Windrush 75: Daughter writes play inspired by her Dad's journey to the UK

A man who moved to Preston as part of the Windrush generation has had a play written about his life by his daughter.

Ashley Malcolm was part of the movement from Caribbean countries and his daughter Elayne Ogbeta was determined to get the story in a stone with a play she wrote about his tale.

Ashley came to the UK in 1961 when he was just 22.

Ashley was just 22 when he made the move to the UK. Credit: ITV Granada Reports

Ashley said: “Well, it was very cold and it was very hard to get work and houses.

"When you go to a job, they would say they don’t want nobody. The pay was very small, and I had to look after my mother and the family back home."

His daughter Elayne has written a play called Grandad Anansi, which was loosely based on her father and his many stories from Jamaica and his voyage to the UK.

“It started off as a radio play actually...I knew it was good and I really wanted to showcase it," said Elayne.

"I just left for a while and luckily Z-Arts was having a workshop for writers, and so I applied to join for a week learning about theatres and so during that time I was able to showcase my play."

The play tells the story about a Grandad, who is living in England and that wants to return back to Jamaica but doesn't know how to tell his granddaughter.

The play is loosely based around her father's journey to the UK. Credit: ITV Granada Reports

Talking about her Dad's experience, Elayne said: “I didn’t expect them to be treated how they were treated to be honest.

"When he was looking for a job, it was very hard to get a job. When you’re looking for accommodation as well. They said no Blacks, no Irish."

Ashley added: “We understood England, was the mother land, our country because everything was under the British rule.”

“It sometimes makes me feel sad really, he didn’t expect to be treated the way he was when he first came to England, obviously they came to help and work, support the economy and to be treated the way they were treated, I think it was quite unfair to be honest," Elayne continued.

In 2018, the Windrush Generation also fell into scandal as people were wrongly detained, denied legal rights, threatened with deportation, and in at least 83 cases wrongly deported from the UK by the Home Office.

“I think we’re still learning those lessons, because of the scandal a couple of years ago, in don't think that was fair," said Elayne.

"People came to this country and settled, came to do what they needed to do and they were told to go back."

Ashley continued to tell stories about his past, but both him and Elayne believe that these stories are crucial for keeping the heritage alive.

“I think it’s important because they need to learn about their heritage, they need to learn about where they come from," says Elayne.

"Sometimes books don’t tell us that or history doesn't show us that in schools. When my dad tells me about his life, and I tell my children and hopefully they tell their children, it’s keeping the heritage alive. It’s keeping our heritage and culture alive."

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