Jamaicans came to help plug Britain's post-war labour shortage

Around 500 passengers had travelled on the Empire Windrush from Jamaica, in response to job adverts in their local papers, to help plug Britain's post-war labour shortage.

But news of their imminent arrival prompted some alarm within the civil service and even questions in parliament.

Those without anywhere to stay were housed in a deep air raid shelter under Clapham Common, and it's thought that may be the reason that many came to settle in nearby Brixton - as the nearest labour exchange was in Coldharbour Lane.

Many of those on board the Windrush had only intended to stay in Britain for a short period of time, but 65 years on its clear the 'Windrush generation' and their descendants have become an integral part of London life.

Advertisement

Windrush - 65 years on

It's 65 years tomorrow since the Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury Docks, carrying 493 passengers from Jamaica wishing to start a new life in the UK.