‘By Thames to all People of the World’: Thurrock Routes 1930 -2004

Jamaican immigrants arriving at Tilbury Dock in 1948 on the Empire Windrush.

ECDP have been awarded funding from Heritage Lottery Fund for partnership working with Thurrock Museum.

Over the course of 18-months, the project will aim to add to and enhance the current stories, materials and artifacts within the Thurrock Museum to tell the story of the many diverse communities that worked, settled and then dispersed from the area. The project will focus on four diverse communities Czechoslovakian, African Caribbean, Nepalese and Sikh. Each community tells a unique story of the arrival of specific communities, how communities developed and the memory and impact the communities had on Thurrock.

Focusing on the period from 1930’s – early 2000’s, the project will chart the extraordinary changes that were seen in the area due in part to its role as major UK port and dock.  The project will seek to focus on the social, economic, cultural and industrial impact experienced in Thurrock during this time, and relate it to the changes in the UK as a whole.  By 1956, Thurrock Council adopted a motto to reflect the ever-changing nature of the District “By Thames to all peoples of the World.’  It is this that inspires this project, and we aim to animate this extraordinary history and bring it up to date for a new generation of audiences. The project will culminate in the display of new materials and stories within the Museum and Gallery’s collection, and this will also mark the 60th anniversary of this well-known motto.  Our aim is that the project will have a role in enabling all residents to connect with Thurrock’s heritage in a way that has not been seen before – adding to and enhancing current collections, as well as encouraging a whole new audience.


Jonathan Catton, Heritage & Museum Officer for Thurrock Council said “It is important that the community museum displays reflects the changing nature of our communities and the experiences of first arrival and settling in to Thurrock. I hope the reminiscences and cultural objects that will be displayed in the museum gallery will help the whole community of Thurrock to better understand the traditions and cultural backgrounds to our growing communities.

Our project aims to celebrate, animate and reflect this rich cultural heritage and working in partnership with Thurrock Museum to engage a wide and diverse volunteer community to discover and record this part of Thurrock’s rich cultural heritage – and in turn relate it to the wider UK experience.

Project Manager Indi Sandhu said, ‘This is a great opportunity for Essex Cultural Diversity Project to work with the diverse communities of Thurrock to engage them with the local museum. One key element of the project will be to recruit community curators who will the key ambassadors for the project linking the communities with the local heritage’.

If you would like to become a volunteer community curator and engage with local the local communities contact ECDP Project Manager email – indi.sandhu@essexcdp.com

 Project Funded and supported by –