Church of God of Prophecy Esmerelda Whittingham

Feb 13, 2017

Esmerelda Whittingham

I was born in Labour Hall St Catherine Parish, Jamaica. I came to England on 5th June 1962 for new opportunities. When I was back home I would sew children’s clothes and take them to Sugar Foot Mountain Market, King Street. I said I was going to get a stall, you had to pay for the stall. A woman I know said ‘take your money and go England. I came first to Leeds, then to Manchester. I didn’t really think anything much when I came. The first houses we came to had ‘No Vacancies’ for Black People. Some work places would not employ us either. Burtons Tailoring would take people on, it was a big factory owned by Jewish people. We would make suits. The wages were 2 shillings & 6 pence an hour. We would start at 8.00am and finish at 5.00pm

At first when we came over there were no provisions really, you were given a little money until you found work.

I would rent a room in a big house, everybody did. There was only one kitchen and one bathroom.

On Saturdays we would go market and buy a big fish – a haddock for 2 shillings and a chicken. You would go home clean up the fish and cook it, fry it and put it away for the week. The chicken was for Sunday.

I have five sons, three were here and two in Jamaica. I joined the Church of God of Prophecy in 1966; I’m here all the time!

When we first came, we would worship in Daddy Simpson’s cellar on Acomb Street and would go to the house for prayer meetings. My work in the church has been Auxiliary and Ministry Group Leader.


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