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 8 Emigrating to England Frank talks about the long tradition of Caribbean people 'going out of the Islands' for work. He continues to talk about his travel companions from Barbados to England, and his arrival in Bath. He talks about working for Westinghouse Brake & Signal in Chippenham and living in a hostel with people from the Caribbean and Poland. He talks about racism and hostility he experienced from some of the people he worked with.