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All-day special radio broadcast to celebrate Windrush generation

PUBLISHED: 13:32 19 June 2020 | UPDATED: 13:32 19 June 2020

Charles Challenger moved to the UK from Antigua and is now the chairman of Ipswich's Windrush Select Committee Picture: CHARLES CHALLENGER

Charles Challenger moved to the UK from Antigua and is now the chairman of Ipswich's Windrush Select Committee Picture: CHARLES CHALLENGER

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The massive contribution members of the Windrush generation made to the Suffolk community is to be commemorated with an all-day special radio broadcast this weekend.

The cruise ship HMT Empire Windrush transported more than 1,000 people to the UK in 1948 and gave the generation its name Picture: PAThe cruise ship HMT Empire Windrush transported more than 1,000 people to the UK in 1948 and gave the generation its name Picture: PA

With the Covid-19 pandemic preventing social gatherings, the Ipswich Windrush Select Committee have organised a one-off show on Ipswich Community Radio throughout Sunday to celebrate their culture, stories and their impact on the county.

Starting at 8am and lasting until midnight, the broadcast will feature shows on a range of different topics - including comedy, cooking and music.

After the Second World War, many people from Caribbean countries moved to the UK on the encouragement of the government as there was a shortage of labour.

MORE: Ipswich MP brands treatment of Windrush generation as ‘monstrous’

Ivy Scott (left) hails from Barbados and moved to Suffolk in the 1970s Picture: IVY SCOTTIvy Scott (left) hails from Barbados and moved to Suffolk in the 1970s Picture: IVY SCOTT

The immigrants that relocated became known as the Windrush generation, named after the HMT Empire Windrush ship which transported more than 1,000 people from the Caribbean before docking in Essex.

Ipswich’s Windrush Select Committee had hosted celebrations in previous years, but government restrictions currently in place forced any plans to be scrapped.

With Windrush Day coming up on Monday, the committee have instead planned to host the event on air.

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Charles Challenger, chairman of the committee, said he relocated to the UK as the country “needed help” after the Second World War.

But Mr Challenger, who moved from Antigua in 1968, said there were racial prejudices in society and some Caribbean immigrants were not welcomed.

He said the committee were determined to not let the coronavirus pandemic prevent the generation from celebrating their impact on Suffolk and the UK.

MORE: Ipswich band inspired by Windrush fathers’ musical legacy to showcase unique Caribbean sound

Mr Challenger said: “Our plan was to have a celebration, but with Covid-19, we thought the best way to keep Windrush Day alive was to host it on the radio and online.

“The Windrush generation came with an open heart to help rebuild Britain.”

Ivy Scott, who moved to Suffolk from Barbados in the 1970s, added: “We will be celebrating the generation’s lives, their history and where they have worked.
“It will allow us to talk about the impact they made on their communities in Ipswich and Suffolk.

“The Windrush generation had a very important contribution to make. They helped make Britain multicultural and helped the country get back on its feet after the war.

“But they also brought their culture. They were poets, musicians, writers, publishers.”


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