Commemorating Windrush Day 2020

We began our Voices archive with a series of personal histories and perspectives recorded and shared for Windrush Day 2020.

Below, hear from a range of figures in Reading's Caribbean community, and from figures who took part in our wider Windrush Day observations, about their personal journeys, experiences, and feelings about life in the UK and the legacy of the HMS Windrush.

Glen Dennis

Glen Dennis is a former Deputy Mayor of Reading. Here, he gives an account of the meaning of Windrush Day from his perspective as a lifelong community activist.

Jeff 'De Admiral' Hinds

Reading man Jeff ‘De Admiral’ Hinds is regarded as amongst the leading calypso performers this country has produced. In this special video for Windrush Day 2020, he gives a pitch-perfect rendition of the calypso standard ‘London is the Place for Me’.

Jeff Jones

Jeff Jones is the chairperson of Reading’s Caribbean Associations Group, the driving force behind this year’s Windrush Day project. Here, he gives a message of goodwill on the occasion of Windrush Day 2020

Lana Newton

Lana Newton was an international top-class athlete who represented Great Britain in field events. In this video, she shares some of her golden memories.


Mary Genis

Mary Genis is the Director of the music charity CultureMix, a Reading organisation that supports the creative development of young people through the arts. Mary is one of the leading figures in the UK steel pan music scene, and here she shares her expert knowledge of the history of this tradition.

His Excellency Mr Milton Inniss

His Excellency Mr Milton Inniss is the chairperson this year of Caricom, the organisation that represents all Caribbean Islands’ community and diaspora in the UK. Here, he gives a special greeting to the people of Reading on the occasion of Windrush Day 2020.

Una Chandler

In this recording, Una Chandler, the Chaplain to Reading Borough Council, delivers a church service giving thanks and praise for the lives of the Windrush Generation. Una initially led this service on Windrush Day itself.

Dakota Benn Shah

Reading-born second-generation Barbadian Dakota Benn Shah has established a health business here in Reading. Here, Dakota shares her reflections on health and wellbeing in the Caribbean community.

Windrush elders

The below video consists of short extracts taken from interviews with senior members of Reading’s Windrush Generation. These were reccorded by members of Reading’s Caribbean community and offer first-hand accounts of the experience of migration from the Caribbean to Great Britain between the late 1950s and the early 1970s.

(00:00 – 4:24) Laureston Vaughan speaks about his memories of the long journey made from Barbados to Reading - by boat, coach and train.

(4:26 – 6:34) Peter Small left Barbados in 1964, and arrived in Reading as a young man. Having found accommodation on Zinzan Street, here Peter describes the life he found after settling in the town.

(6:36 – 8:52) Una Chandler arrived in Reading in the late 1950s. Like many of her friends, Una found stable employment working in a crisp-making factory – Crimpy Crisps – in Winnersh. Una went onto raise a family in Reading and become a senior figure within the Caribbean Christian faith community. Today, she is the chaplain for Reading Borough Council. In this video, she remembers her early life living in Reading.

(8:54 – 10:08) After coming to Reading as a young man, George Vaughan spent much of his recreational time playing football in local parks. In this excerpt, George celebrates his love of the sport and the togetherness and camaraderie it created. He also describes how this helped players to contend with the unpleasant and racist remarks that they sometimes received from some onlookers and opponents.

Return to the Windrush Day : Voices page