St Pauls Learning Centre became the place to celebrate Windrush Day this year when tenants, Real Photography Company, came together with Bristol’s Caribbean elders to support the launch of The Pioneers: Portraits of the Bristol Windrush Generation.

This beautiful photobook which combines portraits by photographer Garfield Mackenzie, and reminiscences collected by Wendy Leocque, has been published by Real Photography Company. The book, which was part of a wider project, was made possible with funding from the Windrush Day Grant.

Bristol Reggae Orchestra performed their commissioned music arrangement ‘Memories, Travelling…a Windrush story’ a tribute to the Windrush generation which was part of the Real Photography Company’s photobook project. This year Bristol Reggae Orchestra have been awarded funding through the Windrush Day Grant Fund. Over the next six months they will be commissioning new works for Orchestra and choir with a view to establishing a Bristol Windrush Reggae Choir as an independent entity. They are delighted to continue their collaboration with Real Photography Company.

Copies of the book were presented to local school, libraries, and community groups, such as St Pauls Carnival’s Windrush Library and many of the elders spent time retelling their Windrush memories. St Pauls is the home to the now famous Glen’s Kitchen, who supplied all of the food for this event.

Roger Griffith MBE was on hand to announce the heritage project Crossing Coasts and to give information on the Windrush Compensation and Citizenship Initiative from My Future My Choice. Creative Connex presented a selection of UWE Bristol student short films and poetry.

The event was an amazing opportunity for Artist’s activists and the community to join together, not only celebrate this wonderful book, but to discuss current projects and activities. We were honoured that St Pauls Learning Centre was chosen to host this event, and this once again demonstrates what a vital asset the centre is, not only to the residents of St Pauls but to everyone in Bristol.

Portraits from the photobook are on show now at St Pauls Learning Centre for a short time, but there are still copies of the photobook available to buy.

Image of the photobook by Alejandro Acin who helped design it.