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Windrush generation ‘moved to tears’ as monument unveiled in London


(The Guardian) Members of the Windrush generation have been “moved to tears” by a new national monument that pays tribute to their ambition, courage and contribution to Britain, the artist behind the sculpture has said.

Basil Watson’s permanent monument to the Windrush pioneers who arrived in Britain after the second world war was unveiled at Waterloo station in London on Wednesday.

The statue, backed by £1m of government funding, portrays three figures – a man, woman and child – dressed in their “Sunday best” climbing a mountain of suitcases hand in hand.

“The community probably never felt that this would happen,” Watson said. “I’ve seen some moved to tears because their personal experience, and their tremendous contribution to the development and culture of Britain, is being recognised in this way.”

Members of the Windrush generation and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge gathered at Waterloo for the unveiling. The event was livestreamed across the country including at Birmingham New Street station and the National Railway Museum in York.

The Queen also sent a message to mark the occasion. It said: “It gives me pleasure to extend my congratulations on the creation of the National Windrush Monument. The unveiling at Waterloo Station on Windrush Day serves as a fitting thank you to the Windrush pioneers and their descendants, in recognition of the profound contribution they have made to the United Kingdom over the decades.

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