LISTEN TO CLARICE REID 30 MINUTE INTERVIEW HERE:
Clarice Reid Interview
Clarice Jones met and married Lindon Wright in Trelawny Jamaica they had four children before he left for England. He then sent for her later.
Growing up, her father was a farmer and her mother remained home to look after her and her five siblings. Not able to take up higher education through lack of funds.
She talks of the journey to England in November 1959 as a British Subject, paying £85 for her airline passage. Expectations to remain for five years so left her children with her mother to look after until she could send for them.
Once she arrived in England she and her husband had to rent rooms in shared houses. She talked about accommodation, her first impressions of snow which she thought was dust; working in poor conditions in a tin factory, her determination to work. Began her nursing career but unable to pursue State Registered Nursing training. Working in the NHS at Brook General Hospital for 26 years as a nursing auxiliary.
Clarice and husband both worked and bought their first home in Lewisham but legally as a female woman were not named on mortgages. She talks of the hardship of looking after her four young children when her marriage broke down and the house sold by her husband and being homeless.
Talked of being re-homed by social services and determination to keep her family together. working night and day and living in one room without any financial support from the state. She talked of her gratitude of being able to raise her family. She enjoyed entertainment while in Jamaica but once in England caring for her children was her life until they grew up.
She had a photo of a wedding at St Stephens Church in Lewisham she and her husband and two children attended in 1964 and talked about who was present.
Looking back on her life in Jamaica. She had plans to return in her retirement having remarried, to become Clarice Reid, but decided to stay.
She talks of her health, being a cancer survivor, how life was hard, but happy now and feel her place is here in England.
Considers younger Black people will suffer in the current economy because things have changed and its hard for them.