24 October 2023
The Box has been awarded a National Lottery Community Fund grant of £9,500 to research the Windrush generation and its legacy in Devon and Cornwall. The project will take a deep dive into the passenger lists from the dozens of ships that arrived at the city’s Millbay Docks from the late 1940s to the early 1970s, uncovering the stories of the people that arrived here, their descendants and their lives in the South West.
A specialist researcher will be employed to help trace some of the people the project identifies, while new oral histories and a new film will be created to help share their stories.
The Box’s ‘Culture Club’ – a group of people from the local community with lived experience of racism – will also be involved. The group has been meeting regularly at The Box since the start of 2023 to explore its collections, identify gaps and areas of interest. It’s already undertaken some research inspired by the Windrush story, uncovering images in The Box’s media collections and identifying the names of ships and passenger lists that can be researched further.
If you’d like to find out more about the project or you have a story you’d like to share, you can call in to The Box this Saturday (28 October), at any time between 11am and 3pm to chat with the team. Alternatively, you can get in touch via [email protected].
Tony Davey, Engagement Officer at The Box, said:
We’re really pleased to have been successful with this grant application. It will give us a great opportunity to work in partnership with a range of individuals and organisations to trace, collect and highlight the stories of under-represented communities. It will also give us to chance to create some valuable new resources for future researchers who are interested in the Windrush generation, their experiences and the valuable contribution they’ve made to British society.
The project will take place over the next year with insights and activities being shared on The Box’s channels and promoted at regular intervals. It will culminate during Black History Month 2024 with a screening of the new film in The Box’s Media Lab gallery.
Jemima Laing, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Children’s Social Care, Culture, Events and Communications, said:
I’m fascinated to see the outcome of this project, which will help build relationships between local communities and The Box. Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall are becoming more and more diverse, and this is a project that will improve our understanding and increase the number of people who will see their own stories and experiences represented in one of the city’s major cultural venues.