Interviewee 1: We are not Windrush children in the sense that we didn’t come over, we were born in England but our mother and father came over from the island of Montserrat in the Carribean. Our mum came to this country when she was 18, she carried my six month old brother and our experience is really about the culture she brought with her and our experiences growing up in England at a time where migration was new, for instance when we went to school we were in a minority at school and as much as we were born in England there were clear divisions in school between those with Carribean parents and those of us who were born in England - the indigenous population. Things that I remember are all the stories mummy told us before she actually arrived in England and feeling cold
Interviewee 2: Yea, the smog, the coldness, the darkness, the smog from the factories, running for the bus, such memories that we don’t necessarily share with our generation of children now, but when we look back we still share the stories of our mother.
Interviewee 1: Yea, our mum has been really good at sharing with her grandchildren what her experiences were, so one of the stories she told is that my father had come here first and he sent for her to come, and when she arrived he took her in to get a job, and he was in the interview room with her and the boss was asking him the questions instead of my mum, until eventually my mum turned round and looks at my father and said ‘why is he asking you the questions?’ and then the boss responded something like ‘bloody hell she speaks better than I do!’ and it just makes me laugh, because even now we were brought up to speak a particular way.
Interviewee 2: Yea, very clear, very precise, no lingo!
Interviewee 1: Definitely the queen’s english, and we were told we would not be looked on well if we didn’t speak well. And now that I’m older, I’m often in the workplace and people do sometimes laugh at my accent and say ‘oh, she’s trying to talk posh’ - but when I was growing up people spoke the queen’s English, and we grew up in Islington, but we weren’t allowed to speak Cockney at home, we spoke standard English, because it was deemed that if you’re in another country you have to present yourself in the best way possible.