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"An oral history interview with Barbara Paulette Palmer in Cardiff, discussing her experience of growing up within a family which migrated from the Caribbean during the 1950s. “As you get older…the story has to be told…”
Paulette Palmer was born in March 1955 in St Elizabeth, Jamaica, and she is the second eldest of six siblings.

“They were working class people, my dad worked in the steelworks in Newport and my mum worked in the Royal Gwent Hospital. My father came was at the late 50s, maybe early 60s.”
“I was brought up with my grandparents, as is the custom in Jamaica… when there’s a number of children in the family, it is not unusual for one to be brought up with grandparents or a family member… My biggest memory of home I suppose of working hard…”
Paulette was the last of her siblings to come to the UK. On the 17th of May 1970, Paulette landed in London on a state-owned airline flight named BOAC. She wore a yellow lace dress.
“The early stage of settling in here, that was a little bit of a culture shock… you can imagine being a teenager growing up with grandparents and then coming over with your parents and siblings, you’ve been away from them…‘What are they going to look like?’”
“I came straight to Newport and from Newport then I came to Cardiff, well, actually, it was Penarth, in 1974, to do my nurses training. I was actually one of the midwives from our community… did my degree nursing after I had six children… It’s always a struggle, and after I qualified as nurse, I did 20 years of [working] nights.”
“I suppose I’m a strong person and my strength is within me. I don’t recall ever being weak, even though life throw me a lot of challenges, but somehow I get over them and, you know, go on.”


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