute to it.

“I look forward to the project and richness of stories that I know will emerge, to inspire a new generation.”

Participants will need to take part in a series of interviews via the phone, Skype or Zoom, to collect their stories and memories – and what they packed in their cases.

Email Sandwellarts_project@sandwell.gov.uk

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