Bridget was born in St Vincent. Her father came to England in the 1950s and soon sent for her mother after settling in High Wycombe. Bridget and her siblings stayed with their mother’s sisters back in St Vincent while their parents saved up to bring their children across to England. Bridget felt that one sister was kind, but the other was cruel.
My brother Leroy was the first to be sent for, then my other siblings. It took a while before I could join my family, once my parents had saved up for me to join then in England, because my passport got lost. The British Passport Office sent my passport to Kingston Jamaica, instead of Kingstown, St Vincent. It was a whole year before it was tracked down and sent to me in St Vincent. I finally arrived in England in 1969.
Bridget was 16 when she arrived and went straight into a job at a nearby factory called Long & Hambley, on Slater Street.
It was the rubber and plastics factory and the job was making swimming caps. There were quite a lot of other Caribbean people working there, so it was ok.
Bridget soon had to leave home and support herself. In 1972 she married an Irish labourer working on a project to extend the factory. They had children and moved to Uxbridge and then Ireland and finally back to High Wycombe.
Bridget’s dream was to be a computer technician, but she also enjoyed cooking so gained qualifications and worked at a few different places including Chef; Blue Flag, Cadmore End, George and Dragon. She became second Chef at Equity & Law and also worked at her children’s school canteens before moving to the County Council where she worked until she retired.
Bridget and family had a busy social life, centred
around her family and children.
Bridget on her wedding day, 1972.
Bridget with her children.
The Reggie Goves Centre, Town Hall, Irish Club, and Cressex Community Centre were all really family friendly. [The] Lady of Grace Church that we attend organised lots of trips to the Cotswolds, the seaside, museums etc. They were good times. I think things were far better for children back then. We did a lot of cycling, 10 pin bowling, went to rugby matches, Irish dancing events – my granddaughter got into competitions.