Birmingham Black Oral History Project R1151 Oral History Interview – Frank Scantlebury 30/08/1991 Interviewee: Frank Scantlebury Interviewer: Doreen Price
This is an oral history interview with Frank Scantlebury, recorded in 1991, as part of the Birmingham Black Oral History Project (BBOHP), discussing his life in Barbados and the UK.
Frank was raised by his grandparents in Barbados, though his parents and siblings lived close by. He left Barbados on 16th June 1955 at just 18 years old. He initially lived in Bath and began working for a signage company. He enjoyed the city and his job, though did experience racism in the workplace.
Frank moved to Saltley, Birmingham, in the 1960s and began work for British Rail, first as a signalman and later as a guard. He also spent time working at the BSA factory making motorbikes, a job he really enjoyed. He was married, later divorced, and had a son and a daughter.
These recordings include racially explicit content, including discussions of racism, prejudice and violence; and language and phrasing that we would not use today. Some of this content might be unsuitable for younger listeners or triggering for People of Colour. We recommend reading the description for each track before choosing to listen.
Track 6 Poverty and discrimination towards Black people Frank discusses the gap between rich and poor people, the Black middle-classes, prejudice towards Black people, protests about employment during the 1940s, as well as the impact of world war two on Island life - including rationing. He also discusses 'illegitimate children' in the Caribbean