Windrush trail to launch in Leeds as part of Black History Month

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Marking the start of Black History Month, the trail is being launched to commemorate the contributions that Windrush communities have made to the city.

Leeds has a long history of welcoming migrants to the city which has contributed to its rich and diverse cultural landscape, including Irish workers fleeing the great potato famine of 1845 to 1850, Russian and East European Jews arriving in the 1880s, and new migrants arriving during the Second World War.

In a post-war era, Leeds also saw migrants arrive from the former colonies, including Windrush communities.

They were named after the MV Empire Windrush, a ship which arrived at Tilbury Docks, Essex, on June 22 1948, bringing workers from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and other islands, as a response to post-war labour shortages in the UK.

Encouraged by the British government to fill that shortage, they went on to make a huge and lasting contribution to Leeds’ culture which can still be seen today.

Developed in conjunction with the Civic Trust, the Windrush Trail will consist of temporary plaques placed across the city which all highlight the special history, events and people of the Windrush generation.

Launching at Leeds Civic Hall on Thursday, (Oct 3) recipients of the plaques will be joined by the Lord Mayor to celebrate their invaluable role in the social and economic success of the city.

As a member of the Windrush community herself, the Lord Mayor will also be unveiling the first plaque on the trail.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Eileen Taylor said:

“I am delighted to launch the first ever Windrush Trail to recognise the fantastic contributions that Windrush heroes have made to Leeds.

“Not only did these communities contribute to post-war labour shortages in the UK, they have also been extremely positive role models in their communities and wider city.

“This is the first trail of its kind and I’m extremely proud that Leeds City Council continue to highlight and celebrate such history.”

Written by: Andrew Hutchinson

First published 30.09.10:


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