London is the place for me . Lord Kitchener

 

 

As the Empire Windrush docked at Tilbury in 1948, the Trinidadian singer Lord Kitchener was among the 492 Caribbean passengers arriving to begin a new life in Britain. Journalists mobbing the Essex docks asked the  debonair Kitchener to sing for them and, barely missing a beat, he responded with his newly composed calypso, London Is the Place for Me.

Kitchener’s optimistic lyrics embodied the hopes of the estimated 170,000 Caribbeans who would follow him over the next decade or so. They were drawn by the 1948 British Nationality Act, which gave them rights of settlement, and by a huge advertising campaign in which Britain promised excellent jobs and wages to all those who would come to help rebuild the nation after the devastation of war.