The finishing touches were being made today (Saturday June 24) to a specially-created mural commemorating the 75th anniversary of the arrival of HMT Windrush bringing West Indian emigres to post-war Britain.

A collaboration of three North-East muralists were completing the final spray strokes on the colourful depiction of the landmark moment in black history in the UK, which has appeared over the last two days at the Arthur Wharton Foundation, in Darlington.

Members of the small Caribbean community in Darlington and surrounding area marked the occasion with an open day at the centre, itself named after the pioneering black footballer of the Victorian era, whose own mural adorns one gable wall.

The trio of graffiti-style spray painters Dan Walls, Graham Clelland and Dan Toase, hoped to have the mural completed before the end of the event, to the background of the cool vibes of Panjumby, paying homage to the pan drum music of the Caribbean.

Read more: Windrush mural at Arthur Wharton foundation in Darlington

Mr Toase said preparations began late on Thursday evening, and the mural began to take shape from about 9.30am on Friday, with the job aided by the prolonged warm weather.

“It’s been awesome, with loads of really good feedback from people passing by and beeping of motorists driving past.

“I suppose it’s a celebration of a part of the UK and the feedback we’ve been getting has been positive.”

One delighted observer as the mural took shape was Tony Squires, treasurer of the Darlington and District West Indian Association, better known locally as ‘the Caribbean Club’, who was joined by the group’s chair, Mrs Pat Martin.

“This is really fitting. It’s one of the places where people stop by and have a bit of banter.”

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It formed part of a busy day for Mr Squires, who had just come from the town centre, where the association has an annual presence at the Darlington Community Carnival, and with a memorial dinner this evening (Sat June 24) to fondly recall the late Winston Alleyne, an RAF veteran and long-standing member of the local Caribbean community, who died from cancer during the Covid period.

As a result of restrictions, his passing was not able to be marked in the manner his family may have wished at the time and so his daughter, Sara, and grand-daughter, Eden Rae, organised the dinner, at the Havelock Centre, in Darlington.

It was to be attended by family, friends, fellow association members and ex-service colleagues, all paying their respects to the larger than life Barbados-born character, who was a familiar figure to many townsfolk.