Windrush Words: Are we a welcome visitor or an invader?

Are we a welcome visitor or an invader? 

In 1948 the invitation was sent out

Come to the mother land and find work


Come alone, come with your family,


Come one, come all


We at the mother land is at a loss


the country has taken a

Downward fall after the war.


On June 21st the first boat docked at Tilbury port


They were there with cameras and microphones in hand


We were all excited reaching England


This beautiful land that paves with gold.


(Proverbial gold)


Sadly to say we should have boarded the boat back that same day


Welcome we were not!

No where to rest our weary head


Our children segregated sent away to so called special school


Branded a backward fool


We did the job we came to do yet we were frown upon


Sworn at called names and told to go back to where we came from.


Years later the thanks we got was detention and deportation.


Why oh why!! Was this always part of their plan?


Burnt their papers they have no legs to stand on


They can’t prove that they have the right to stay in this land.


Discrimination, deportation, demoralization from leader down to baby in pram.


Windrush Words spotlights creative writing from the Windrush generation and provides a platform for sharing experiences, reflections and stories in poetic and literary form. 

This poem was written by Sonia Cummings, who is an enthusiastic poet and has been living in Hackney since 1973. Sonia is an active participant in the Hackney Windrush Art Commission and public art programme, having taken part in the scanning days for Thomas J Price’s work and also been interviewed as part of a Windrush film series. 

Sonia works as a peer tutor for the charity Mind and is a member of the Hackney Empire Choir and has set up her own reading group in Hackney.