This new West Indian Development Council (WIDC) soon joined forces with a young Paul Stephenson. He was born in Essex to a West African father and an English mother of mixed ancestry. Nowadays, because of the reluctance of British born people to accept employment “on the buses”, bus companies employ people from all ethnicities!!! Many have also left Bristol, crossing vast oceans to seek fortune and freedom in faraway lands. Compiled by Dr Madge Dresser with contributions from Ros Martin and Sue Giles. Eighteen-year-old Guy Bailey arrived on time for his job interview. The boycott soon attracted national and international attention. As a young social worker, in 1963 Stephenson led a boycott of the Bristol Omnibus Company, protesting against its refusal to employ Black or Asian drivers or conductors. Andrew Hake, curator of the Bristol Industrial Mission, recalled that “The TGWU in the city had said that if one black man steps on the platform as a conductor, every wheel will stop.”, The bus workers’ concern, apart from racism, was that a new competitive source of labour could reduce their earnings. This resource hasn't been reviewed. Bristol bus boycott: Meet the faces behind the UK's own 1963 civil rights movement. The campaign’s success did not mean that racial tensions, institutional racism and inequality ended on the buses or elsewhere in Bristol. It was considered by … Pay was low and workers relied on overtime to get a good wage. Dr Paul Stephenson organised the 1960s Bristol bus boycott which overturned a ban on people from ethnic minorities working on buses in the city. On this march Bristol University students and lecturers joined both Black and White Bristolians to support the campaign in a march which went down Park Street. Today, outside Bristol, the story of the bus boycott is barely known. He argued the quality of Bristol’s Black workers was too low for the front-line jobs of drivers and conductors. The Bristol Bus Boycott was the country’s first black-led campaign against racial discrimination, and it was the beginning of the struggle for racial equality in the UK. At a May Day rally, held on Sunday 6 May in Eastville, local Trades Council members publicly criticised the TGWU. Sky video. ‘Windrush’ is a term used to describe the mass migration of people invited from the Caribbean colonies into Great Britain, just after the Second World War. In 1965, the United Kingdom Parliament passed a Race Relations Act, which made “racial discrimination unlawful in public places.” This was followed by the Race Relations Act 1968 which extended the provisions to housing and employment. After Hong Kong: China sets sights on solving 'the Taiwan problem' The Guardian. From artists to activists, from councillors to carnivalistas, these are names you need to know. Here in France I remember seeing an expo on french colonial history in paris with huge grafic pictures of Africans with the caption ‘ we France did this then’ and then captions of cooperation collaboration ‘ we try to do this now’. The Montgomery bus boycott was a political and a social protest campaign against the policy of racial segregation on the public transit system of Montgomery, Alabama.It was a seminal event in the civil rights movement in the United States. Migration is not something new. The Bristol boycott was to prove a watershed moment. The Bristol Bus Boycott of 1963 Dr Stephenson led the boycott in 1963 The Bristol Bus Boycott of 1963 began when the Bristol Omnibus Company refused to employ black or Asian bus staff in Bristol. Local MP Tony Benn contacted then Labour Opposition leader Harold Wilson, who spoke out against the colour bar at an Anti-Apartheid Movement rally in London. Should we despise Germany and Japan for world wars. A mural of Roy Hackett and other activists in the St Pauls area of Bristol. Black Africans raiding Europe for years? Join us and you could be a part of…, Manchester Workshop: Healing Complex PTSD: The Brain Science of Recovery, COBO : Comedy Shutdown Black History Month Special – Leeds, Africa In London – London Jollof Rice Day Fest, The South West London Adoption Consortium, https://open.spotify.com/album/6EBC2Hm9HU3ZBH3bR4j08Q. Discrimination still exists throughout our society: we need only look at th e way our government has wrongly deported or deprived of their legal rights to see this As an adopted Bristolian, I am proud of the part that my city played in making it possible to pass this country’s first anti-discrimination laws. The West Indies team refused to publicly support the boycott, saying that sport and politics did not mix. – https://open.spotify.com/album/6EBC2Hm9HU3ZBH3bR4j08Q. Experience 400 years of history in Bristol’s secret treasure. Find out more. Their work is far from over but what they achieved will never be forgotten. The Bristol Bus Boycott of 1963 was the nation’s first black-led campaign against racial discrimination. In April 1963, Guy walked into the offices of the state-owned Bristol … Wow! Stephenson was Bristol’s first Black youth officer. It's 50 years since the bus boycott. The old racist views are on show. The Bristol Omnibus Company was privately-owned and its workers belonged to the Transport and General Worker’s Union. Constantine wrote letters to the bus company and Stephenson and spoke out against the colour bar to reporters when he attended the cricket match between the West Indies and Gloucestershire at the County Ground, which took place from the 4th to 7 May. The Bristol Council of Churches launched a mediation attempt, saying Stephenson was educated, articulate and a gifted organiser. Any religions. In 1904, a rogue Catholic priest named Father John Creagh kicked off a boycott of … Evidence suggests that the company may even have had a secret quota system still in operation. They did not use the word uppity, as they might have in the USA, but the message is the same: protest, of course, that is your right, but not like that…. It was in April 1963 that Mr Hackett, now 92, led the Bristol bus boycott. Bristol Bus Boycott . The Bristol Bus Boycott of 1963 arose from the refusal of the Bristol Omnibus Company to employ black or Asian bus crews in the city of Bristol, England.In common with other British cities, there was widespread racial discrimination in housing and employment at that time against "coloureds". The local newspapers were suddenly full of passionate letters both for and against the policy. The union, the city Labour establishment and the Bishop of Bristol, Oliver Stratford Tomkins, ignored Stephenson and tried to work with Bill Smith of the TGWU to resolve the dispute. Explore the past in this beautiful historic house set in parkland through wonderful toys, clothes and contraptions. My father was about then. This week I met with Professor Madge Dresser to discuss the Bristol Bus Boycott of 1963. You won’t get a white man in London to admit it, but which of them will join a service where they may find themselves working under a coloured foreman? A campaigning group emerged to oppose this blatant discrimination. Heard this mentioned on Any Questions so decided to find out more as I’d forgotten about it. Boycott As spokesman, Stephenson brought the company’s racist policy to public attention. The Bristol Bus Boycott of 1963 arose from the refusal of the Bristol Omnibus Company to employ Black or Asian bus crews in the city of Bristol, England, UK. On 3 May, the ruling Labour Group on the city council threatened him with expulsion, despite his honourable service of over forty years. Our…, The Black Heroes Foundation is a community based charity for the development and promotion of talent, together with cultural and…, Joining the Army involves making a commitment. In common with other British cities, there was widespread racial discrimination in housing and employment at that time against “coloureds”. “Their action was announced at a press conference on 29 April 1955.”. He put forward a well-qualified and well-spoken young man named Guy Bailey for a vacancy as a bus conductor. On 17 September, Raghbir Singh, a Sikh, became Bristol’s first non-white bus conductor. Support It shows us the difference ordinary people can make when they come together to take action against social injustice. During the game, local members of the Campaign Against Racial Discrimination (CARD) distributed leaflets urging spectators to support the action. We can’t wait to see you once we’re able to reopen. Some students and tutors from the University of Bristol staged a demonstration in the city centre in support. The Bristol Evening Post and the Western Daily Press both ran series on the colour bar, which was blamed by company management on the Transport and General Workers’ Union (TGWU), which represented bus workers. Move on folks. I think my god-mother is in one of the films! Discover life above and below stairs in Bristol over 200 years ago. The boycott drew national attention to racial discrimination in Britain, and the campaign was supported by national politicians, with interventions being made by church groups and the High Commissioner for Trinidad and Tobago. I didn’t learn anything at school about black history either. The April 30 bus boycott garnered national support and disapproval. We champion and protect historic places, helping…, The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is both a royal college and the regulatory body for UK…, The University of Sheffield is a world top-100 university renowned for the excellence, impact and distinctiveness of our…, Black men are more likely to get prostate cancer than other men, who have a 1 in 8…, Helping to prevent fires and accidents from happening in the first place is the other major part of…, The OfS regulates English higher education providers on behalf of all students. Home > The boycott lasted for four months until the company reversed its discriminatory hiring practice. The flow of people joining and leaving Bristol has helped make our city what it is. Amongst the worst that history has to offer are religions. It was an historic victory. This is now. We are delivering a more equal and fairer world of work. On April 30, 1963, the Bristol Bus Boycott began. Wow really interesting ! The Bristol Bus Boycott occurred in April 1963 when the Bristol Omnibus Company had an unofficial colour bar in place. Four young West Indian men, Roy Hackett, Owen Henry, Audley Evans and Prince Brown, formed an action group, later to be called the West Indian Development Council. Best wishes. Bristol University students who supported the boycott were harassed and attacked in public. They were concentrated in the inner city area of St Pauls. The group decided that the articulate Stephenson would be their spokesman. A statue depicting this on the now empty plinth in Bristol would be the perfect tribute to them and reminder of bristol’s history. I will not apologise because times were different. African Americans were beginning their long fight for civil rights, the apartheid system in South Africa was being intensified and Britain’s former colonies were pressing for independence. A small but growing stream of mainly young men came to Britain in the 1950s as British citizens. I can remember this too.being 3 years of age my mother used to take me down to the centre from our house opposite southmead hospital most days.one day we didn’t and the next and the next.I remember asking ‘ mummy why aren’t we going on the bus today” we’re not going on them until they employ black people on them’ or words to that effect…this was no metropolitan elite candyfloss but real sacrifice for good…while dad was at work as a teacher in henbury driving the only car mum was really marooned in southmead with a demanding 3 year old instead of shopping in the department stores of broadmead which she loved. They caused more suffering and pain than all the racists in the world put together. Bristol’s longest-running street festival is more than just a carnival. It does take time to get used to Army life, but…, Cheshire Constabulary offers a wide scope of career opportunities. Photo by Paul Bullivant and Tony Gill. Many people wanted immigration to be controlled and the Immigration Act was passed in 1962. thank you for this. The area was still badly bomb-damaged following the war and it was the only place many African Caribbean people could afford to live. The Bristol Bus Boycott of 1963 arose from the refusal of the Bristol Omnibus Company to employ black or Asian bus crews in the city of Bristol, England. They really should teach about this in more schools nowadays! For many, it’s part of their very identity. Aimed to shed light on Black British History and the less known heroes that impacted this nation. To understand why the Bristol Bus Boycott happened, you need to know a bit about the history of the UK. 90 second documentary about the Bristol Bus Boycott told by Roy Hackett. On 2 May local Labour Party Alderman Henry Hennessey spoke of the apparent collusion between bus company management and the TGWU over the colour bar. Pioneering, passionate and powerful, these women have helped change our city for the better. The boycott lasted for … Prime Minister Harold Wilson, local Labour politician Tony Benn, and famous West Indian cricketer and diplomat Sir Learie Constantine all lent their support to the campaign. They were heckled by angry busmen opposed to their protest. Hon. What are the legacies of the Slave Trade? It was in April 1963 that Mr Hackett, now 92, led the Bristol bus boycott. What was behind the Bristol bus boycott of 1963? Guy Bailey, Bristol, 1963. For years, the Bristol Omnibus Company had … The Bristol Bus Boycott. There are many lessons to be learnt here. Stephenson was the first black youth worker in Bristol and fresh from leading a successful boycott of the city’s bus company. Resolution sttudy and knowledgе. How did St Pauls Carnival start? Who were the first Black people in Bristol? I can well accept the sense of injustice and pain that has been felt because [of] what happened in Bristol all those years ago.”. One shop steward said, “people were fearful of an influx of people from elsewhere (on the grounds it) would be reducing their earnings potential.”. The local branch of the union passed a resolution to ban ‘coloured’ people from working as bus conductors and drivers in 1955. Many people - both Black and White - campaigned for the company to change its policy that stated only White people could be hired to drive the buses. Students from Bristol University held a protest march to the bus station and the local headquarters of the TGWU on 1 May, which attracted heckling from bus crews as they passed through the city centre, according to the local press. I hated bristol then and we moved to Haywards heath sussex in 1965 and at my primary school I had three black/brown friends all adopted by white families and living in a place called bentswood the equivalent of southmead.not one at my local primary school in southmead. One of their foremost grievances was the colour bar operated by the Bristol Omnibus Company, which had been a nationalised company owned by the British government since 1950, and operated through the Transport Holding Company. Inspired by the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a group of West Indians in Bristol, England, organized a boycott of the Bristol Omnibus Company for its refusal to employ Black drivers for its buses. Surely it was 1963? In Bristol in the 1950s, there were about 1,000 African-Caribbean migrants and around 3,000 by 1962. “The advent of coloured crews would mean a gradual falling off of white staff. There were an estimated 6,000 black people in Bristol in 1963. They did not just encourage people to boycott the buses but made good use of the media, petitions and marches. This is british and Bristolian history and an event to be memorialised. it helped me with my homework! What led to the Bristol Bus Boycott? Local union officials denied that there was any colour bar, but in 1955 the Passenger Group of the TGWU had passed a resolution that “coloured” workers should not be employed as bus crews. It was on the same day that Martin Luther King made his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington. Claudia Winkleman says she puts pressure on herself to have sex. Constantine was then serving as High Commissioner for Trinidad and Tobago. In response, Stephenson got the WIDC to call for a boycott of Bristol’s buses. From ancient Roman settlements to today’s Syrian resettlements, people have been making new homes beside the Avon for thousands of years. Though St Pauls was still mainly white, it was popularly seen as a ‘Black’ area. The Bristol Bus Boycott of 1963 arose from the refusal of the Bristol Omnibus Company to employ Black or Asian bus crews in the city of Bristol, England.In line with many other British cities at the time, there was widespread racial discrimination in housing and employment against so-called "Coloureds". Roy Hackett helped organise Bristol protests 57 years ago Otherwise thank you for an enlightened article. Prof of History at University of Bristol. Black British History: This lesson can be used as a standalone lesson or used as part of a SOW which looks like the Civil Rights movement. This is the old, stale, quiet, backroom, side of mouth to the masses racism that is really dangerous. Negotiations between the bus company and the union continued for several months until a mass meeting of 500 bus workers agreed on 27 August to end the colour bar. That was then. We’re gathering stories and showcasing voices that a shine light on this often hidden part of Bristol’s past. Share. anyone mind helping me as i need help fidnding out the consequences? What’s on at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Winter lecture: colour in science and art, Home Educator webinar: Anglo-Saxons & Bristol, Archaeology online: the Neanderthal archaeology of La Cotte de St Brelade and the La Manche region, Wildlife Photographer of the Year: a virtual tour with chair of the jury Roz Kidman-Cox, A small but growing stream of mainly young men came to Britain in the 1950s as British citizens, Black and White on the Buses (PDF 18.5MB), Download the 2013 version of Black and White on the Buses (PDF 3MB), 19 Black Bristol women who've made a difference, Black and British: A Forgotten History by David Olusoga, Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History, Find a fuller story of the Bristol Bus Boycott by Dr Madge Dresser – download. Inspired by the refusal of Rosa Parks to give up her seat on a bus in Alabama and the ensuing Montgomery Bus Boycott in the United States in 1955, the activists decided on a bus boycott in Bristol. It was left to the Communist Party and Christian groups (along some with some individual left-wing and Liberal activists) to take a stronger stand. With pressure growing on the Bristol Omnibus Company, it was finally forced to end its ‘colour bar’ in August 1963. In line with Government guidance, all our venues are now closed and all future bookings have been cancelled. Explore Bristol through time: its places, its people and their stories. Robert Verkaik, Legal Affairs Correspondent for The Independent newspaper, said “Few doubt that without Mr Stephenson’s efforts it would have been difficult for Harold Wilson’s Labour government to bring in Britain’s first anti-discrimination laws.” In 2003, as part of Black History Month, BBC Radio 4 broadcast a programme about the boycott. Here it is up front and you know where you stand with the views expressed, without the furious eyes and angry mouths spewing. As an exiled Bristolian, I am ashamed of the attitude of Bristol Omnibus Company in the 1960’s. This community set up their own churches and associations, including the West Indian Association, which began to act as a representative body. … I understand that in London, coloured men have become arrogant and rude, after they have been employed for some months.”. It marked a new chapter in the struggle for racial equality in Bristol and the UK. Yet the Bristol bus boycott’s crowning achievement arguably arrived two years later when Harold Wilson’s government passed the 1965 Race Relations Act, outlawing discrimination on the “grounds of colour, race, or ethnic or national origins”. The Bristol Evening Post exposed this racist policy in 1961 but company manager Ian Patey defended it. The company went along with the resolution and national union officers turned a blind eye to it. I never was aware of seeing or talking to black people in southmead and if the council had housed a black family there in 1963 they would have been lynched by a mob and the house burnt out. Image: Guy Reid-Bailey at the Bristol West Indian Cricket Club’s ground. Laurence Faircloth, the union’s South West secretary said of the union’s stance at the time, “It was completely unacceptable. After a 60-day boycott supported by thousands of Bristolians, the company revoked its colour bar in August. The Bristol Bus Boycott was a peaceful protest of 1963 against the discriminatory policies of the Bristol Omnibus Company. Tell us what topics or subjects you’d like covered and what questions you’d like answered. Heroes, thank you. The case of discrimination by the bus company in Bristol and its white crews should I think be more widely known and should be included in the school curriculum right across Britain. We aim to ensure that every…, Community is a union for everyone. Anyone interested may like to follow and support The Black Curriculum which is pushing relentlessly for the National Curriculum to include obligatory teaching of Black History in schools. A spring afternoon in 1963. This led to a libel case in the High Court, which awarded Stephenson damages and costs in December 1963. Most had arrived from the Caribbean after World War II. When Stephenson told the company that Bailey was West Indian, the interview was cancelled. I deplore the fact that there was institutionalised racism and am amazed at how the perpetrators got away with it. He said his hands were tied as his staff were not willing to work with ‘coloured labour’ except in the depots as maintenance workers. The Bristol bus boycott Posted on August 28, 2020 Back in the bad old days, when the U.S. was unashamedly racist (gee, just think of the changes time has wrought), when the southern states weren’t just segregated but vibrating with the possibility of … Nobody will win this looking backwards. Ron Nethercott, South West Regional Secretary of the union, persuaded a local black TGWU member, Bill Smith, to sign a statement which called for quiet negotiation to solve the dispute. Tony Benn, Fenner Brockway and former cricketer Learie Constantine also condemned the bus company. A month after the company conceded, it hired Sikh graduate Raghbir Singh as Bristol’s first bus conductor of colour. Racial discrimination was entirely legal in Britain right up to the late 1960s. Three-thousand miles away on that same day in Bristol, Roy Hackett and two other black men organised a series of protests that would change not only their lives, but the entire country - paving the way for the first Race Relations Act in Britain.. Owen Henry had met Paul Stephenson, whose father was from West Africa, and who had been to college. Racial discrimination was entirely legal in Britain right up to the late 1960s. Even the local council supported the policy. So proud of these people from my local big city that I even wrote a song about it. And what about the Barbary Coast slave traders? An array of big names entered the fray. The Bristol Bus Boycott Of 1963: An Important History Of Black Resistance The black population of Bristol on April 30, 1963, protested against the Bristol Omnibus Company and the Transportation and General Workers’ Union (TGWU) racist employment practices. 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