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‘It was an adventure’ - Windrush migrants tell of experience moving to Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 07:33 22 June 2020

The Windrush generation was celebrated in an all-day Ipswich Community Radio show Picture: JONATHAN BRADY/PA

The Windrush generation was celebrated in an all-day Ipswich Community Radio show Picture: JONATHAN BRADY/PA

PA Archive/PA Images

The massive contribution made by the Windrush generation to the Suffolk community was celebrated with an all-day special radio broadcast.

Charles Challenger moved to the UK from Antigua and is now the chairman of Ipswich's Windrush Select Committee Picture: CHARLES CHALLENGERCharles Challenger moved to the UK from Antigua and is now the chairman of Ipswich's Windrush Select Committee Picture: CHARLES CHALLENGER

Ipswich’s Windrush Select Committee took over Ipswich Community Radio from 8am to midnight on Sunday to mark Windrush Day, which is on Monday.

The day was first held in June 2018 to commemorate those who migrated from the Caribbean to the UK to fill the gap in the labour market at the end of the Second World War, as well as the decades after.

The committee has previously held events in the county to mark the event, but the coronavirus lockdown forced the original plans for celebrations to be scrapped.

Instead, they invited members of the generation to deliver radio shows on a range of different topics - including music, cooking and comedy.

Ivy Scott (left) hails from Barbados and moved to Suffolk in the 1970s Picture: IVY SCOTTIvy Scott (left) hails from Barbados and moved to Suffolk in the 1970s Picture: IVY SCOTT

Some of the organisers - who hail from the Caribbean - spoke of their experiences of moving to Suffolk at a young age.

Charles Challenger, chairman of the committee, was 12 years old when he moved to Ipswich from Antigua in 1968.

Now aged 64 and owner of Challenger Shipping and Export Agency, he has spent the majority of his life in Suffolk.

However, he said has been subject to racial prejudices during his life - including when one white co-worker refused to speak to him for years.

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Mr Challenger said: “I was quite jovial to come to the UK. Stepping out of the Caribbean was an adventure for us.

“Our family was all about stepping out and embracing different cultures all over the world.

“We came with an open heart to help rebuild Britain.”

Ivy Scott was just 13 when she made the move to Suffolk from Barbados with her family.

She said she generally felt welcomed into the country - but said her husband faced discrimination “daily” when he arrived from the Caribbean.

Mrs Scott said: “At the start, everything was quite surprising moving to Suffolk.

“It was quite easy to fit in for me. There were children who came before me, which was helpful.

“The older children that came before fought the battle for us. I made friends quite easily.

“It did take ages for me to get used to the food.

“But my parents were very supportive and I fitted in quite well. We had a very close-knit community.”

MORE: Tune in to Windrush Day celebration radio show


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