19 June 2023
The Royal Mint has marked the 75th anniversary of HMT Empire Windrush arriving in the UK by collaborating with multidisciplinary artist Valda Jackson, to create a commemorative 50p coin design.
The coin’s designer, Valda Jackson, was born in St. Thomas, Jamaica, and moved to England in 1964.
Valda’s parents were among the generation of people invited to leave their home in the Caribbean to come and work in Britain, she later joined them at the age of five.
Windrush 50p coin design
The coin’s design created by Valda depicts two people of the Windrush generation, smartly dressed, standing against a backdrop of the Union flag. Valda’s design pays tribute to the many British Caribbean and Commonwealth citizens who arrived in the UK between 1948 and 1973.
The 50p coin commemorating 75 years since HMT Empire Windrush’s arrival in the United Kingdom is available on The Royal Mint’s website to buy in a range of metals and finishes, prices starting from £11.
Valda said: “It’s more than a celebration of one moment, it is an acknowledgment of the real, lived experience of generations of ordinary working people, and though we may have struggled, and we still struggle in so many ways, we and our descendants are, in fact, at home.
"And this is what the image – these figures and the added Union Jack – represents. I am very happy to have my design selected for this coin, which honours our parents and their legacy; and which celebrates our presence, achievements, and contributions that continue to enrich our society.”
The Royal Mint also worked closely with Dr Juanita Cox, a Caribbean Studies specialist at the University of London, throughout the whole process of introducing the commemorative 50p coin marking the anniversary of HMT Empire Windrush’s arrival to the UK.
Disembarking at Tilbury in Essex on 22 June 1948, many of the passengers onboard HMT Empire Windrush arrived in the United Kingdom hoping for a new life. Playing a pivotal role in rebuilding the country in the wake of the Second World War, the ship’s passengers, and the subsequent generations it has come to represent, have left an indelible mark on British society and culture.
The 50p coin marking the 75th anniversary of HMT Empire Windrush’s is also available as part of The Royal Mint’s annual set – a collection of commemorative coins marking the year’s most significant anniversaries and milestones.