The 1948 British Nationality Act gave British citizenship to all people living in Commonwealth countries, and full rights of entry and settlement in Britain. The first to respond was a group of 500 Jamaicans who arrived in London on board the ship the ‘Empire Windrush’.
The floodgates opened post-war when there was a shortage of labour, especially within British Rail, London Transport and the Health Service.
When I was at grammar school (do you remember those) in Greenwich in the late 50s-early 60s a girl from the Caribbean joined in the 3rd year. A glimpse of life back then.
Did you go to the City of London College? My secretarial training was during my employment with British-American Tobacco in Millbank. Such good memories. How times have changed and not for the better!!
No, I went to St Godrics College in Hampstead. It was a fairly sheltered life there because the college had its own hostels, and there were strict rules as to what time we had to be back by, particularly on Fridays and Saturdays when we were allowed to stay out later ('later' being 11:00 pm unless you were considered to be sensible enough to get a late pass until midnight). Also we had to sign a book saying where we were going. A lot of the girls grumbled about these rules, but, having been at boarding school for 9 years, they didn't bother me and in fact I thought they were quite sensible.
Unfortunately though I was allocated a bed in their one hostel that wasn't close to the college but was a mile's walk away on the edge of the Heath - a haven for prostitutes, kerb crawlers and goodness knows who else. Also the walk from Hampstead tube station took you up a long poorly lit road onto the heath which had bushes on one side and a few small houses on the other, and so it was pretty creepy in the dark.
That's one that's used here - my own daughters being the subject of the abuse. It says so much about the upbring of the people dishing it out.
I'm truly sorry to hear that Bev especially as I was a teenager myself when I was subjected to this, and it was pretty intimidating as well as being extremely unpleasant. I reckon one reason I might have been specially picked on was because I was what you might call a typical pale-skinned, fair-haired white Anglo-Saxon, but as I never mentioned it to anybody I don't really know.