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North Herts Museum marks Black History Month with new photography display

27 September 2021
Three black women

North Herts Museum is contributing to Black History Month this year with a display ‘From Windrush to North Herts – A new life in a new country’ to explore the background of African Caribbean families in North Hertfordshire. It will be on display from 5 October – 31 October at North Hertfordshire Museum, next door to the Town Hall on Brand Street, Hitchin.

It showcases photographs dating from the 1950s and 1960s of some of the Caribbean families who made their home in North Hertfordshire, particularly in Letchworth and Hitchin. The images were previously displayed at the former Hitchin Museum, and current museum staff would love to discover more about the families in the photographs.

The Windrush generation references people arriving in the UK between 1948 and 1971 from Caribbean countries. Windrush refers to the ship MV Empire Windrush, which docked in Tilbury in 1948, bringing workers from Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and other islands, to help fill post-war UK labour shortages.

A book in which the photographs appear, North Herts African Caribbean Roots by Eric Blakeley and Gurdev Delay, will be on sale at the museum shop. Both authors have made significant contributions to curating and telling the stories of our multicultural local communities.

Cllr Sam Collins, North Herts Council’s Executive Member for Enterprise, the Arts and Transport, said: “Black History Month is of course an issue very close to my heart and it is fantastic to see this celebration of the contribution made by black and mixed race people to our area. Please visit the museum this October to learn more about the African and Caribbean families that settled in North Herts, and how they have shaped our local communities and history. It is a great opportunity for us to gain a better understanding of the rich background of the place that we live and the diversity of the people who live in our towns and villages”

The Museum is free to visit, and is open Tuesday – Saturday: 10.30 am to 4.30 pm, Sunday: 11.00 am to 3.00 pm. The exhibition will be located in The Arches, part of the upstairs Terrace Gallery. To plan your visit the North Hertfordshire Museum Website.