Memories of cricket played by members of the Windrush generation in Hackney are being sought as part of a research project.
The ‘Windrush Cricket research project aims to explore the cultural and social role that cricket played in the daily lives of Afro-Caribbean communities in post-war Britain.
It is being led by Dr. Michael Collins, an associate professor of modern British history at University College London, in co-operation with Hackney Council and Hackney Museum.
Collins told ELL: “Cricket was a very big deal for people who were coming over from the Caribbean.”
“The way [it] has been framed as a story is through the lens of the elite West Indies Cricket team…but on the ordinary everyday level it was also a way that people were building communities and organizing and finding ways to remain and belong in England.”
Collins gave examples of people who were born to Caribbean parents and who had fond memories of going to the park to watch their fathers play cricket. “Windrush Cricket”, he said, is about “establishing those oral histories, collecting them, and establishing the significance of those stories for Black history in post war Britain.”
The project was initially meant to include several outreach events in the Hackney Marshes over the summer, but they had to be cancelled due to COVID-19. Collins admitted that the pandemic has made research difficult, especially as elderly people have become harder to contact.
However, he and his research team still hope to find people who are able to share their stories. Their call is open to anyone who has memories of cricket in Hackney between 1945-1998.
If you are interested in contributing to this project or would simply like to know more, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.