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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

TfL honour Windrush pioneers at Notting Hill Carnival

Transport for London (TfL) is celebrated the culture and contributions of the Windrush generation with a special bus wrap at last weekends Notting Hill Carnival.

The vibrantly designed bus by artist Baraka Carberry formed part of the transport body’s parade at Notting Hill Carnival this weekend, themed to commemorate the 75thanniversary of the arrival of passengers on the SS Empire Windrush.

On Sunday 27 and Monday 28 August, the annual Notting Hill Carnival returned to west London to celebrate the city’s diverse Caribbean community. In collaboration with Lagniappe Mas band and the Windrush Generation Legacy Association, TfL will take part in the carnival’s parade on both days of the celebrations.

Central to the float is a double decker bus provided by Go Ahead London, wrapped in a striking design celebrating the Windrush generation. It carried a mix of elders, some who previously worked on the London transport network, and current TfL colleagues, in recognition and celebration of their contributions to transport in the city. TfL Commissioner Andy Lord joined the float on the Sunday.

The bus wrap is designed by artist Baraka Carberry, who was one of five artists of Caribbean heritage who created the Windrush 75 stamps for Royal Mail. The wrap visually entwines the culture, community and colours of Notting Hill Carnival and the 75-year history of Windrush, in a vibrant, richly layered design.

Featuring three characters – an elder and two younger descendants – the artwork captures the generations of people who have shaped the stories of Windrush and the carnival. A collage of photographs from the London Transport Museum collections forms the fabric of the characters’ clothing, featuring people, places and symbols that have shaped the Windrush legacy along with memories from the carnival in years gone by.

Today the wrapped bus was unveiled at Morden Wharf bus garage in Greenwich, with Carberry able to see her artwork at full scale. The bus is one of more than 1,100 zero-emission models on London’s roads to help clean up London’s air. Following the carnival the wrapped bus will be in service throughout Black History Month in October.

Andy Lord, TfL’s Transport Commissioner, said: “Our transport network would not be the success it is today without the incredible contributions of the Windrush generation who answered the call to come here from the Caribbean to work, so Baraka Carberry’s design is a fitting tribute. I am honoured to join our Windrush veterans, their descendants and colleagues past and present at the carnival to mark this significant anniversary of the arrival of Empire Windrush, whilst also celebrating the diversity of our people.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Notting Hill Carnival is one of the world’s biggest and best street festivals, and this year it’s extra special as it marks the 75th anniversary of the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush and celebrates the contributions of this remarkable generation. “I’m delighted that this beautifully designed bus will tell the powerful story of the Windrush generation and their descendants, and their impact on carnival, the transport network and all aspects of our lives.

“It is a fitting tribute to the Caribbean men, women and children who came to London all those years ago and have helped make our capital the greatest city in the world, as we continue to build a better London for all.”

Baraka Carberry said: The Windrush generation came to rebuild England after WW11. I felt that it was important for this artwork to represent our past, present and future.

In fact you could say, It is a combined celebration or our heritage which has become something that we are very proud of. We will never forget the many doors that the Windrush generation has opened for us today.

“I feel honoured to have been able to create this artwork and hope that others especially those of Caribbean heritage come to love and celebrate this celebrative artwork, which is a tapestry of who we are.

I hope that it inspires young black children to make their hopes and dreams count allowing them to become beacons which inspire future generations.

Deborah Klass, CEO of The Windrush Generation Legacy Association Limited, said: “We recognise that Windrush is about people, their lives and their stories. Each person coming from the rich tapestry of nations that make up the Windrush Generation have their own individual story, each being as immersive and as interesting as the other. Despite the challenges experienced, some common themes arise from these stories, such as a determined steeliness of character; a love of one’s heritage and culture; a tenacity to work and to prosper and to redeem and maintain inner strength and respect of oneself and one’s people.

All these themes are reflected in the beautiful bus wrap, we are thrilled to have been involved in the inspiration and culmination of the beautiful carnival bus and float design alongside TfL staff. It represents the Windrush Generation and the descendants in a celebratory and significant way in this momentous Windrush 75 anniversary year.”

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