A new book ‘England is my Home’: Windrush Lives in Lancashire was launched on Tuesday 25 October 2022 at the Jalgos Club in Preston.
The book, a collaboration between Preston Black History Group (PBHG) and UCLan’s MIDEX and IBAR, features 11 narratives about the lives of women and men from the Windrush generation who came to Lancashire in the 1950s and 60s. In each chapter, they discuss their upbringing, departure from the Caribbean and arrival in Britain, social and family life in Preston, reflections on the meaning of home and belonging, and challenges of finding work and accommodation. They tell of suffering and overcoming adversity and prejudice, as well as community self-organisation over the decades and how sport, religion, and workplace environment forged lasting friendships.
These narrative chapters are preceded by a historical introduction by MIDEX director Professor Alan Rice and former UCLan lecturer Dr Jack Hepworth, who carried out the interviews with the 11 participants in early 2022. The book also includes a foreword by PBHG chair Clinton Smith, who originated the project with Alan in 2020 and then worked with Jack during the interviews. Transcriptions of the interview recordings were produced by UCLan research associate Jenny Webster and abridged by Jack in consultation with each interviewee to create their narratives. The chapters are all illustrated with photos by PBHG’s photographer Tony Maiden, and the book was graphically designed and typeset by UCLan publishing student Amy Rice.
Alan said: “It was very moving to be co-leader with Preston Black History Group chair Clinton Smith on this project. It was really important to get these narratives captured, and all involved have made a beautiful publication which makes an important contribution to telling stories of Black History beyond the big cities.”