To mark 75 years anniversary of the Windrush landing, the Living Under One Sun Community Centre organised a weekend of festivities, with steel pan music, DJs, dance and cricket, delivered by the Middlesex Participation Team, for the large Afro-Caribbean community living in Haringey.
The event was hosted at Down Lane Park in Tottenham, and celebrated the community and their culture, whilst remembering a time when things were very different to how they are today.
Stalwarts of the community, and those from the Windrush generation, their children, grandchildren, and friends, came to celebrate on what was a hot and sunny day – perfect for cricket. Several family friendly activities were organised by the Community Centre, with Middlesex Cricket putting on fun sessions for both young and old members of the community to ‘come and have a go’.
Cricket invokes a deep sense of nostalgia amongst the older members of the community here, with many speaking fondly of participating in community-run Clive Lloyd Cups and Viv Richards Cups going as far back as the mid-80s, when cricket was a constant feature.
Cricket has since fallen down the pecking order over the years in the area, however several children picked up a bat and ball for the first time and had a go under the guidance of one of Middlesex Cricket’s finest coaches Mikey Thompson and Quentin Benningfield.
For a brief while, it could’ve been as if you were transported to somewhere in Kingston, Jamaica or a park nearby The Kensington Oval in Barbados – with the sound of ‘I don’t like cricket, I love it’ and other popular reggae chartbusters forming the backdrop of a fun-filled and sun-kissed day.
The Head Coach of basketball in Haringey, Hesketh Benoit, spoke to us at the event: “Cricket used to be the number one sport in Tottenham until the early 90s, and I’m hoping it becomes a regular feature here once again. Our generation still loves cricket, and it’s important we try and get the next generation interested too.”
With bouncy castles adding extra fun and the delicious smell of curry goat and jerk chicken in the air, several participants, with some as young as 4 years old, took part in the cricket drills. They left having had a great time, with some even getting their faces painted in the Middlesex colours, and wanting to play more.
Hopefully this can spark the start of a new generation that is passionate about cricket once more.