1 hour 40 minutes
1 Activity Sheet, 3 Audio Clips
Welcome to Britain?
In 1948, an advert appeared in a Jamaican newspaper, saying that tickets to England on the ship 'Empire Windrush' would cost £28 - which was a great deal of money in those days. For people living in Jamaica who could save up enough money, this was the chance of a lifetime to come to England and make a new life for themselves.
On the 24th of May 1948 the ship left Kingston, Jamaica, with 492 passengers. About half of them had jobs already fixed, but the rest were trusting to luck.
People living in Britain's colonies had been brought up to think of Britain as their 'mother country' and felt she would always treat them as part of her family. Those who had fought for Britain in the Second World War knew how important their help had been. They thought that they would always be welcome to come to Britain. When they arrived, they were surprised to find that this was not always true.
Listen to this poem by Denniston Stewart. He describes how it felt to be on the Windrush and what it was like when the ship arrived in Britain.
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Audio Transcript - Windrush poem by Denniston Stewart (opens in new window)