Gloucestershire black history exhibition opens at railway stations

A photography exhibition celebrating black history in Gloucestershire has opened at county railway stations.

The photos were taken by Rider Shafique and feature images of people from the local Caribbean community.

Mr Shafique's work can be viewed at Gloucester, Cam & Dursley, Stroud and Stonehouse railways stations until early 2024.

The photographer said black history is something "we should celebrate all the time".

"A lot of the first generation of [Caribbean] migrants that came here and worked on the railways have passed away now," said Mr Shafique.

"I took these photos to make these people's stories relevant to now.

"To show how history affects our day-to-day," he added.

A photo of a man carrying his child, looking out across the railway
The exhibition celebrates the history of the Windrush Generation in Gloucestershire

Alongside the photos Mr Shafique has chosen quotes from members of the Caribbean community who migrated to the UK in the 20th Century.

Between 1948 and 1970, nearly half-a-million people moved from the Caribbean to Britain, which faced severe labour shortages after the Second World War.

Those who came to the UK around this time were later referred to as the Windrush Generation.

This generation played a vital role in building many of the infrastructure projects in the UK.

A man observes one of the photos on exhibit at Gloucester train station
Pastor Anthony Saunders is among those pictured in the exhibition

Faatimah Bham, community rail development officer at Gloucestershire Community Rail Partnership (GCRP), said her main focus was on ensuring that members of under-represented communities have a voice.

"There's a big history of under-represented communities coming over to the UK to work around the railways," she said.

"My grandfather was one of those people and I think it's really important to talk about these things," added Ms Bham.

The work links to the first Gloucestershire Black History map, produced by Black Ark Media in partnership with GCRP and Active Gloucestershire.

The map looks into the history of black residents in the county, while promoting cultural appreciation, active lifestyles and community engagement.

Hannah McDonnell, from GCRP, said: "We are celebrating our railways as democratic spaces and the strong links they have to the black and brown community.

"This is something we want to show our commitment to as an organisation."

Follow BBC West on Facebook, X and Instagram. Send your story ideas to: