Weekend of fun celebrating Bexley's diversity

Everyone is invited to join in the fun at a weekend-long celebration to acknowledge the contribution of migrant communities to Bexley over the last 70 years at a special event next month (23 and 24 June). This weekend will mark the 70th anniversary of the arrival of the HMT Empire Windrush and the event will take place alongside the Mayor’s Annual Civic Parade!

The weekend will start with live performances, food stalls and the launch of a special exhibition in the Broadway, Bexleyheath on Saturday (23 June). The exhibition will include residents’ stories of migration and settling in Bexley. 

Windrush poster

Sunday (24 June) will see the Mayor’s Annual Civic Parade take place through the centre of Bexleyheath. The parade includes uniformed and community groups from around the borough as well as local dignitaries, led by the new Mayor of Bexley.

Following a service at Christ Church, Bexleyheath, the parade will meet up at the stage at midday for more music and the signing of the ‘One Bexley Pledge’ by community leaders. The ‘One Bexley Pledge’ officially recognises the borough’s commitment to celebrating the unity of Bexley and focusing on what new and existing communities have in common.

Within her brief as Erith Deanery Community Deacon, the Reverend Ann Norman has successfully brought together partners and community groups, including Bexley African Caribbean Community Association, The Exchange and the London Borough of Bexley, to plan the celebrations. 

Cabinet Member for Communities, Councillor Alex Sawyer said, “This will be a great event for Bexley. Over the past year Reverend Norman, Bexley African Caribbean Community Association and the Exchange have worked closely with the Council to bring to life the stories of some of the people that have made our brilliant borough their home. It is wonderful to see so many of our talented community groups getting involved in the event. 

We recognise and value the contribution that all our residents have made to the borough and particularly celebrate the contribution of those brave pioneers of the Windrush Generation on this 70th anniversary.”

To help gather as many local stories as possible, the team behind the event want to hear about a variety of residents’ experiences of internal and international migration into Bexley, exploring themes of aspirations, determination and belonging. If you or anyone you know would like to share an experience please email princess.adeosun@bexley.gov.uk or call 020 3045 4476 or get in touch via twitter @LBofBexley using #bexleywindrush

The celebrations have been funded by the National Lottery through Awards for All and the Heritage Lottery funded exhibition will be touring across the borough leading up to Black History Month in October.