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Title: R1153 merged_Frank Scantlebury
Description: Birmingham Black Oral History Project
R1153 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 1 Working life
Frank talks about working for British Rail as a Signalman in Birmingham

Track 2 Working life
Frank continues to talk about being a Signalman, and later as a Train Guard.

Track 3 Working life
Frank continues to talk about being a Train Guard, including the people he met, and the abuse train crew sometimes experienced.

Track 4 Working life
Frank describes a violent incident towards him whilst working as a guard. He also talks about living in Saltley since 1961, Asian and Caribbean communities and shops.

Track 5 Buying a home
Frank discusses getting a mortgage, his divorce, and raising his children. He also talks about redevelopment in Saltley, and his house in Bath.

Track 6 Home and working life
Frank continues to discuss the house he lived in in Bath during the 1950s, the people who lived there, his rent etc. He also talks about working on a farm.

Track 7 Visiting London
Frank talks about visiting London. He also talks about adjusting to the English climate, and his first experience of snow.

Track 8 Living in Bath
Frank continues to talk about the first time he experienced snow. He also continues to talk about living in Bath and joining YMCA. He also talks about kindness in the face of racism and discrimination.

Track 9 Working life
Frank continues to talk about working as a machine operator
Keywords:
Birmingham Museums Trust/Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery
,
British Empire
,
Birmingham history
,
Sound Archive
/
Oral History
,
Social history
/
BBOHP
,
Social history
/
Birmingham Black Oral History Project
,
Black History
/
Windrush
,
West Indies
,
Colonialism
   
Usage Rights: CC BY-NC 3.0 - Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 You are free to share & adapt this material. Credit: © Birmingham Museums Trust
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