Oxford celebrates the anniversary of the Windrush Generation arriving in England

By Cait Sweeney at

Euton Daley and collaborators in his company Unlock the Chains Collective are kicking off the 70th anniversary celebration of the SS Empire Windrush arrival in the UK in June 1948 with a series of events in Oxford this summer.

The year of celebrations and events launched with a fantastic evening at the Pitt Rivers museum organised by Junie James and Pat Green including performance, poetry and songs from the Clockhouse and Ark T singers, followed by a magnificent Caribbean feast and lashings of ginger beer.

Also performing was writer and performer Amantha Edmead who will be bringing her show ‘Mary Prince her story, Her Words…and Me’ to the Offbeat Festival on 27 June. Inspired by the real life story of an enslaved African as published in Britain in 1831; her story was so shocking it was instrumental in bringing about the 1833 Abolition of Slavery Act.

Amantha and her company Kuumba Nia Arts create a performance that explodes with song, emotional drama and compelling storytelling to bring Mary’s life and message to a new generation.


A collaborative project exploring global trade and exploitation through the very British act of drinking ‘A Nice Cup Of Tea’ has been developed by Oxford Art Consultants with support from the Oxford University Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH).

Historian Myfanwy Lloyd, heritage and community outreach consultant Angeli Vaid and PhD students Elisabeth Grass and Mimi Goodall have worked with the Pitt Rivers Museum, Museum of Oxford, The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford City Council and the City’s Windrush Planning group, along with student organisations to create five projects exploring the legacy of Empire, slavery and trade particularly relating to Oxford and Oxfordshire.

The first of these events will be a FREE Tea Party involving pop up exhibitions, tea & cake, plus discussions and performances by Unlock the Chains Collective at the Oxford Festival of the Arts: Around the World in Eight Nations day on 1 July at Magdalen College School.

A NICE CUP OF TEA – TEA PARTY: all are invited!
1 July 12pm – 4pm
Oxford Festival of the Arts
Magdalen College School

We look forward to finding out more about other events and celebrations happening throughout the year including:

Tea Chest is a handling collection which uses historical and contemporary artefacts relating to tea drinking, for schools and community groups to stimulate discussion.

Tea Shop is a community led and curated exhibition in the Marshall Gallery at the Ashmolean Museum, opening April 2019.

Tea Table is a series of debates about the legacy of the slave trade and Empire being held at the Pitt Rivers Museum over the next year.

Tea Tales are a series of performances by young people exploring these same themes and will be showcased throughout the year.

Photo Credit: Axel Ceha