Welcome to our official report on Paraffinalia – 75 Years of Windrush

‘Paraffinalia – 75 Years of Windrush’ was an innovative 5,350sq foot exhibition in a Huddersfield Town Centre shop front that ran over 30 days throughout June 2023.

The exhibition illustrated the local and national Windrush generations’ history, aspirations, and contributions, incorporating a fusion of exhibits, art, literature, and performance and ‘immersive’ elements in one space.

Curated by local organisations, artists, and community activists, ‘Paraffinalia’ showcased the creative ways history and storytelling can be conveyed.

It aimed to fulfil the primary goals of the Windrush Day Grant Scheme, educating visitors about the Windrush story and fostering a greater sense of pride and recognition for the contributions made by UK Caribbean communities.

‘Paraffinalia’ brought a range of local organisations, artists, and community activists together to create a bold, innovative, educational, and commemorative experience for visitors. For example, exploring the many creative ways history and storytelling can be relayed.

KLTV successfully led the project, working very closely with partners, artists, practitioners, contributors, and volunteers.

Partners included the Kirklees BAME Employee Network, Pursuit of Happiness, Kirklees Libraries, and Kirklees Museums and Galleries.

Overall, the exhibition was a spectacular triumph, attracting over 1,000 visitors across Kirklees, West Yorkshire, and the UK. The exhibition served as a platform to reflect, commemorate, understand, and celebrate the achievements of the Windrush generation in Huddersfield and beyond.

The full report is available to view below. We’d like to thank all the partners, contributors and volunteers who helped make this exhibition possible.

A special thanks must be extended to Niki Matthews, the finance and admin lead of the Paraffinalia-75 Windrush Exhibition Report. Her exceptional writing skills and dedication have truly brought the report to life.

We would also like to extend our thanks to Milton Brown and the other directors of KLTV, as well as the entire production team, for their invaluable contributions to the success of the Paraffinalia-75 Years of Windrush Exhibition.

Without their hard work and unwavering commitment, the exhibition would not have achieved the resounding success it did.

Lastly, our sincere appreciation goes to Edwin Baker and the African Descendants Forum for their leadership and the team of videographers who gathered information and contributed to the exhibition’s content.

Their efforts have greatly enriched the experience and made it truly memorable.


Paraffinalia 75 - Employment Opportunities for the Windrush Generation

Many of those early pioneers travelling to the UK between 1948 to 1971 accepted employment in the NHS as nurses, porters, cleaners etc. It is often said that Caribbean migration ...was the backbone of the NHS which also came into existence in 1948.

The Transport industry also benefitted from the arrival of people from the Caribbean who worked on the trains and buses. London Transport went to Barbados in 1956 to recruit directly.

Some areas in the North of England, including Kirklees, attracted pioneers into the textile industry-namely the cotton and woollen mills.

However, what may be less well known is that a number of those pioneering Black men went to work at coal mines.

Names like: Storthes Hall Hospital, Joseph Hoyle & Son, L.B. Holliday, Hepworth Iron Company and Standard Fireworks have all been mentioned as firms where some of our early pioneers were employed locally.


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