How youngsters are being inspired by the Windrush generation

  • Video report by ITV News Meridian's Richard Jones

With Monday (22 June) marking Windrush Day, held to recognise the contribution of the Caribbean community to British society, ITV News Meridian has been looking at the culture the Windrush generation brought with them, and how their children continue to be inspired by those who arrived here more than 50 years ago.

Hilary Forbes (left) and Gordon Forbes (right) Credit: ITV Meridian

The Harbour Lites Steel Band was formed in Southampton more than 50 years ago by the Forbes family who arrived from the island of St Vincent.

They wanted to play traditional calypso music.

Band member Gordon Forbes says: "It takes you somewhere else, right back to the Caribbean, to the tropics."

The band's founding member Hilary Forbes is now 90.

He remembers how well the music went down in pubs, clubs, and churches across the south.

He says: "They like it more than the West Indians, they really appreciate it, we played in pubs and clubs. We continue, we never stop, because of the English people who really like us, and encourage us to play."

It is their drive and ambition that inspired Junior Jones, whose parents arrived from Jamaica in the 1950s.

Diving and dancing are the twin passions of choreographer Junior, who's based at Ringwood in Hampshire, who has created a dance in full scuba equipment completely submerged, to explore the relationship between movement and the underwater environment.

He says: "My mother always told me when I was young was to do something new, that is going to challenge you, because we have all been through those challenges coming from Jamaica and that fed into my artistic practice as well and one of the things I've always believed is that you have to be brave and take risks because I was brought up like that."

Music from the Windrush generation is inspiring the younger generations.

Many of the members of Culture Mix at Reading in Berkshire are the grandchildren of the Windrush generation.

The group supports the development of young people by celebrating black culture.

Mary Genis from Culture Mix says: "The way we do this is through a combination of music and business training and these two things work alongside each other to enable and empower young people to thrive, not survive."

Hilary with his daughter Sonia, and Gordon Credit: ITV Meridian

However for the Harbour Lites in Southampton, there are no new generations of the Forbes Family joining. The youngest members are in their 50s, and that could mean its days are numbered.

Hilary Forbes' daughter says: "I think here in Southampton it will be lost, it will phase out, it's such a shame because there's no one to teach it, I know they do it in schools, but you've got to have that rhythm and style."

The band hasn't played in public since January, but the family hopes to be back on stage later in the year.