This is a space where we will be sharing a collection of the audio and video recordings that were produced for broadcast on Gold Dust radio as part of the Museum’s Windrush Day 2020 commemorations. It is intended to be a growing digital archive for gathering and sharing voices and stories from Reading’s Caribbean community. Discover all the recordings below.
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.
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 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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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 Sinzan 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.
Visit our Windrush Day 2020 sporting memories page to listen to sporting memories of members of Reading's Caribbean community shared with us as part of our Windrush Day 2020 celebrations.
In 2020, we celebrated Robeson's local legacy through the National Portrait Gallery's Coming Home project. We were loaned a remarkable portrait of Robeson, which we displayed in our Story of Reading gallery, and produced a film with local artists (including Too Heavy Productions, Reading Community Gospel Choir, and Through a Different Lens) celebrating his life and work.