They used to spit on babies

Sylvia came to the UK in 1961. She lived and worked in Trowbridge and in this clip describes some of the experiences she had of name calling at work. She also mentions that other women had people spit on their babies.


And when I came here and I didn't because I heard about people having trouble with English people and I decided I ain't having no trouble and I have never had any trouble the whole time I came here.


I know, eh. I never have any trouble with anybody. No trouble with being called names and things like that as those things don't worry me. If I go up the street and somebody shout out some names or something like that I just keep on going cuz I just take no notice. They have the problem they shall. Cuz I has ... no problem.

Were you, before you came to England did you know that some people could be hostile to black people?

Oh yeah I heard about it. All the time cuz they are all teddy boys innit so for.

What did you hear about?

I hear that they would you know, attack black peoples and everywhere they used to do that. They used to attack black people when I came here first people had, I never experience it, but I heard people would be pushing their babies; black people would be pushing their babies all in a pram and some white peoples would come up and dey spit ... on the baby yeah and they would do all sort. I saw it was going on. I never experienced any of it.

But how did that make you feel when you heard all this?

It make me feel ... terrible. It never happened to me so I sympathise with the peoples that it happened to. Nothing like that. Nothing happen to me. Nothing like that. When we were at Bowyers we calls each other names we call each other names, like fun. You know just for fun you know. Nothing just laugh and joke overs it. Yeah nobody was hostile to the other people. You know saying something funny.

And was that, sort of, what kind of names did you call each other?

They used to call me Blackie they call me all sort! But we just laugh, huh, you know. Why? We tell a joke!

And did you call the white people names?

Oh yes, we call them Whitey or something or other... yeah but you know just jokes, we still friends with each other

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