Windrush: Arrival 1948


Explore 1,027 individual landing cards representing each passenger who arrived on the MV Empire Windrush at Tilbury docks on 22 June 1948.

Windrush passenger landing cards have been reimagined and recreated to represent those destroyed by the Home Office in 2010.

Based on a new transcription of the Windrush passenger list held at The National Archives, the landing cards reflect a single pivotal moment in the life of each passenger; a snapshot of hope, opportunity and uncertainty. 

The project started as an exhibition at Goldsmiths. It was conceived and curated by Dr John Price, Head of the Department of History, in collaboration with Will Cenci, Public Engagement Manager.

Windrush Online Exhibition

Windrush: Arrival 1948 online

Search the passenger list and see recreated landing cards.

You can filter by name, port of embarkation, gender, martial status, age, residence and occupation.

Windrush: Arrival 1948 at Goldsmiths 

From 21 January - 21 February 2019, more than 1000 cards went on display at Goldsmiths alongside a mid-century Caribbean front room installation curated by Goldsmiths designer and lecturer Rose Sinclair.

The theme of ‘arriving in London’ was also explored in a Conversation Booth project, which collates oral histories into an ever-changing speech collage. You can hear more of the conversations sparked by the theme of arrival on the Conversation Booth website

Windrush: Arrival 1948 at City Hall

As a result of the initial exhibition at Goldsmiths, we were approached by a number of individuals and organisations wishing to host the exhibition.

Due to the technical challenges associated with installing 1027 individual pieces, we had to devise smaller, tailored exhibitions that retained the impact of the original show.

The first exhibition of this type was hosted at City Hall (17 June - 21 July 2019) on the banks of the Thames.

It presented 341 individual landing cards of those passengers who gave a London address as their intended destination in the UK.

Windrush: Arrival 1948 at Lewisham Shopping Centre

This iteration of the exhibition coincided with Black History Month and transformed an otherwise empty retail unit in Lewisham Shopping Centre.

341 individual landing cards, representing passengers who gave a London address as their intended destination in the UK, were on display (10 August - 1 November 2019).

Passengers who settled locally were highlighted and visitors were encouraged to locate them on a map of London.

With up to fifty thousand shoppers passing through per day, the exhibition reached a huge local audience for whom it was especially resonant.

Importantly, visitors were encouraged to share memories of and messages of solidarity with the Windrush Generation in the form of postcards that became part of the exhibition. 115 people contributed moving messages of support, including:

Wonderful project to remind our new generation of who we are, a great asset to the UK. It was a great opportunity for my parents which has benefited me and my children’s children. Let’s focus on the greatness of people from the West Indies.”

(Postcard contribution)

Windrush: Arrival 1948 and Layers of London

For Windrush Day 2020, we collaborated with the map-based history website Layers of London to create the Windrush: Arrival 1948 map which highlights the addresses supplied by passengers when they arrived in London all those years ago.