Exhibition: Landing card recreations on display at London City Hall

An exhibition presenting recreations of 341 landing cards representing Windrush passengers who gave a London address as their proposed place to stay will take place at London City Hall by Tower Bridge.

Rather than focusing on it as a single moment, the exhibition, which runs until July 19, positions the arrival of the Empire Windrush as part of a long, complex historical narrative.

In connection with the exhibition, searchable records of Empire Windrush passengers who arrived in the UK on June 22, 1948 are now available online for the first time, alongside recreations of lost landing cards.

The original 1,027 passenger cards were destroyed by the Home Office in 2010, then remade and displayed at a Goldsmiths exhibition earlier this year.

A free database of information, including names, nationality, occupations, and planned destinations, is available through the Goldsmiths website.

Dr John Price, head of the department of History at Goldsmiths, said: “Our Windrush database and downloadable landing cards provide a valuable teaching resource for schools and a talking point for projects on migration and identity, as well as being interesting and useful for those researching family and social history.”

By filtering and exploring the records, readers can begin to understand the diversity of backgrounds and skills of those who arrived and their enduring contributions to British society.

More than 800 passengers arrived on the Windrush from the Caribbean, with Jamaica the most popular country of origin, followed by Bermuda, England, Trinidad, British Guiana and other Caribbean and non-Caribbean countries.

Some 66 passengers – largely displaced Second World war Polish refugees – had boarded the ship in Mexico.

A number of Caribbean RAF servicemen and veterans were on board, alongside barristers, actresses, boxers, artists, hairdressers, welders, carpenters, mechanics and many others.

Arthur Torrington, project director for the Windrush Foundation, said: “It’s important to commemorate on June 22 each year the arrival of the ship Empire Windrush from the Caribbean.

“The landing cards are an important part of the story.”

Access the Windrush passenger list can be found on the Goldsmiths website at: https://www.gold.ac.uk/windrush/passenger-list/

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