I am stuck in one room of somebody’s house in Catford. The funny thing is that my husband and I used to offer lodgings to the parents of this woman in whose house I’m living. There was a time, not too long ago, when nobody wanted to live in Catford. Catford was a place you passed through on your way to somewhere better. Dulwich, Thornton Heath or Forest Hill were the places of choice, then. Now you can barely walk through Catford without bumping into a new estate agency set in between the £1 stores.
Well-to-do Jamaicans of the 1950s did not think England was an advanced enough country for them to settle in. Unlike other West Indian islanders, only poor or relatively poor Jamaicans who none-the-less could afford the fares, left for the United Kingdom. Educated Jamaicans did not consider England an option at all. Many of our young men had travelled there during the war, and they did not like what they had seen. The educated ones among us rather opted for the United States of America, or Canada, wherever possible.