A West Indian Front Room (1970s England)
<div><span style="font-size:16px;">The majority of African Caribbean families were Christian, and there would always be a religious print (or two) on the wall of their homes. To many Windrush citizens, Jesus Christ was seen as the head of the home.</span></div><div><br></div><div><span style="font-size:16px;">The more ornate the frame was, the better!</span></div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div>Image: Leeds Museums and Galleries</div>
<div><span style="font-size:16px;">The radiogram record player was of central importance to the front room. Through it, the family could bring sounds from 'back home' into their new life. </span></div><div><br></div><div><span style="font-size:16px;">Friends and neighbours would gather to listen to both traditional Carribean music, and new releases from the black music scene.</span></div><div><br></div><div>Image: Dan Johansson | Wikimedia</div>
<div><span style="font-size:16px;">Photographs were an important part of front room decor. They were used as a memory display of important events and would often be sent 'back home'.</span></div><div><br></div><div><span style="font-size:16px;">It was important that those being photographed looked 'respectable' - dressed neatly and conveying a level of success in their new life in England.</span></div><div><br></div><div>Image: Geraldine Connor Foundation</div>
<div><span style="font-size:16px;">Wallpaper was a novelty as it was not something that existed in the Carribean. The front room of migrant family homes typically had much brighter and bolder designs than that of a typical English home.</span></div><div><br></div><div><span style="font-size:16px;">The designs reflected the sunshine and bright colours of the tropical landscape the family had left behind.</span></div>
<div><span style="font-size:16px;">Ornaments would be squeezed on every available surface, with larger ones given space on the floor.</span></div><div><br></div><div><span style="font-size:16px;">Most popular were colourful glass fish and 'Bambi' style ornaments. They were all prized possessions and not to be moved around!</span></div><div><br></div><div>Image: Blogging Dagger | Flickr | CC BY NC ND 2.0</div>
<div><span style="font-size:16px;">Neighbours often shared telephones and calls were expensive. It would sit in the front room where its use could be monitored and restricted.</span></div><div><br></div><div><span style="font-size:16px;">Sometimes the telephone would sit on its own 'Chippie', a seat with a small table built in.</span></div><div><br></div><div>Image: Leeds Museums and Galleries</div>
<div><span style="font-size:16px;">Pretty much all West Indian women knew how to crochet and they would teach the skill to their daughters. Each craftswoman would have her own individual design and making 'sets' of doilies was a good way to make a little extra money.</span></div><div><br></div><div><span style="font-size:16px;">They were often used to stand ornaments on, or runners were crocheted for the coffee table.</span></div><div><br></div><div>Image: Bob Richmond | Flickr | CC BY SA 2.0</div>
<div><span style="font-size:16px;">Listen to the song "You Can Get It If You Really Want" by Jimmy Cliff, a highly successful Jamaican musician. Music from 'home' was an incredibly important part of life for Windrush migrant families.</span></div><div><br></div><div><span style="font-size:16px;">For other influential music, check out Millie Small, Bob Marley and Delroy Wilson.</span></div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div>The Harder They Come ©1972 Island Records</div><div><br></div> www.youtube.com The Harder They Come ©1972 Island Records
<div><span style="font-size:16px;">Start here to learn about the significance of the Front Room to the Windrush generation.</span></div><div><br></div><div>This film is part of the Geraldine Connor Foundation's Windrush Teaching Resource. </div><div><br></div> www.youtube.com This film is part of the Geraldine Connor Foundation's Windrush Teaching Resource. Containing interviews from members of the 'Windrush Generation' and their ...
<div><span style="font-size:16px;">Find out more about Windrush in the associated MyLearning resource:Sorrel &amp; Black Cake: A Windrush Story by the Geraldine Connor Foundation</span></div><div><br></div> www.mylearning.org Windrush: An Introduction • Sorrel & Black Cake: A Windrush Story • MyLearning

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