Patrick Vernon's board game Every Generation shows how Britain has changed in 70 years since Windrush
PUBLISHED: 09:43 02 January 2019 | UPDATED: 10:36 02 January 2019
A board game designed by former Labour councillor Patrick Vernon is being marketed worldwide by an educational games company based in Hoxton.
Patrick, who stepped down in 2014 when Queensbridge ward was abolished, founded Every Generation Media in 2002 to develop educational programmes, publications and films about cultural heritage and family history.
Two years ago the Windrush campaigner came up with the idea for ‘The Every Generation Game’, and the “Windrush edition” is being distributed for £39.99 by Focus Games, in Wenlock Road.
Patrick, 57, who has run history workshops with Hackney Museum to help people trace their family trees, told the Gazette: “Despite programmes like Who Do You Think You Are? using celebrities to engage people, people still feel daunted about doing their own research.
“Ultimately you have to start off getting key information from aunts, uncles and grandparents that will help you on the journey. I was thinking: ‘What’s the best way to kick-start that?’ I was thinking of writing a book, but then I thought: ‘The best way is a game.’”
The idea is for people of different generations to share stories about their family history prompted by picture cards and timelines. Each player then votes for the best story. Hackney Council stocks one of the games in each of its eight libraries.
“The game is about celebrating the positive aspects of migration to Britain,” said Patrick, who played the game on Christmas Day with his nephews and nieces. The timeline cards have key historical dates ranging from the Race Relations Act to the Notting Hill race riots, and famous songs in the pop charts like the 1970 number one Young, Gifted and Black.
“The idea is to show how Britain has changed over the past 70 years since Windrush.”
Patrick has called for a national “Windrush Day” on June 22 to mark the day when the Empire Windrush docked in 1948 with the first group of post-war migrants from the West Indies.
“We aren’t there in the fringes,” he said.
“We have helped shape and contribute to Britain and when there are debates and people say ‘Go back home’, we can say: ‘Our ancestors contributed to making Britain great.’”