Trinity Church Amani Centre Ladies Group

Feb 13, 2017

Eccle Bourne

I travelled from Jamaica, St Marys in 1962 aged 31years old. I first arrived in Aylesbury. I came to Manchester in February and moved to Darcy Street, Moss Side to Iive with a friend. I went back home to Jamaica in 1963 for 16 months to look after my Auntie who was ill.The things I missed most from back home was my relatives and friends, I still travel back home and also round the world. Ilived on Darcy Street until I got married on May 29th, two days after my Birthday, we then moved to Duke Street. From 1972 to 1976 I lived in John Nash Crescent, Hulme, I still remember the number, 525. I remember the shops on Clopton Walk, Mr Young’s Hardware shop, I still have some pots from there! ‘Did you know about Alexandra Road? It was beautiful, full of shops.Moss Side has changed, things, time and people change. I have been part of the Baptist Church from 1962.

Claris Small

I was born in St Catherine, Jamaica. I married my Husband Llewellyn in Jamaica and then came to England on 29 October 1959. Llewellyn came four months after to join me.It was cold and dark.It was hard at first adjusting to the new areas.The biggest things I missed about home was Family and the ‘Freedom’

Just going out in the fields, but the good things were meeting new people and making new friends.
Moss Side has changed, before we would know everyone. You would go shopping in the market and we would chat for so long!

I had all my four children over here and they went to Webster Primary School in Moss Side. I have been with Trinity Church since 1966.

I told my children, I will take you home to where I am from, to see your family. When I took my daughter when she was 12, she went back again when she was 22 and took her child. My Grandson is proud of his family in Jamaica

Icylyn Burke

I was born in St Catherine, Jamaica 27th May 1927, and came to England 2nd May 1962 aged 34years young!! My Husband was here already and sent for me. I had to leave my little children back home; I missed them, but was so happy when they came here to be with me. I had six children and was married to Jocelyn on 8th October 1950. I would keep in touch with back home by letter. When we come here first it was difficult getting around, finding places even travelling to work. The good things about coming to England was that, we have things here that we didn’t in Jamaica, back home we would have to pay for such things as going to see the Doctor. Here we had lots of opportunities. Before I come to England, I was speaking to the Deacon back home, he said ‘When you go England you will be at College’ and he was right, I was learning and seeing things I had never seen before!

I brought my children up in Moss Side; we had everything here, Church, School, and Shops we didn’t have to go to Town. I have been part of the Church since 1962 through thick and thin and I’m still here.

Moss Side has changed, we could leave doors open and the children would go and play, in and out, fear of nothing.We grown-ups would talk over the back fence, one time we were talking so much I burnt my pot!

It is important to pass on our stories from when we came over from Jamaica. Getting stories now, they know what it was really like.

Dawn Marie Graham

I came here from Jamaica as a little girl. I was 7yrs old and came with Mother to be with Father. I missed selling ‘Bulla Cake’ it was our family business back home. I really missed my friend Teddy, he would give me piggy back rides!

My first job was in Insurance, typing, I loved it.

What life was like when I came up from Jamaica. I was seven years old when I came to England.We lived in Wolverhampton.Life was very hard to live but everyone was nice to one another. People had to live in one room even families and I had even had to make up coal fire! Everyone was so good with one another and friendly. It was hard to live then, I had a dog called Sally, it was a very playful dog and made me happy. After about two years we came to live in Manchester. All the neighbours were very nice and loving. All the neighbours were like family. In Moss Side everyone was nice. I knew lots of brothers and sisters; people would meet one another and have a little chat. Now everyone has changed. My life feels completely different, living alone and seeing other people.

Vashti Taylor

I come from Smail Field in Jamaica and arrived in England on 13thMarch 1965 aged 26yrs old. I joined my partner Lynvale who I then married and we had our children. When I first came over Lynvale was late meting me at Manchester Airport so I got a taxi to Preston! As I was travelling there I was looking at all the factories and asked the driver ‘where are the houses?’ He said that is the houses!! We first came to Preston, which is where I had my first job at a Brewery. Later on we moved to Manchester. My jobs in Manchester would be working at the Co-Op and then in Park Hospital on maternity. I never really had a hard finding work time, in one of my jobs I got promoted within 7 months. The only bad thing that I remember was a lady touching my stroking my arm and saying ‘oh isn’t your skin so soft, I thought it would be tough and feeling my hair and shocked that it want wiry! Adjusting to the cold weather was hard, a new set of clothes to wear. In my case when I was coming over I packed silk, cotton, taffeta, we didn’t really have clothes for the cold weather. Though in Jamaica there is a place where they use fireplaces like over here. It’s where the soldiers are stationed, Newcastle. The good thing about coming to England was that we had new opportunities.
Moss Side has changed completely. Most of the community has split and moved away.

Miriam ‘Gloria’ Gaynor

I was born in Jamaica, Bull Bay, 7 miles from Kingston. I came to Britain in 1957. Jamaica was British, we were British, anyone my age must know that. We would cultivate green bananas, yam and sweet potatoes; the trucks would take them to the Wharf. A lot of people would come to England to work then some would go back home. When I packed my case I only had West Indies clothes to pack! When we came, we all wanted to go back, if you ask people my age that’s what they say. I missed everything – picking up fruit from the tree. My first job was sewing; when we first came to England they would give us the worst jobs. I came in ‘57’ you couldn’t get a job, worst, you couldn’t get a room! You would see them peeping through the window when you would knock on the door. One time a friend of mine was in Hospital and the Nurse was looking under my friend’s nightdress, my friend asked what she was doing, she said she was looking for a tail!

When you did rent a room, sometimes you would rent from someone who bought a house, they would rent your room out while you were at work, getting two rents. Them days you could buy a house cheap £200 – £300.

We would use a coal fire to dry your clothes.
We went through a lot you know.


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