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  • Welcome to Generation 1.0

    An oral history archive that seeks to explore the experiences of a first generation of Muslims who migrated to Britain and made it their new home.

  • Young men, and later young women, who undertook brave journeys in dramatically changing times. Far away from the homes, social ties, culture and weather they had spent their childhood in, these young adults were trailblazers in their own very significant way. They were the first generation of migrants that came to post war Britain from the late 1950s onwards. And many of them were Muslims. This educational resource is dedicated to their stories, in their own words.

    Through video interviews, photographs and artefacts, the very persons who were there share their memories and insights, with some laughter and some tears along the way. The migrants who came from across the Indian Subcontinent and other regions to settle in different parts of the UK.

    They speak of the warmth they found and the challenges they faced, back then. Of the place they stayed and the work they did; of being a stranger and making a home, back then. And of the journey British civic life took them on, through to the present day.


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  • 1950s

    It was Harold Macmillan, the Prime Minister in 1957, who coined the phrase “you've never had it so good”. The 50s were a time of prosperity. The old slums were being cleared away and a huge number of new houses were being built. New road systems, including motorways, were starting to change urban and national means of travel, which led to a great demand for new vehicles of all sorts, resulting in a thriving automotive industry. Worldwide stability and prosperity after the war led to a drive to export British goods, which had its impact on ship-building and manufacturing industries. Britain had a thriving textile industry in the mill towns of the North.
  • 1960s

    Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962 aimed to put limits on the practice of migrant working and limit the number of people coming to settle in Britain. Men who had migrated to and fro for work saw that this practice was going to be halted. To return to their families permanently would have a major social and economic consequence on whole communities and so many made the decision to relocate their wives and children to Britain before the legislation could come into force, meaning that communities started to form.
  • 1970s

    The Immigration Act 1971 meant the 70s was significant for family re-unification and the settlement and formation of a new type of community. With the arrival of their wives and families, men were prompted to increase their religious activity and thus mosques tended to multiply. Important changes were also being made in the 70s to Race Relations legislation to tackle inequality and discrimination. The Iranian Revolution of 1979 also had an impact on British Muslim communities and brought about a new confidence and dynamic in religious activities.