By Heather Norris Nicholson – Kirklees Local TV
People came together to mark the opening of the Windrush Anniversary Garden in the Springwood district of Huddersfield on Friday 30th October 2020.
The Windrush Anniversary Garden acknowledges the diverse and fascinating history of the Springwood area. Located at the corner of Merton Street and Water St, just above the Oasis Centre and opposite the Leisure Centre, the garden offers a welcome new green space for people of all ages to enjoy.
It pays tribute to the significant contributions to local life made by people who came from the Caribbean and their descendants.
Many individuals and families in Huddersfield trace their roots proudly to members of the Windrush Generation, the post-war pioneers who travelled to Britain as part of the government’s direct recruitment to fill the labour shortage after the Second World War.
Councillor Naheed Mather, Cabinet Member for Greener Kirklees, said: “The Windrush generation, and those who followed, have contributed greatly to Kirklees and the UK as a whole. It is important that their impact is not forgotten, and that future generations are educated on our shared history.”
Councillor Mather also drew attention to the close links between health and well-being and access to green space.
She said: “Public green spaces have been valued so highly during the coronavirus pandemic and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the Windrush generation. The garden will be a place for all Kirklees residents to visit and enjoy.”
The Windrush Anniversary Garden offers a patch of public green space where people may relax, remember and connect with plants.
Rob Dalby, Kirklees Council’s Environmental Protection Manager, attended the garden’s opening on behalf of his staff team and apprentices.
He was thanked for the generous support offered to the design, technical development and the planting.
Johnsons-Wellfield and part of the Myers Group generously contributed stepping-stones and with perfect timing, a carved name-stone in the natural Yorkstone for which they are known worldwide was in place ready for the opening.
Councillor Amanda Pinnock highlighted the garden’s historical significance and current relevance. Acknowledging the inequalities exposed by the pandemic, Black Lives Matter and the international connections that tie past and present together are important for all to better understand.
Representatives of Support 2 Recovery (S2R), a local mental health charity that works across Kirklees attended to see how their volunteers’ gardening, as part of the Great Outdoors Project, helped too.
Despite the wet weather, long-time local residents and neighbours came out to join the occasion too from The Grove, Huddersfield Supersave and Spring Grove Junior and Infant School.
Carl Ambrose, Community Elder and Activist, drew attention to the long gardening tradition and kitchen gardens within the Caribbean and the value of maintaining that knowledge and practice.
He paid tribute to the efforts of Denzil Nurse, another Windrush pioneer, Community Activist and Health Campaigner, unable to be present due to being in hospital, in championing the garden.
The project received funding from the Windrush Day fund set up by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in 2019.
Natalie Pinnock Hamilton, Chair of Building African Caribbean Communities (BACC), the group behind the idea for the garden, hopes that local schools and community groups will wish to become involved with the Windrush Anniversary Garden.
For further information on becoming involved contact Natalie on 077 86651 831