15 June 2023
Royal Mail is marking the 75th Anniversary of the arrival of MV Empire Windrush to the UK on 22nd June 1948. Eight new stamps created exclusively to celebrate the occasion, will be revealed at a launch event at the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton on 15 June.
The MV Empire Windrush arrived at the Port of Tilbury on 21 June 1948 and its passengers disembarked a day later. It carried several hundred West Indian migrants, many of them veterans of the Second World War. It has come to symbolise the mass migration of people from the Caribbean to the United Kingdom in the post-war era.
Sign up to the All About Stamps email to receive the free newsletters, packed with stamp collecting updates, news, and offers. SIGN UP FOR FREE NOW
The original artworks were created by five Black British artists - all with Caribbean heritage:
- Kareen Cox
- Tomekah George
- Alvin Kofi
- Emma Prempeh and Alvin Kofi
Cox, Bokiba and Prempeh designed two stamps each.
The artists were commissioned to create illustrations which celebrate the contribution of the Windrush generation and their influence on life in the UK.
The stamps depict the artists’ personal interpretations of the following themes:
- education/Saturday schools;
- working life/everyday life in the UK;
- political activity/peaceful protests;
- and sound systems/dancehall scene.
For the wider product range, Royal Mail also worked with Colin Grant - a British writer of Jamaican origin who is the author of several books, a historian, associate Fellow in the Centre for Caribbean Studies and a BBC radio producer, and Sonia Grant, an independent historian, writer, researcher and photographic exhibition curator.
Revealing the stamps at the Black Cultural Archives, Winnie Annan-Forson, Head of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Royal Mail, said:
“As Britain marks the 75th anniversary of the 1948 arrival of the MV Empire Windrush, we are honoured to mark this key event with a set of Special Stamps, featuring vibrant illustrations from talented artists that celebrate the culture and contribution of the Windrush generation and those who followed. We are delighted to have brought their stories to life in this special way, passing their legacy on to future generations.”