Congratulations on yet another thought provoking issue focusing on migration.
Memories flooded back from post-war years (late 1940s?) and my earliest
awareness of different races.
Aged eight I encountered a black person and was startled…not by
his colour but by his dazzling teeth. I was on the way to the dentist
and envied my parents who kept their sets in a jar. Mum joked that the
man probably came from the Ivory Coast; quick as a flash he replied, "No
girl, just the back of the Iron Shore." An hour later I was gazing
into the face of the dentist whose wealth was locked up in his gold fillings.
For years I thought mum could speak Chinese, but it turned out their rapid
high-pitched patter was street scouse. This fourth generation oriental
seamstress was as small as mum and me so we saw eye to eye.
An ex-German POW was taken in by a neighbour. It was pointed out he had
been the enemy; but he looked just like dad, who gave him fags, so it
puzzled me. Whereas the first Muslims I encountered - doing exercises
under the Dockers' Umbrella - impressed me with their beards, and those
prayers seemed more meaningful than standing still for twenty minutes
without fidgeting while the Headmaster spoke to his Father in Heaven (I
knew mine was at work so he had no right to say 'our'.) The only odd-bods
were Yanks who spoke funny English. 'Foreigners' were allies, 'class'
meant at school. My grandparents were: Swedish, Irish, Welsh and Scottish,
and I turned out a freckled redhead and thus experienced real prejudice!
I am writing with ideas for magazine to raise funds. I have a large painting
Abstract, done in the Riots L8. Enclosed not very good photo of painting
I would donate to Nerve getting other artist from Liverpool to do same.
Have exhibition of paintings with similar views - wars - killing - bombs
- guns - knives - climate change, more and auction all paintings. "Where's
all the culture money gone?" Wasted on fireworks lasted half an hour
up in smoke or maybe smoke screen? The money wasted on that could have
opened a youth club or place for kids to learn skills in every area of
the city. It’s time the culture team were to have some real scousers
on the team and listen to the ordinary people whose fathers, grandfathers,
great-great grandfather "built this city". Some rejected ideas:
1. The Flag of the world sculpture; 2. Bob Marley sculpture in park and
festival every year! Him being a man of peace and his dad being a scouser;
3. "The Lovers sculpture - City of Love and Peace"; 4. Sculpture
to all the Liverpool Merchant Seamen at Pier Head. 2nd world war ships
engine - "Jobs before they become yobs project" where from this
they learn skills about seamanship; 5. Cammell Lairds seamen-women school-college-learning
everything from Health & Safety to cooking, etc. Deck hands sailing
to building more; 6. Saving the Welsh Streets and others before they all
go and build their ghettos in the sky? They're stealing our sky didn't
Something for every part of our city to create jobs and keep the pool
"Just an ordinary guy"?