When London was the place – 60 years ago – By caribbean-beat.com

When London was the place – 60 years ago

by | Issue 137 – caribbean-beat.com

Image result for London 6O yeARS AGO - PHOTOSixty years ago, in the aftermath of the Second World War, London Transport faced a labour shortage. The solution? Recruit employees in the Caribbean to run the city’s buses and trains. James Ferguson explains how these migrants survived difficult times, and changed the old imperial capital for ever

“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there,” wrote L.P. Hartley in The Go-Between, published in 1953. And how foreign that decade, the 1950s, now appears to us. Bleak postwar Britain was a monochrome country of bomb sites, rationing, and social conformity. Entrenched in the Cold War and still traumatised by conflict, it had lost much of the optimism that accompanied the end of the Second World War. Youth culture, freedom, diversity were yet to blossom.  

Yet amid the gloom and fatigue there was a sense of something new. Discontent was growing throughout what remained of the British Empire (India had gained independence in 1947). Meanwhile, the task of rebuilding the damaged country meant there was full employment, and more workers were needed in public-sector jobs such as nursing and transport. Where could Britain look to fill these jobs? The answer was simple: to its colonial territories, and particularly to those where unemployment was high.

Read the original article here: http://caribbean-beat.com/issue-137/when-london-was-place#ixzz3xkI4iEIK


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  • De castro  On 01/20/2016 at 3:39 am

    Enjoyable read. Arrived in London Tooting Bec October 1962 having left Guyana to “beat the immigration
    bill” that was being passed in Westminster. We (west indians Guyanese)were mostly males and in our
    late teens.we flew to Trinidad then boarded a boat to Barcelona (spain) Genoa (Italy) then train across
    EU to Calais before boarding ferry to Dover and train to London. The rest is history with lots to read
    and indulge in “nostalgia”…..Today my 4 children and 6 grandchildren live within 45 minutes of
    City center and 15 minutes of each other…..2nd and 3rd generations have made London their home.
    Some 54 years later. Guyana’s loss ukplc gain. Three of my 4 children born in GT.

    Que Sera Sera

  • Albert  On 01/20/2016 at 12:04 pm

    In the 60’s I had the choice of UK or New York. If you were young and healthy in the 60’s and did not make it in the US then something is wrong.
    A few years back after meeting some old buddies in England and hearing their stories I knew I made the right choice.
    For one thing I never had a problem with warm showers and rooms ha ha.

    • De castro  On 01/20/2016 at 12:23 pm

      Weather wise yes right choice.
      But USA it all depends where you
      lived/work…..think most westerners/southerners
      would agree. Today may not !
      USA is still ‘imperial’ in its
      world dominance especially
      militarily but that situation can
      Why are refugees preferring EU to
      USA ?
      Old world new world syndrome.
      American Dream now nightmare !

      Culture of violence and death !
      Sorry not for this old fart 😇


  • Albert  On 01/20/2016 at 12:40 pm

    Why are refugees preferring EU to USA ?

    Not easy for middle east refugees to get into the US. Lengthy vetting process. Now with Trump forget it.
    West Indians seem to be getting in large numbers.

    • de castro  On 01/20/2016 at 1:15 pm

      Makes sense….language location…
      Most carribean nationals enter military service to obtain their green card.
      After training its off to war zones.
      More than half of american armed forces are “hispanics and blacks”
      …..risking their lives for what/who… a republican country that refused to pay
      Royalty taxes to UKPLC….Russia executed their Czars and am sure if British
      Royals were in USA they would have received the same fate….and its amusing
      to see how many million american tourists flock to London to wave their
      Union jack flag outside Buckingham palace. Hypocrites or royalists !
      Chuckle chuckle…
      Land of the free and the brave…..
      Aka land of hope and glory !
      Thanks but no thank you.
      Sad lot

  • Albert  On 01/20/2016 at 2:05 pm

    Most carribean nationals enter military service to obtain their green card.

    Well there is another option…….marry an American woman, better if she is an old flame from the Caribbean. There is a terrible man shortage and the green card seem to be coming quicker that way.

    • De castro  On 01/20/2016 at 2:33 pm

      Absolute hilarious laughter😀
      Marry the military or marry
      a woman…what about a gay😇
      Gay marriages are now legal.
      Think my choice would be military
      but as ‘conscientious objectior’
      No war zone for this coward.😇
      Can exit military on medical grounds
      Divorces little more ‘complex’😈

      Batch role boy until my exit
      Lord kamtan

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