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"An oral history interview with Errol Alexis in Cardiff, discussing his experience of growing up within a family which migrated from the Caribbean during the 1950s. “My father was a seaman, Cardiff was a seaman’s port… Sometimes we didn’t see him for a year. He was in the Merchant Navy, in the 50s.”
Errol Alexis was born in the West Indies, on the Island of St Vincent, previously a British colony, in 1936. Errol’s father sent for him to come to Britain in 1957, at around 21 years of age.
“I wanted to be a boxer, funny enough…”
“[In school] we had an assembly, we all had to sing the [British] national anthem, in the 50s, it was the British West Indies…The schooling was all administrated by Britain.”
“I asked different people and they put me on the train and I got into Cardiff.”
“I joined the Army [laughs]… In the end, I was called up. We went trained in Maindy Barracks…We were sent to Libya… from Libya to Cyprus as a peacekeeping force to support the Police… We were posted back home, kitted out, a rest, re-trained and they send us to Berlin, this is during the Cold War… [I was] a member of the international guard, we used to guard [Rudolf] Hess…. Well, I was the only Black person there then, but, when you get together you become a family, you all depend on each other, so we [become] a unit… Six years [in the Army].”
“I finished in the Army in the 60s…”
“After a while I had a job on the railway, as the porter in Cardiff General, the end of the 60s… Then I apply for a driving job, I was driving for the railway, then Margaret Thatcher privatised part of that section. A long time, twenty years roughly [worked on railways].”
“I was about 70… A charity [called] ‘Scope’, it’s a nationwide charity, [looks] after disabled people. Twelve years roughly I worked with them…””
I like Wales, you know… You can have two homes… I think they [parents] made a good choice when he come to Wales.”

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