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'London is the place for me...' -1

Updated: Oct 15, 2020

The words of 'London is the place for me' captures the optimism with which Caribbean people came to Britain when they first arrived in 1948. There were one thousand on board ‘The Empire Windrush' had brought them to Britain and as it sailed into Tilbury Docks on the 21st of June, the 492 West Indian on board had a reason to be cheerful for they were told there were plenty of work in Britain and this would mean a great deal to them and the families they'd left behind in the West Indies.

The new arrivals had come, recruited after the devastation of the second world war by the British government to work in the reconstruction of Britain. Not everyone however in Britain was happy with this new development as there were unrest in Parliament with some MPs writing to the government predicting doom and gloom if the new arrivals were allowed to land. So unsure was the government that it even thought about diverting 'Empire Windrush' to the Congo. It however relented but sent a war ship to escort Empire Windrush into port!


They were a mixed bunch who came, ordinary folks, students, pastors, teachers, church members, and former soldiers many who had fought in the second world war and were now on their way back to Britain. All in all, for those who came, this was a great opportunity, a once in a lifetime chance and the new arrivals grabbed it with both hands.

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