On Monday we released Audrey Dewjee’s fantastic story about Alford Gardner, one of the 5,400 West Indian volunteers who joined the RAF as ground crew during the Second World War. Gardner did his basic training at Filey and was stationed there for around six months before being posted to different parts of the country. Although Gardner returned to Jamaica after the war ended, he returned to Britain with his brother on board the famous Empire Windrush and carved out a life for himself in Leeds.
Read Alford Gardner’s story.
Yesterday we released a story about Somalian Mahmood Mattan, who was wrongly convicted for murdering Lily Volpert in Cardiff on 6 March 1952. He was sentenced to hang and was executed six months later, on 3 September. In 1998, after a long campaign by his wife Laura and their three children, Mattan’s conviction was quashed and it was acknowledged that he was not guilty for the crime that had cost him his life.
Read Mahmood Mattan’s story.
Black entertainers at the Tivoli
On Monday we released a piece about Black entertainers at the Tivoli Theatre. Through extensive research, we have been able to trace some of the actors, musicians, dancers and comedians who performed at the popular local theatre between its opening in 1912 and closure in 1954. Among the most famous and well received were African American entertainers Layton and Johnstone.
Find out who else performed at the Tivoli Theatre in the full article.
The deaths of sailors of African descent
This week’s blog post explores the dangers of working in the maritime sphere and reveals the names of men of African descent, with a connection to this region, whom tragically perished. Sadly, the sailors identified in this piece typically drowned as a result of war, bad weather or due to tragic accidents.
Read our latest blog post.
Black seamen at Scarborough, 1748-1765
After a two week break over Easter, we returned on Monday with a fascinating, early piece about sailors of African descent in Scarborough by Charles R. Foy, Associate Professor in Early American & Atlantic History at Eastern Illinois University. Through extensive work researching ship musters, Foy has uncovered information on several Black seafarers who had a connection to Scarborough in the mid-eighteenth century and one, Robert Staves who lived in the town during this period.
Find out about the lives of these men in the full article.
Samuel Morgan Smith
Samuel Morgan Smith was a famous African American actor who moved across the Atlantic to pursue his career on stage. He toured across Britain throughout the mid nineteenth century, performing in East Yorkshire in the late 1860s and mid-1870s. In 1875, Samuel Morgan Smith and his wife amused audiences at Goole with their 'Unique Drawing Room Entertainment'.
Read the feature on Samuel Morgan Smith.
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