Updated: Dec 3, 2018
The West Indian Club, as well as being the essential meeting place for Caribbean people as early as the 1970s, was the centre of social activity in the Newtown/St. Mary’s area of Southampton. It was also one of the first physical locations of any of the BME communities and served as a template for other BME organisations that followed. Clearly the successful integration of Caribbean peoples has contributed to the closure of the Club but is also a success story for a multi-cultural and diverse Southampton.
The Windrush scandal has had an effect on the Caribbean communities in the city and Caroline Nokes Southampton MP and Minister of State for Immigration has assisted in forging links with the Home Office Task Group set up to respond to individual cases. This year is the 70th anniversary of the Windrush and it seems fitting that we in Southampton recognise that as well as the contributions made by Southampton’s Caribbean communities. To this end, we are working with the Hampshire Fire Service and Southampton Solent University to design a mural celebrating the Caribbean communities on the front wall of St. Mary’s Fire Station to be unveiled for Black History Month 2018. It is hoped that this will ensure that the presence of this community will be remembered for it’s massive contribution to the city.