The Caribbean Carnival of Manchester would like to thank Mr Michael Hayles for sharing his Windrush story with us. Everyone at the carnival would like to wish Michel and his family good health and the very best for the future. We hope to see Michael at carnival 2018!
My parents Windrush generation story …
by Michael Hayles
My parents were part of the Windrush Generation, both arriving separately from Jamaica in 50’s, my mother from St Catherine’s and my father from Clarendon. Both came to the UK as young adults for a better life.
My parent first settled, then met in Birmingham; soon after my sister Jackie and I were born. Mum was a nurse for 50 years and my dad was an engineer. I went to North Staffs Polytechnic studying business, while my sister Lancashire Polytechnic and studied Marketing.
In my first year, my Dad was taken from us quite suddenly at 50 years old by cancer. My Mum was devastated and wanted a fresh start so she moved house in Birmingham. Then, Mum felt the urge to return back home to Jamaica, so she sold up and moved back, buying a new house in St Catherine’s. During the early years of her being back in JA, she seemed to spend more time in the UK than in Jamaica, so we were not surprised to hear that she wanted to sell up and come back to the UK claiming to be missing her kids, friends, family, culture, and surprisingly the weather. She is now back in the UK, in her mid-80s and in great shape. Initially she rented, but is very happy now having bought again and in her own home.
I am very proud of my parents, especially my Mum, knowing how hard it must have been for them to have made a life in a completely new country, with all of the challenges that must of created.
At 53 its feels strange to have outlived my Dad, however he still played a massive part in my life, showing me the virtues and giving us all belief. I consider myself lucky to still have my Mum , siblings, own family of three daughters and wife of 24 years. Next year will be my silver wedding anniversary.