Windrush women: Then and now in pictures

Timed to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the arrival of SS Empire Windrush, which brought 492 Caribbean migrants to the UK, a new exhibition comprising a series of photo essays and portraiture by Jim Grover is on show at the Oxo Tower in London.

Here, we present a set of portraits of women who are part of the Windrush generation.


RubyImage copyrightJim Grover
  • arrived in 1955 from Westmorland, Jamaica, aged 19
  • first worked as an auxiliary nurse in St Stephen’s Hospital, Fulham
  • Ruby holds a photograph of herself in the Coach and Horses pub in Brixton, south London, in the 1980s, where she worked as barmaid


RoseImage copyrightJim Grover
  • arrived in 1956 from Kingston, Jamaica, aged 24
  • worked as a nurse in the Brompton Hospital in Knightsbridge, west London
  • The photograph held by Ruby was taken in Harry Jacobs’s studio


EleithiaImage copyrightJim Grover
  • arrived in 1957 from Saint Thomas, Jamaica, aged 18
  • worked in a laundry in Hendon, north London
  • The archive photograph was taken on the day of her marriage to Norman in Stamford Hill, north London, in 1960


NormaImage copyrightJim Grover
  • arrived in 1958 from Saint Thomas, Jamaica, aged 13
  • worked as a seamstress in a dress factory in the West End
  • The hand-coloured photograph held by Norma was taken in a photography studio on the Brixton Road in the late 1960s


PearleneImage copyrightJim Grover
  • arrived in 1958 from Saint Catherine, Jamaica, aged 19
  • worked as a caterer at Express Dairy in Charing Cross, central London
  • Pearlene is displaying the photograph in her 1958 British passport


HermineImage copyrightJim Grover
  • arrived in 1959, from Clarendon, Jamaica, aged 21
  • worked in a Brixton laundry
  • Hermine holds a picture taken at her wedding to Lester in the Brixton registry office in 1960. She had met Lester on the wharf in Kingston as they were about to board the same ship that would bring them to Britain


DeloresImage copyrightJim Grover
  • arrived in 1961 from Saint Ann, Jamaica, aged 25
  • worked on an assembly line making Tannoy loudspeakers in Gypsy Hill, south London
  • Delores is pictured with her mother, Rose, in a photograph taken in a studio in Jamaica


HyacinthImage copyrightJim Grover
  • arrived in 1962 from Portland, Jamaica, aged 15
  • a machinist in a baby clothes factory in Holborn, central London
  • Hyacinth was also photographed in Harry Jacobs’s Brixton studio, on her 25th birthday


OliveImage copyrightJim Grover
  • arrived in 1964 from Berbice, Guyana, aged 13
  • a seamstress in a clothes factory in south Wimbledon, south-west London
  • The black-and-white picture of Olive was taken in a Clapham photography studio in 1969


DaphneImage copyrightJim Grover
  • arrived in 1971 from Saint Ann, Jamaica, aged 22
  • worked in a factory making suitcases on the Wandsworth Road, south London
  • Daphne holds a picture of herself at a wedding in Jamaica when she was 16 and wearing make-up for the first time


MonicaImage copyrightJim Grover
  • arrived in 1974 from Saint Thomas, Jamaica, aged 25
  • a cleaner on a geriatric ward in Dulwich Hospital, south London
  • The photograph in her album was taken at her home in Camberwell Green, south London, in 1985

Jim Grover’s pictures, Windrush: Portrait of a Generation, can be seen at the Oxo Tower Wharf, London, from 24 May until 10 June

Windrush women: Then and now in pictures
Windrush women: Then and now in pictures

All photographs by Jim Grover

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