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Derby College Group houses the Derbyshire Black History Exhibition

Derby College Group (DCG) is delighted to have secured its own exhibition celebrating those from the Windrush generation who have helped shape Derby.

This will be an invaluable learning resource for the students helping them gain a greater understanding as to how those who arrived on the HMT Empire Windrush in 1948, overcame challenges and contributed positively to Derby.

The exhibition pays homage to the legacy and impact of the African Caribbean community in Derbyshire, recounting remarkable journeys and sharing captivating stories of those who arrived during the Windrush era.

This week, as part of Colleges Week, a delegation came to DCG’s Roundhouse Campus to celebrate the opening of the exhibition.  

Attending the event were George Grignon, the exhibition commissioner and consort of the High Sheriff of Derbyshire, Theresa Peltier, the first black High Sheriff for Derbyshire and Barrie and Tom Douce Junior, direct descendants of their Windrush-era father, Thomas.

High Sheriff of Derbyshire, Theresa Peltier

Students received a series of talks from the delegation and from Samantha Rosser, a DCG Business Student. The young people enthusiastically engaged with the presentations and learning activities.

George paid tribute to Andrew Cochrane, Chair of Governors at DCG and Under Sheriff of Derbyshire, who was instrumental in securing the exhibition at DCG.

Mr. Barrie Douce, spoke on behalf of his father, Thomas who arrived on HMS Windrush and contributed significantly to Derby. Barrie outlined how his father had been able to help the community and had significant achievements in his life.  

George Grignon, commented: “I am delighted that the exhibition will be at Derby College as it brings the Derbyshire history to life for the students.

“We need to remember, we are talking about an era when there were notices in windows saying, ‘No Irish, No Blacks, No Dogs’, so there was much to put up with for the Black community and this is reflected in their determination to succeed.”

Exhibition commissioner George Grignon

Referring to the exhibition George mentioned: “The students will have the opportunity to explore the stories, learn about the legacy and the contribution of the Windrush Generation. 

“And as many of the people featured in the exhibition haven’t been acknowledged for their positive impact, this is a fitting tribute to them.”   

Sophia Tindal, who is studying BTEC First Certificate in Business said of the event: “I found it eye-opening, empowering and inspiring.  

Business student Samantha Rosser

“It was really good to learn the history of Derby from the perspective of the Windrush pioneers.”

Seraya Cliff, Student Experience and Pastoral Support Team Leader, who organised the event said: “It was lovely to see the enthusiasm from the students.

“We intend to move the exhibition around our four campuses and we have already created linked learning activities for the students.  

“It will also be displayed at during key themed weeks and months, for example Black History Month.”

The original Derbyshire Black History Exhibition is available for display at schools and businesses.