A taste of South America and marking Windrush 75 at Margate Carnival 2023

Arriving in Waves outfits marking the Windrush anniversary Photo Stephen Ramdeen

Margate Carnival and partners Great British Carnival will be recognising the 75th anniversary of the arrival of MV Empire Windrush in the UK at this weekend’s parade.

The vessel carried 1027 passengers and two stowaways on the first voyage from Jamaica to London in 1948 as Commonwealth citizens were encouraged to come to fill jobs as bus drivers and nurses and other jobs where there were labour shortages.

The parade will also offer a flavour of South America with fantastic creations, dancing and drumming.

A carnival spokesperson said: “We know our local participating groups are pulling out all the stops to put on a fabulous display and we also have some dazzling guests. This year, Margate Carnival will provide the most spectacular display from around the world, for all to enjoy.

“Mahogany Carnival Club, led by internationally renowned designer Clary Salandy, are veterans of Notting Hill Carnival and regular guests at Margate Carnival. In recognition of the 75th anniversary of Windrush we have asked them to bring a selection of the costumes they designed specifically to mark Windrush 75.

Photo Stephen Ramdeen

“Look out for; ‘Making Waves’ beautiful costumes of the Windrush itself crossing the ocean; fish and coral costumes reflecting the Caribbean origins and a gleaming gold costume, signifying the economic contribution made by the Windrush generation.”

Thanet-based Great British Carnival has also been exploring all things Latin American. They have been running Carnival workshops at Turner Contemporary inspired by the current exhibition ’Maresias’ by Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes. They have been involved with the making of seahorses, fish, and wave headdresses and giving workshops in Samba Reggae dancing and drumming for the community presentation.

Saturday will have workshops led by Somas Chibchas Arts teaching the Mapale, one of Colombia’s most important traditional dances representing rebellion, resistance and freedom; Mask making led by Venezuelan artist, Elizabeth Salazar exploring ecofeminism, indigenous knowledge and decolonial ecologies; and Wiphalas across the World will lead a painting of the Wiphala, an emblem of the Andes that represents unity and diversity among indigenous people.

Carnival 2022 Photo Frank Leppard

Sunday, August 6 will bring it all together in a kaleidoscope of colour, costume and dance as the parade takes to the street with a 2.30pm start at Palm Bay and a route going past Turner Contemporary and along the seafront.

13 Comments

    • Omg real world -that’s all you hear about ?????
      I’m a nurse at QEQM and my blood pressure went through the roof reading your comment.
      As is happening now in the NHS the white British population don’t want to be nurse’s or train drivers etc etc – the windrush generation came over to England to work for us and what they brought with them was great food , music and style too !!! What they got was racism from us – Ignorant MF 😤

          • Can always rely on you muggy rees to somehow completely misunderstand. I think you’re a bit old for the internet. The FACT it wasn’t mentioned hardly enough until recently.

            But hey! At least I replied to you. Unlike anyone else on any other articles. Good old M.M.REES. the isle of thanet cave troll. ubiquitous. Night or day, Monday to Sunday. Can Count on her to be scrolling looking for the scraps. And, well.. taking everything so literally. Such a gift.

  1. Windrush should be remembered for those countrymen/women who stood alongside Britain fighting for its freedom.
    Then coming over and helping the country rebuild itself and taking the jobs most felt beneath them.

    The local racists don’t want to remember the help Britain severally relied on at that time, but if it wasn’t for that Windrush generation then the story could of been so much different!.

    Real world… it needs mentioning because its easy to forget and that’s what has happened over the years!

    • It is a fair comment. I’m in my 70s and have never heard this before. Rather than slapping people around as being racist maybe you should reflect on how everyone else could be honoured? How about the Poles and Czechs who flew in the battle of Britain and beyond? The Italians who came after the war, all the Poles, Czechs, Austrians, Latvians etc. who came after the war to work in factories and on the land. The continual successful immigration of people from Ireland, India, Pakistan, Africa, Europe etc. who come to work and hopefully prosper. Where is the recognition of their efforts then and now? My parents came from Czechia and were indentured for 5 years to work on farms post war. The factories where I worked had large contingents of people from Europe. As a white “foreigner” (even though I was born here) my name ensured that up to the 70’s I was always put to work with people of all colours and nationalities (including the “Windrush” generation). All immigrants have always done the donkey work that the English didn’t want to do then and now. Maybe a multi-cultural carnival celebrating all these various people from around the world would be a benefit.

  2. Really looking forward to seeing it. We need colour, costume, music , dance and song to cheer us up this wet., dull summer. Carnival is fun and free. It brings our community together.

  3. Real World so cynical! Some of the Windrush guys have been treated dispicabley, even sent back to where they came from by our stupid government even though they done all the jobs we didn’t want to do. I have nothing but admiration for them unlike some cynics!

  4. Guess who encouraged the post-war West Indians to come to UK in the first place. Enoch Powell, believe it or not. Look it up.

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