Two scones, jam and cream, with a cup of tea

’Twas St Pat’s eve …

… and all over London, people were getting ready to celebrate Irish culture and community.

While people are preparing to don fake red beards and giant hats for the parade in Central London, in Cricklewood we will be sticking to tradition.

At Ashford Place on Friday 16 March, there will be a Bacon & Cabbage meal, followed by live music and quite possibly dancing.

Two scones, jam and cream, with a cup of teaBetween 2-4pm, there will also a chance to enjoy some cake and share some memories with the Generations of Learning team. We will be looking at photos and other memorabilia from the 1950s and 1960s and chatting over old times.

Please drop in and join us; bring your own memorabilia and memories and we’ll provide the tea and cake!

There will also be a chance to preview our exciting new film.


[We will be holding a second session on Friday 23 March, 2-4pm @ Pakistan Community Centre, Marley Walk, Willesden NW2 4PU]

A table covered in paint and craft materials

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.



Punjab to Cricklewood

A man being interviewed

Our interviews with the Pakistani community got off to a great start as Mr Tariq Dar spent the morning sharing his memories of his life in Cricklewood.

The young Tariq came to Cricklewood from the Punjab in 1965. He joined his father and his uncle who had been working in London since the 1950s. Tariq recalled his days at John Kelly Technical College (now Crest Boy’s Academy), playing cricket in Gladstone Park, and watching movies at the State Cinema in Kilburn. The cinema had special weekend showings, often on a Sunday, of the hit movies from Pakistan and India. Films were often shown alongside newsreels from home, and the wrestling results were eagerly awaited.

As an adult, Mr Dar has made a significant contribution both to the Pakistani community and the wider Cricklewood community, from supporting fund-raising for the first purpose-built mosque in the area, to tree planting in the park he played in as a boy, to improve the environment for future generations.

The interview was filmed at the Pakistan Community Centre, next door to the Central Mosque of Brent. The centre developed from the workers organisations of the 1950s, set up to support the early migrant workers who came to Cricklewood from Pakistan. It now hosts everything from women’s meetings to community events.

During the interview, Tariq recalled: “The way the community works has changed. We are thinking more outside the box now. We still do cultural events in the community, but we are well integrated into British society. We are part and parcel of the community.”

We are looking forward to organising some fun events with the PCC over the summer, so keep an eye on our events page!

Mr Dar’s interview will feature in the Generations of Learning exhibition this summer, and will be given to Brent Museum and Archives to form part of the permanent archive. We are continuing to interview people to capture their stories. If you came to London from Pakistan or Ireland and have memories of Cricklewood in the 1950s or 1960s, we would love to hear from you.



Young Bajan men stand around a desk as a transport manager takes their details
Migration History, Uncategorized

Celebrating Migration

#worlddayofmigrants |

Every year the Catholic church celebrates a World Day of Migrants, which this year took place on 14 January.

The event encourages a more welcoming attitude towards migrants, recognising their achievements. With increased migration as global conflict forces people to leave their homes in search of peace, safety, and a better life for their families, ‘migrant’ is in danger of becoming a dirty word.

Migrants and migration is frequently blamed for social problems, accused of ‘stealing’ jobs, or for creating pressure on UK housing, schools, and healthcare.

However, in the years after the end of the Second World War, migrants were invited to the UK from former Commonwealth nations, asked to help rebuild the nation.

Representatives from major organisations such as London Transport, British Rail, and the National Health Service travelled to various countries to recruit people to migrate.


[This well-known image was taken at a London Transport recruitment event in Barbados: London Transport Museum collection: 1998/83757]


Migrants from Pakistan and Ireland worked in the schools, they worked alongside British people in factories and shops and offices, helping to rebuild the economy and adding to the overall prosperity of the boom years of the 1950s and 1960s.

By the 1970s, Irish nurses made up 12% of the workforce in NHS hospitals and more than 18,000 medics came from Pakistan and India in the 1960s.

Over the next few months, we will be recording the stories of some of the migrants from Pakistan and Ireland. We will be sharing them here and in our travelling exhibition, celebrating the contribution of migrants to the recent local history in Cricklewood.





Welcome the film maker!

We are delighted to announce the appointment of our project Film Maker, who will be producing a short film on the Generations of Learning project.

Dominique Murphy-de Neef is an up and coming documentary film maker and mixed-media artist. She already has many credits to her name, in genres including comedy fiction and alternative cinema. Her most recent film SANCTIONED, a powerful short documentary, was nominated for Best World Short Film at IndieCork 2017 .


Dominique has Irish and Dutch heritage and recently graduated from the University for the Creative Arts in Farnham. She is looking forward to creating a film that celebrates the contributions migrants have made to Cricklewood, London, and beyond.

The film will feature Elders who have volunteered to share their migrant story with the project. If you are from the Pakistani or Irish community and migrated to Cricklewood in the 1950s or 1960s and would like to take part, please get in touch at the details below. You don’t need to be still living in the area, as we are keen to record the variety of personal journeys before, during, and after Cricklewood.

We are also still looking for young volunteers interested in being part of the project.

To find out more, email: or call 020 8208 8590


International Migrants Day

December 18 is the UN International Migrants Day and Ashford Place is launching the ‘Generations of Learning’ project, which will collect stories from people who came to Cricklewood in the 1950s and 60s from Pakistan and Ireland.

On December 18 1990, the UN adopted the convention on the protection of the rights of migrant workers. In 2000, it celebrated the first International Migrants Day to recognise the contributions made by migrants. Ashford Place has been awarded Heritage Lottery funding to work with young volunteers to record older generations’ experiences of settling in Cricklewood.

Labour shortages after WWII saw British industries actively recruiting in former colonial nations. Cricklewood was known for its many factories and attracted thousands of immigrants including significant numbers from Ireland and Pakistan, as well as India and the West Indies.

While the area’s Irish links are well known, the story of two communities growing side by side and the experiences they shared is less so. This exciting project will capture memories of people who left their homes to build new lives in post-war London, and the changes and challenges they lived through together.The archive created by the project will save the heritage of Irish and Pakistani migration for future generations.

Danny Maher, CEO of Ashford Place, said “This is a wonderful opportunity to record the experience of people travelling to Cricklewood in the 50s and 60s and offer some insights and thoughts on how immigration as a headline topic is viewed and reported today.”

Stories will be shared an exhibition, which will travel to schools and community venues, celebrating the contributions of migrants’ to the area. The events programme will include public discussions on contemporary issues surrounding immigration and migrant experiences. Organisations supporting the project include the Pakistan Community Centre Willesden, Brent Museum & Archives, and Hampstead School.

Anyone interested in sharing their story or getting involved in the project can contact Sorcha Ni Foghluda on 020 8208 8590 |

Two people holding a poster reading 'Help Make History'
Ashford Place CEO Danny Maher and project volunteer Jeannette Savage.



Join Us!


The Generations of Learning project aims to bring together people from different local communities, young and old, to share experiences and learn from one another.

The core of the project will be carrying out interviews with 30 Elders from the Pakistani and the Irish communities, to record their experiences, using these to create an exhibition, a short film, and online content like this blog.

During the exhibition, there will be a series of public events such as visits to local schools, reminiscence sessions, and family arts and crafts story-telling workshops.

As well as Elders willing to share their stories, we are looking for ten volunteers to help deliver this exciting project, while building their own skills and confidence.


We are offering a daily expense allowance and full training.Click the links below to download details of each role:

The Generations of Learning exhibition is due to launch in later Spring 2018. An exhibition programme is being planned to be hosted at venues in and around Cricklewood.


Archive Assistant

Social Media Assistant

Oral History Interviewers x 4

Event Assistant x 2

Photographer / Photo Editor


We welcome applications from anyone interested and we are particularly keen to hear from young adults from the Cricklewood / Brent area, looking to develop skills or gain work experience.