Nottingham’s tram network, and members of the NET team, have played a high-profile role in the city’s Windrush anniversary celebrations.
As part of a series of events marking the arrival of the first pioneers aboard the famous ship in 1948, a special tram carried invited guests from a reception at the Council House to The Forest, ahead of further celebrations at the nearby New Arts Exchange.
At the controls were Anthony Brown and Audley Stewart, whose parents were early arrivals to the UK from the Caribbean, while football legend Viv Anderson MBE enjoyed a trip on board a tram named in his honour.
The event was organised by Vine Community Centre in Hyson Green, and hosted by Pilgrim Church, after the centre received around £21,200 funding from the Government’s £500,000 Windrush Day Grant Scheme.
The money is being used for education projects and other initiatives to support communities while celebrating the outstanding contribution of the Windrush Generation and their descendants.
Centre Development Worker, Charmaine Binns-Muhammad, explained: “British Caribbean communities have made Britain a better, more prosperous country in so many ways.
“From the communities they have built to the public services they have supported and led, and through the arts and culture they have enriched, they have made an incredible contribution to their country.
“The activities will work to celebrate the role the Windrush generation and their descendants have played in making Britain stronger, culturally richer and more inclusive.”
On their involvement in the celebrations, both Anthony and Audley said they felt honoured to play a part.
“It’s been a privilege to drive the tram today and to see the community coming together to celebrate an important part of history,” said Anthony, who has worked as a NET driver for six years and whose father settled in Nottingham in 1957.
Audley, whose family moved to the UK in the 1960s and has worked as a tram driver for four years, commented:
“This is a proud day for us all, and I’m also delighted that NET is supporting these events.”
Trevor Stocker, NET Operations Manager, added:
“Over the years, members of the local British Caribbean community have made a significant contribution to the success of Nottingham’s tram network and supporting this event provided an ideal opportunity for us to show our appreciation.”