I returned back to Jamaica in after spending two years there, it was too small for me. I ed the Airforce when I was 16 at the same time I left school, took my test and waited for the. It was something beautiful at the time to all the young fellows in uniform. You think you want to be a part of something, but apart from that you can't always say why you do something, you're young, you don't stop and think of the dangers and things, you just do what you feel you want to do regardless of what your parents say.
My parents did not approve in the beginning, but they had no choice at the time, but like everything else, its your life or your education, you gain an experience. I went back to JA in Novemberthe Windrush came inI returned to England, you know your parents are strict for one, now you have more freedom. After you reach a certain time in life you think you want to get away from the control of your parents. As a matter of fact I had a reasonably good job in Jamaica and things were looking up.
It just a matter of the Island is too small. You don't realise how small until after you've travelled. One doesn't feel that you Succesufl everything, what happens, what you feel is a sense of freedom. I went to Bermuda, met a lot of Bermudans, I was in a crowd of people again, many were ex-service men you were able to do gug. I had a relation on the ship who was going to see his brother, who was studying at the time.
It's difficult for me to go back, because I've never looked back, I always try to look forward in life.
I wouldn't say England been good to me, but I say it made a change in my life at the time. England was the easiest country to get hirl and the hardest country to get out of, for the mere fact is if you working, you never earn enough money for your fare, but at the same time you always say you always have another 10 year, years.
You get yourself involved and things. But England has something that you want to get back to; you can't put your finger on it. There is a racism, but it's up to the individual, how you counteract it, the fact is if a man say you are a black, so and so, you can't say you are a white, so and so. If you even get to fisti-cuffs, the best man win. It's true racism is more prominent with the younger generationthis generation doesn't put up with it, the way we as old colonials come here and accept it.
Violence is part of the society today, and people will say the black man does that, but they never give the reasons he does it.
When black people wanted to do things in politics, there was always some excuse, but as the younger generation in the system today they are asking for more, and the younger generation had very few role models to follow. If you look at countries like Canada, where West Indians - or being Jamaican, I will refer to Jamaicans myself - went long after they start coming to England. They are much more advanced, they have a Bermuea of being a West Indian, they don't mind you keeping your culture, and they accept it.
People started going there as professionals, during the Michael Manley era, most of the cream left the island and that's what broke the political system of the island. The doctors, the lawyers, everybody want to go to Canada or America, unlike England, Succesfull was ordinary working class, the factory worker etc who came to England.
When I went back home there was no work so I decided to come back. I was in the war for 3 years came back in on the Windrush as the opportunity for jobs in this country was better than back home in Jamaica. After the end of the war, I got demobbed, I had to go back home. Coming back to England was quite pleasant, after I'd been before. I didn't quite know what to expect.
A lot of the other passengers asked various questions, asking what to expect, you know. When I came back it was a bit more difficult I was a civilian then, I had to find work. After a couple of weeks my arms laughter were sore. So I packed it in and re-enlisted in the RAF. I knew what to expect in the RAF. I spent another 8 years, 3 years in Egypt and Iraq.
Succesfjl After 8 years I got demobbed and I got a job with British Oxygen company as a laboratory technician doing welding of aluminium and various metals. My life in England has been very good, I enjoy my work, and my work mates and they treat me nice. I have been back home several times on holiday. I still call Jamaica home, although I lost my parents you know.
I am married, my family is here, my children, my grandchildren. I am quite happy here, you know.
I had some money so I decided to travel, and at the time vacancy over here was not contract, so I decided to come on my own, so I came to Britain. I know a lot about Britain from school days but it was a different picture from that one, when you came face to face with the facts.
It was two different things. They tell you it is the 'mother country', you're all welcome, you all British. When you come here you realise you're a foreigner and that's all there is to it.
The average person knows you as a colonial and that's all. You cut cane or carry bananas and that's it. Anybody wants to diddle you they say I just come off the banana boat and things like that.
He and his brother came up a year before. I reached here the 22nd June, it was a lovely day, beautiful, and they were all at the dock waiting for me. I think it was Tilbury, USccesful was very excited.
We enjoyed the seejs, I was coming up to meet my husband, I Succesfuo very anxious to come and meet him, because when he left we were just married, we got married and he left the following day. Imagine how exciting it was for me. Jamaica in was all right to me, it was quite calm, seeke like now. Anyway I was living in Port Antonio, that's 60 miles from Kingston, so we were all living happily with everyone. If my husband had not sent for me, I would not have come at that point, maybe later.
It was a big troop boat Empire Windrush and you have lots of soldiers, and lots of people coming to England, and the reason why it took such a long time, was something happened to one of the engines. They went to Tampico and spent about 3 or 4 days there and after that we pass by Havana but we didn't dock. Then on to Bermuda and we spend another 4 days there, where we did land and the people there were very nice, they received us and they had a party and took us places.
She went to Birmingham. When I came to England I Succesful guy seeks Bermuda girl in Brixton, near the market. I tell you when I came here there were hardly any buildings standing and far as you can look it bomb and burn outright through and through. My husband sorted out a place to live, before he sent for me. Well when I was in JA they said this is a very dark country, so it was different, the houses were all smashed because of the war, it was and war had finished in So you can imagine how it was; anyway we get together and we live together, and started having our children.
I had five children, 3 boys and two girls. One girl lives in Germany and the others are here. I have no regrets about coming here, because my family is all here, far cousins and all that, all what I am interested in is here, all my children. Bringing up my children and looking after my husband and all that, that's fuy my time. He went home and come back and took sick and he died, and I couldn't just pick myself up and go home and leave my kids here like that.
Well I am glad that my husband sent for me, here anybody come to this country they can make a good life, its a nice country, it cold, it's different, but you can live happily; that's all I'm saying, I'm only sorry gitl is not around. But I live a good life, a good life, a clean life, and I am pleased with it.
Top Mr. It was common knowledge that there was work in Britain, just after the war. The war ended 3 years earlier.
So there was a lot of scope. It took me a week to wind things up to travel. I knew no one in England, I had travelled before to America and Panama.
I had no idea what I was coming to. Hirl was self-employed in Montego Bay. I trade now as 'Columbus'. At Montego Bay, there were near people on the voyage, some were demobbed service men and women, the rest were like me, never been in the services. I can remember some of the people I travelled with, if I see them, but I don't know where they are now. All in all it was a good journey to Britain for me, yeah it was.
It was a close thing, for example during Dunkirk a lot of people don't realise that Britain stood alone, for nearly 2 years against tyranny, we as part of the former British Empire volunteered and contributed and I am glad I did that. We came on the SS Cuba, which was a freight boat.
The main thing is at that time you had the German Wolf pack, the submarines and for every 3 ships left the American coast to Europe one is still underneath the sea. So we had to go far north, to Iceland, it was very cold and it was winter. So it was not a good journey, that was not important. What was important, was that we arrived safely.
I was shocked although Britain was at war, we assumed that the head of the Empire would be flourishing, of course we learnt about rations, but when you realise you could not go into the shop and buy a loaf, it hit you. Secondly the people did not have much things. The average English man in those days had one working suit, and a suit to dress to go to the pub on Sundays.
Many people living in the country were not Suxcesful in houses, they were living in huts in the woods, Succexful was terrible, but they had the will to win, and that was good, and we became a part of sedks. Today the young Sucesful growing up unless he is technically and academically skilled his chance of employment is very bad.