Outdoor sign with welcome written in many different languages
Migration History, News

The Art of Migration

As we continue with work to record the oral histories of the Elder generation of migrants, we are also working with the younger generation to celebrate immigration.

One project is bringing together a local artist, Alistair Lambert, with primary school pupils to create a new artwork on the theme of migration stories. The piece will feature in our travelling exhibition over the Summer.

Outdoor sign with welcome written in many different languages
The Welcome sign at Our Lady of Grace junior school Dollis Hill

Our Lady of Grace junior school in Dollis Hill welcomes children from many different backgrounds, to create a friendly and encouraging learning environment. This children are part of the continuing story of migration to the British isles.

The story stretches back some 2,000 years, to the times of the Romans. Then, people from across the empire – from Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East – settled and built lives in Britannia, alongside the ancient Britons.

Some 1.500 years ago, waves of Germanic peoples, the Saxons, came to England, integrating with the British. And 500 years later, Normans from France established themselves in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. The 1600s brought French Huguenots fleeing religious persecution and then Dutch merchants, accompanying the new king, William of Orange. Many modern English families also have Dutch and French heritage as a result of these migrations.

The 19th century welcomed significant new communities of Irish people, Jews from Eastern Europe, and Italians. Smaller communities from India (which then included the area that would become Pakistan), Africa, and Yemen grew around the ports, especially Hull and Cardiff, as the growth of the British Empire increased global sea trade. The cultural diversity of the port cities of Glasgow and London reflect the diversity of the empire.

In the 20th century Irish migration continued to grow, even after independence in 1922. And in the years after the end of the Second World War in 1945, thousands were invited to come and help Britain rebuild, especially from countries in the West Indies, India, Pakistan.

The children at Our Lady of Grace include the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of these settlers, alongside children who have arrived more recently from Eastern Europe, South America, and Africa. And many children have mixed heritage, as blended families share Irish, English, African, and European roots. They are the latest chapter in the on-going story of Britain.

We can’t wait to what wonderful art they create.

A table covered in paint and craft materials
News

Memories Made!

Thanks to everyone who came along to the Memory Box events over the half term.

The workshops aimed to encourage different generations to share family stories, to ‘catch’ them in the memory boxes for the future.

This echoes the aim of our project, to capture the memories of Elder migrants, to ensure their stories are preserved for future generations of historians.

We had families from the Philippines, Brazil, England, India, Romania, Cameroon and more. There were all sorts of stories and some wonderful art works created.

We are busy planning more events to celebrate the migrant stories for the Easter holidays so keep an eye out.

 

Picture of a decorated box
Event, Uncategorized

Make Memories Today!

 

ArtCrop

Don’t forget to join us on this afternoon to Make Memories in the Education Room at Brent Museum & Archives.

This half term, we are inviting families of all shapes and sizes to enjoy some crafting fun at our Memory Box making session.

The FREE drop in workshops mix story sharing with decorating memory boxes, so you can start collecting your own family stories.

Come along between 2 – 4pm:

Thursday 15 February @ Brent Museum, Willesden Green Library, 95 High Road

All are welcome, but children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. No need to book but we may have to turn people away if we run out of room!