By John Western
Publication via Western, John
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Extra info for A Passage to England: Barbadian Londoners Speak of Home
You got rudeness. One morning very soon after we got here  we walked into the room at the garage, they were all sitting around off duty, looking straight at us, the three of us. "Good morning," we said. Absolute silence. " "Well, we don't say hello to them tomorrow," I said. Tony Gill was one of the minority of the men in this study who came not as transport industry recruits but as men taking their own chances with British employment once they got here. He told of his reception in June I960: I'd never been unemployed a day in my life.
I explained that the Barbadian element was chance, but that the "relatively successful" element was intended. " I responded. " "Yes," replied Orville. "But on the other hand it could be used by the Thatcherites to say, 'There, you see, there's nothing wrong that individual hard work can't get you over. " interjects Pauline. " "And he's the reader, too," says Pauline. "No," Orville went on in response to my query, " . . er . . I don't mind a white person doing it. But you can't feel it the way we do .
Oh, but we were brought up on the Empire. "Little England," they used to call us. You know about the telegram when the war started? [This is the telegram alleged to have been sent to Neville Chamberlain on September 3, 1939, by the Barbados legislature saying, "Stand firm, England; Barbados is behind you"! ] And I was taught all three verses of God Save the King. ] And our Nelson in Trafalgar Square in Barbados is older than this one in Trafalgar Square in London! [I recall in 1985 meeting in Barbados an eminent local (black) historian.
A Passage to England: Barbadian Londoners Speak of Home by John Western