Safer Merton, a partnership of Merton Council, the police and other agencies, worked with the council’s partners and local community groups to make sure Friday’s Emancipation celebrations were a huge success.
1 August marks the day in 1838 when all slaves in the English-speaking Caribbean were finally freed. Merton residents packed Mitcham Fair Green from 1pm onwards to join in the festivities, celebrate the 60th anniversary of Windrush and hear the special guest speakers invited along for the occasion.
Bishop Daniel Waddimba and Mike Jarvis from the Damilola Taylor Trust were two of those who joined in the celebrations, along with Merton police’s borough commander Chris Bourlet and Merton Mayor Martin Whelton.
Rappers from the Pollards Hill and Phipps Bridge youth group Escape and Rock World Extravaganza – a traditional Ugandan band – entertained revellers and there was also a funfair and children’s activities laid on for young people.
Merton Council’s cabinet member for community safety and engagement, Tariq Ahmad said: “These are just the sort of events we want to see more of in Merton as part of our commitment to promoting community cohesion and putting every resident’s needs first, no matter what their age, gender, sexual orientation or race might be.
“Everyone in the borough was invited to the event and all those who turned up were made very welcome. It proved to be a fantastic celebration which everyone who came really enjoyed.”