Sunday, December 13, 2009

Oh Daddy - This Wasn't Part Of Your Vision When You Emigrated, Was It?

Immigration from the Caribbean islands to the UK was encouraged by the British Nationality Act of 1948, which gave all Commonwealth citizens free entry to Britain. That year an advertisement had appeared in a Jamaican newspaper offering cheap transport for anybody who wanted to come and work in the UK. There was plenty of work in post-war Britain for everyone and industries such as British Rail, the National Health Service and public transport recruited almost exclusively from Jamaica and Barbados. African Caribbeans were encouraged to come to Britain through immigration campaigns mounted by successive British governments.
1960 - a new life beckons in the Mother Country
The symbolic starting point of migration to the 'mother country' was the journey of the SS Empire Windrush from Kingston, Jamaica, to Tilbury, Essex, in June 1948. Mass migration continued until 1962, when Britain passed the Commonwealth Immigrants Act restricting the entry of immigrants. The Antilles arrived in Plymouth in August 1960, not long before that period of mass migration was brought to an end. It brought a cargo of human beings who wanted just one thing - an opportunity to lead decent and law-abiding lives, to work hard and to earn an honest living.

Little did some of them imagine how their offspring would turn out.

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