Windrush – The Soul of a Ship – PAUL ARNOTT – Budleigh Literary Festival 15 September
It is rare for one vessel, so lyrically named, to carry the weight of such representation – hope, conflict, imperialism and shame. For three decades the Windrush was the maritime ‘Zelig’ of the twentieth century, playing different roles in the most turbulent years in modern times. Acclaimed filmmaker and Channel 4 producer, and now local politician, Paul Arnott digs into the gripping history of a ship, first designed by a Jewish shipbuilder in Hamburg, who played a role as varied as joy vessel for Nazis and prison ship for Jews, until she famously delivered the first migrants from the Caribbean to an unwelcoming Britain, before sinking off the Algerian coast in 1954. Hear the memories of people inextricably linked to this extraordinary merchant ship at the end of empires.