The birth of modern multicultural Britain

The Empire Windrush Credit: PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The passengers (including one stowaway) were the first large group of West Indian immigrants to the UK after the Second World War.

The 65th anniversary of the event will be marked in the capital this weekend with celebrations; including a river cruise and a special Caribbean themed reception.

Jamaican immigrants welcomed by RAF officials from the Colonial Office after the ex-troopship HMT 'Empire Windrush' landed them at Tilbury. Credit: PA/PA Archive/Press Association Images

The arrival of the SS Empire Windrush heralded the start of a modern multicultural Britain and June 22 will be marked by a special national celebration.

But the journey on the SS Empire Windrush was not an easy one.

In 1948, Britain was just beginning to recover from the Second World War. The arrival of the ship prompted some debate in parliament and complaints from some sections of British society worried about immigration.

While there was plenty of work, many of the Windrush pioneers had problems with finding accommodation.

The iconic sign on many bed and breakfast hotels No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs was a product of these early tensions.

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.