A landmark exhibition titled ‘Becoming Us: African Caribbean St Albans’ will open at St Albans Museum + Gallery, Hertfordshire on February 16.

It aims to shine a spotlight on the influence and contribution of the African Caribbean community to St Albans over the past 80 years.

The exhibition, co-curated by Leeannas Wish and Active Lifestyles, runs until June 30.

Herts Advertiser: Becoming Us Exhibition at St Albans Museum + Gallery (C)Ember Designs

Shelley Hayles, director of Leeannas Wish, said: "A first for the city and the St Albans Museum + Gallery, ‘Becoming Us: African Caribbean St Albans’ will document and celebrate the multifaceted contributions that African Caribbean people have made to our city over the years, exploring how our community has supported education and community initiatives, led cultural diversity, established businesses, and provided social services as well as engaging in civic and political roles."

Focusing mainly on 1948 to 1971, the exhibition traces the journey of the community from when Empire Windrush landed in 1948 to their prominent roles in the present day.

There will also be immersive experiences like a reconstructed 1970s West Indian front room, family activities, talks, and a community ball to end the showcase.

Herts Advertiser: Priscilla Bailey showing one of her photographs (photograph Julie d'Adamo)

Many African Caribbean people made Hertfordshire their home after arriving on the Windrush and had significant roles within St Albans, including the operation of Europe's largest long-stay hospitals for mental health and learning disabilities.

Oral histories, digital images, and objects were gathered from workshops held with local residents.

Andrene McDonald, chair of Active Lifestyles, said: "Many of the Windrush generation have worked diligently adding to Britain’s economic growth and development of its industries including the NHS.

"A vast majority of those spent their careers in public services, and in particular to St Albans and District, the acute hospital, (St Albans City) and the largest long stay hospitals in Europe, (Hill End, Cell Barnes, Shenley, Harperbury and others)."

Herts Advertiser: Becoming Us exhibition - Shelley Hayles, Director of Leeannas Wish and Andrene McDonald, Chair

The exhibition is a tribute and a tool for fostering awareness around the history of St Albans, according to Catherine Newley, audience development manager at St Albans Museums.

Admission is free, and those interested can join the continuing African Caribbean Community History Project or attend upcoming workshops on February 23 and March 15.

To be part of the history project, contact Active Lifestyles on 07572 040 006 or email museum@stalbans.gov.uk