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National Windrush Monument Unveiling Ceremony

Hatcham Free School Pupils Take Prt in the National Windrush Monument Unveiling Ceremony 

22 June 2022 

As part of Windrush Day celebrations (22nd June 2022), Haberdashers’ Hatcham Free School pupils participated in the unveiling of a monument, at Waterloo Station, which pays tribute to the thousands of people who arrived in the UK from Caribbean countries between 1948 and 1971.

The monument has been designed by Jamaican artist and sculptor, Basil Watson. Nathaniel, a Year 2 pupil at Haberdashers’ Hatcham Temple Grove Free School, was one of the youngest people to help to unveil the monument today. It was a huge honour for the school and Trust that Nathaniel was chosen. 

Nathaniel said: 

I am really happy to be a part of the National Windrush Monument Unveiling Ceremony as my nanny came here and worked hard and helped a lot of people and my mummy's nanny too.  Because of them I will get to do lots of things when I am older and have best friends at school whose families are from different places. 

Pupils from the Free School showed their support to Nathaniel, and all involved, by cheering in the audience. They were so happy to see a host of influential black carribbean figures such as Baroness Floella Benjamin, David Lammy MP, Levi Roots, Ainsley Harriet, The Bishop of Dover, The Rt Revd Rose Hudson, CD, MBE, Dona Croll and Nadine Benjamin MBE. 

Pupils were also pleased to meet Haberdasher and member of the Windrush Commemoration Committee, Tim Campbell MBE. 

A huge surprise for all our pupils was the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Princess Katherine. The Royals spent time with the pupils and met Nathaniel had a chance to meet them both.  

On the lead up to Windrush Day, Haberdashers’ Hatcham Free School had a number of opportunities to find out more about the Windrush Generation. The school met the Baroness Floella Benjamin in government and had the chance to share their black history art. 

Pupils also took part in Oral Histories with members of the Windrush generation for the Voice newspaper. Yr 5 pupils from the Free School also sang as part of the celebrations at Southbank Centre on 22nd June. 

We are incredibly proud of our rich and vibrant communities at Haberdashers’ Hatcham Free School and the wider Trust. The heritage of our families, staff and pupils and the stories that can be told enrich our understanding of one another.  

We feel very fortunate to be a significant part of the celebrations for Windrush Day 2022 and know that our pupils will remember these opportunities for many years to come. 

Media coverage:

BBC - https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-61884535  

The Guardian - https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/jun/22/windrush-basil-watson-monument-unveiled-waterloo-station-london  

The Telegraph - https://www.telegraph.co.uk/royal-family/2022/06/22/queen-hails-windrush-pioneers-profound-contribution-britain/  

The Independent- https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/windrush-waterloo-station-michael-gove-government-cambridge-b2106802.html    

The Evening Standard - https://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/windrush-statue-sculpture-waterloo-station-hackney-basil-watson-b1007618.html  

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