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Tyrone Henry: A Changing Attitude

Started on 8 November 2020 by Jack
Latest Reply on 11 April 2021 by ScottT

Boston Bay, Jamaica - 20th August 1944, 8:02am EST

Amelia Jackson left her home at 7:30am to walk down the Boston strip to her job, working as a banana picker for her friend’s father’s banana company.

Amelia had left school at the age of 16 where she had studied Home Economics in the school, taught by a middle-aged white British woman, born in Bristol, United Kingdom.

As was the case with many women, the war had meant they were increasingly valuable assets within the workforce as part of the British Empire who were fighting Nazi Germany and Japan following the Italian surrender in 1943.

Rationing had become common in Great Britain as food supplies were shortened in an attempt to break national morale by the Axis Powers, meaning fruit and coconuts from Jamaica and the Caribbean were even more valuable to the regional economy due to the great need for the products.

Amelia picked up her friend Brianna as they both headed to work on the same route. Brianna was certainly the loudmouth out of the pair, constantly attracting male attention as a result of her straightforwardness.

Coming down to the opening of Boston Beach, where they would meet the team, they both noticed that the wind was very strong today and that was really taking away from the hot day that it otherwise was going to be on the northeast side of Jamaica.

Amelia and Brianna began work at 8:00 on the dot, starting to make their way through the grassy areas where the banana trees were. Again, they noticed that the wind was really picking up as the leaves of the normally high-up trees were actually swiping the top of their heads.

It was then that the girls were picked up off their feet by the largest blast of wind that nature could conjure up.

Tree trunks were snapping in two, as if they were merely twigs. The wooden houses that made up the high majority of buildings on the coast were being torn apart board-by-board and flung through the air at dangerous velocities. Brianna hit her head against a tree trunk, knocking her unconscious for a minute as the wind whistled violently above.

Amelia dived for cover, lying prone on the floor with her arms wrapped around a bottom of a coconut tree that had already been destroyed by the wind.

An hour passed by in what seemed like seconds for Amelia as she realised that she was hanging onto her position for her dear life. Amelia had no clue about Brianna’s ongoing condition throughout but she could not stop worrying.

Shortly after an hour had passed, the winds - which had now been interpreted as a hurricane by those that experienced it - had begun a lull. It provided time for those affected to assess the commercial and human damage caused in that one hour.

Walking cautiously past her usual workplace, Amelia quickly realised that her job was in serious doubt. The hurricane had taken down almost every single tree, with fruit scattered across the ground everywhere she looked.

As she walked further, past her place of work and into the populated areas of her town, she noticed the effect this had on a human level. There were babies heard crying, people laying on the roads with cuts on every limb, overturned vehicles with glass smashed all over. Amelia hadn’t seen a dead body but with a scene like this, there was bound to be somewhere. She prayed that she was not going to be the person to stumble across them.

Whilst Amelia was walking, she was paying attention to the tragedy surrounding her, but her main goal was to locate Brianna.

Underneath a destructed building, Amelia saw a pair of legs stuck underneath the wood. The feet had the exact same sandals that Brianna had worn to work that morning.

As Amelia approached the body, she said a prayer out loud, begging it not to be her friend she uncovered. She knelt on top of the wooden mess, throwing the heap of wooden planks away before she could see the face of this particular victim before bursting into tears and screaming for help. Brianna was only a year older than her.
What a shocking start to this new tale! :O Looking forward to another superbly written story from yourself my mate.
Jack's avatar Group Jack
2 yearsEdited

The Opportunity of a Lifetime

Four years had passed since the devastating effects of the 1944 hurricane over Jamaica and the Caribbean islands.

A lot had changed for Amelia and Jamaican society as a whole in those four years. An estimated 90% of Jamaica’s banana trees and 41% of their coconut trees had been lost and decimated the producing regions economically.

The Second World War had concluded in September 1945, with the Allied Forces of the United Kingdom & their Empire, the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics defeating Hitler’s Nazi Germany, Mussolini’s Italy and Hirohito’s Japan in a brutal ending with the bombardment of Berlin and the subsequent destruction of Nagasaki and Hiroshima through the means of two nuclear bombs, leading to the death of Hitler and his National Socialist regime and the surrender of Japan to America.

Despite the victors taking the spoils of the most destructive war that humankind has seen, every nation involved were worse off due to the bombings of major cities and the immeasurable loss of human life.

For Amelia, she had lost her job working as a banana picker following the hurricane and began work in a cafe whilst living with her mother. Shortly after the war’s conclusion in 1945, Amelia met a man named Carson Henry - a construction worker from a nearby village on the east coast. Carson would make Amelia his partner before asking her to live with him in the small home that he had built himself in the suburbs of Port Antonio.

In 1948, a passenger ship named the Empire Windrush, en route from Australia to Britain would dock in Kingston to pick up British servicemen who were on leave.

Carson Henry worked on numerous projects of building schools around the Kingston area as the Commonwealth nation was still processing the rebuilding that was required after the 1944 hurricane. Whilst working, his project director - a British-born white man named Alfie - passed him a note, more of a leaflet or an invitation.

The note was calling for passengers to come aboard a ship that was docking at Kingston on 23rd May 1948. It outlined that the ship was for servicemen and troops to take them back to Britain, but Alfie told Carson that there were 800 spare places aboard.

Alfie knew more than anybody how devastating the impact of the hurricane was on the island and had grown fond of Jamaica and its inhabitants, particularly of Carson Henry.

Many former servicemen used the ship’s passing as an opportunity to potentially rejoin the Royal Air Force after suffering from a lack of employment wherever they were based, but eventually many who had lived in Jamaica decided to make the journey to discover what their Empirical motherland was like.

Jamaica was not the only nation that required a workforce to rebuild their nation. London had still not recovered from the Blitz days that ravaged the capital throughout the early 1940s. With many servicemen dead on the battlefield or simply physically or mentally unfit to ever work manually again, Britain knew that it required the help of its vast Empire to rebuild the central power.

Due to Alfie’s foresight of the demand that the Empire Windrush and it’s available space onboard would outstrip the supply of tickets, Carson was able to consult Amelia on the opportunity. Amelia appreciated that the current situation in Jamaica was dire, and that if Carson was considering a change despite his secure occupation in Jamaica, then it would be a good move for the pair.

Carson was able to purchase two tickets on the ‘Troopdeck’ for £56 - two months worth of his wages - and was ahead of the bustling queues that awaited for tickets weeks before the ship’s docking in Kingston on the 23rd May.

Amelia and Carson were excited about the opportunity as a young couple, yet uncomfortable about leaving their birthplace to a completely new land.

Regardless of feelings, the decision had been made.

Scott: Thank you very much, it's good to be back writing!
I'm not surprised to be getting a bit of a history lesson from your writing these days. It has to be appreciated.

Looking forward to learning more about the couple of Amelia and Carson in future posts.
Jack is bringing out the good stuff already, great to see

and I don't mean to be a dick, but you confused Fukushima with Nagasaki. Fukushima came a lot later
Excellent start as always mate. Looking forward to seeing how this goes!

Welcome Home!

Evening Standard greets the 400 sons of Empire

Monday, June 21, 1948

A dirty white ship sailed up the Channel as an Evening Standard airplane circled over the Straits of Dover to-day. From the air the Empire Windrush was little different to many of the ships that sail by daily but to four hundred people on board she was the beginning of a new life.

For they are the Jamaicans who set sail for the Motherland when they could not get work in their own country.

As if to encourage them, the sea was calm and the sun shone brightly on the white cliffs of the land that is, to most of them, their last hope.

The Evening Standard airplane, flying low over the sea, first sighted the Windrush at 11:25 a.m. As it circled round the passengers rushed to the sides of the ship, but there was no waving or cheering.

Hands clinging tightly to the rails they stared in wonder as the airplane swept round and over them.

The airplane circled for 15 minutes, and gradually apprehension turned to joy as the passengers realised they were receiving their first welcome to England.

Brown and white hands waved so vigorously that one could imagine the cheers and smiles it was impossible to see or hear.

They were still waving as the airplane left for Croydon.

Back in London, plans were being made to receive them.

As the trooper comes up the river before docking at Tilbury to-night a motor launch will draw alongside and four Colonial Office officials will go aboard as they are tasked with welcoming, sorting out and housing the 417 arrivals.

Scott: The events shortly after the war is something I'm greatly interested in, particularly surrounding the rebuilding of nations following such destruction and the societal changes as a result - works for me and the reader I suppose :P
Tango: Thank you for correcting me, I knew Fukushima had a nuclear disaster but I forgot it was so close to today than 1945, I'll change it accordingly :)
Seb: Thank you mate, enjoying it already :D
hopefully Amelia and Carson will find a nice job and have the opportunity to raise a future football manager
Back to a time where it seems England was a lot more tolerant than it is today!
A welcome to a new life. Let’s hope the move is one filled with joy

King’s College Hospital, Lambeth


After nine months, the day had finally come for Amelia and Carson. The past five years living in the post-war United Kingdom society had been full of ups and downs for the couple.

The opportunity of prosperity, higher wages and a better quality of life was subdued by the racial discrimination suffered in every direction - from applying for a mortgage, attempting to rent and slurs murmured on the streets of London.

They had found a place to stay in Brixton, London where Amelia stayed at home most of the time meanwhile Carson went out to learn his new trade in the steel industry in Bermondsey. The landlord was harsh on the couple, not because of their skin colour, but because of the delays in rent payment month-by-month.

Amelia and Carson had begun arrangements to get married at their local church which they attended every Sunday. As more people arrived on British shores from the Caribbean and other areas of the Commonwealth, they found themselves befriending people in the local area experiencing similar hardships.

Though their wedding was thrown off course by the news that Amelia had fallen pregnant in late December. The news came as a surprise to both of them but as time went on, it became a pleasant prospect which motivated Carson to drive on in his career, winning a pay rise through the summer.

The formation of the National Health Service came as a result of the post-war consensus across the two main political parties in the United Kingdom as Clement Attlee’s Labour Party roundly trounced the British hero Winston Churchill in the 1945 general election.

The NHS provided all United Kingdom citizens free healthcare at the point of use, as Amelia and Carson were benefiting from as Amelia laid in the maternity ward with nurses either side and Carson sat in the chair beside her bed.

At 15:02 on 9th September 1953, Amelia Jackson gave birth to her first child, Anna Henry. As the pain slowed for Amelia, Carson held Anna in his arms and looked down at her with loving eyes in the knowledge that this new life was about to change the way he looked at life forever.

With four days taken away from his job at the steel plant, Amelia was discharged from King’s College Hospital the next day with a new member of her family in her hands.

Tango: Well, it may not be Amelia but Anna who will be giving the world a football manager :P Can't beat a grandmother's guidance though ;)
Scott: Riding the wave of a victorious but costly war, a decline in societal acceptance was bound to come at some point and we still seem to suffer that to this day!
Seb: Ups and downs, eh :P
oh, got it, I just thought he'd be really really old

White Riot

Friday, 29th August 1958

After a delightful meal out in Kensington, West London, Amelia and Carson were about to travel back home where Anna was being looked after by their next door neighbour’s daughter, who was also of Caribbean descent.

They walked hand-in-hand to Latimer Road Tube station to catch the next train over to Brixton on the underground.

There was an unusually loud commotion coming from around the block where the Tube entrance was, though for a Friday night arguments and general shouting was typical after people had had a fair amount to drink.

Turning the corner, they saw a couple - a young black man and a white woman - and they were arguing. The squabble seemed to just be a lovers’ tiff to a passer-by like Amelia and Carson as there was just shouting and no physical contact between the two.

As they got closer to the Tube station, a crowd started to materialise around the interracial couple, mainly of white men which seemed peculiar to Amelia.

The white woman, who was later identified as Majbritt Morrison, was the subject of the crowd’s appearance. Raymond - Majbritt’s husband - was then spotted by his fellow West Indian friends as being under attack. The two groups of black and white gangs exchanged vitriolic words as the situation heated up with the presence of a large group of people growing.

Carson hurried Amelia to the Tube entrance and rushed down the stairs to catch their train to Brixton. On the way down, the commotion grew even louder and thuds were heard as if punches were being landed.

Saturday, 30th August 1958

Amelia woke up to the sound of police sirens whizzing past her home. It was on the radio that a young white woman had been attacked that morning by a gang of white men - Teddy Boy’s as they were known in the media and society - with milk bottles and racist abuse being hurled at her.

To Amelia, it sounded similar to the woman that she had witnessed the night before outside the Tube station. When Anna came into her parents’ room that morning, the radio was switched off to stop the four-year-old hearing anything about the violent news.

Amelia had forgotten about the woman as she was cleaning the dishes. However, she was quickly reminded of the events as a group of around ten young white men walked past her kitchen window shouting “go home you black bastards!”.

Amelia ran into the living room where Anna was and stayed there until the shouting had subdued, covering her daughters ears in the process. The shouting seemed to fade away and Amelia uncovered Anna’s ears and returned to the kitchen window.

She stood still, shocked as a man, looking no older than 25 looked directly through the kitchen window and made direct eye contact with Amelia. He picked up a large, weighty stone from the pavement and threw it through the kitchen window as the stone crashed on the kitchen side and onto the floor.

Amelia screamed Carson’s name as the same man who threw the brick pulled out a butcher's knife and pointed it in Amelia’s direction. “We’ll be coming back for you later,” he laughed as he rejoined his gang further down the road.

Carson rushed into the kitchen after turning the TV up loud so Anna couldn’t hear as much. He held his wife as they looked out onto the street, flooded with racist and discriminatory shouts and chants.

Later that night, a mob of 300 to 400 were seen on Bramley Road attacking the houses of West Indian immigrants. The disturbances and violence carried on every night until the 5th September in what became known as the Notting Hill Riots - one of the most significant periods that changed the landscape of Britain’s race relations for decades to come.

The Metropolitan Police later arrested more than 140 people in connection to the two weeks of disturbances. A Metropolitan Police report stated that of the 108 people that were charged with crimes such as grievous bodily harm, riot, and possessing offensive weapons, 72 were white and 36 were black.

Expertly written. What a horrific set of events. Events I previously knew very little about rather disappointingly.
The receptiveness of the first days just went down the drain. Sadly, now Amelia and Carson will start to experience a world more like the one we have today

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