Mr Clement Carnegie

Clement Carnegie stepped onto UK soil on a bitterly cold January day in 1960. Living first in London and then Wolverhampton, Clement was drawn to Newport by the prospect of work at the new Spencer Works (later to be known as Llanwern steelworks).

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Life in Jamaica

Clement – better known as Passey – was born on May 24, 1931 in the parish of St Elizabeth, Jamaica.

The son of a cultivator in Horton, the young Clement spent his early years tending to the farm animals – goats, pigs and chicken – and helping his father grow popular crops like peanuts, callaloo, rice and green beans.

The two of them would travel to market in Kingston to sell their produce and any left over food would be given away before the hot sun dried it - or eaten by Clement. 

Clement enjoyed fishing and he'd head for a channel coming off the Black River where he'd catch the fish swimming upriver.

He met his wife Veris in Jamaica when her father bought land near his home. The young couple fell in love and started a family.

The Kendal railway crash

Tragedy struck Jamaica on September 1, 1957 when twelve carriages of the Montego Bay to Kingston train derailed. It was the worst accident in the island’s history.

The train was overcrowded – there were around 1600 passengers on board – and many were known criminals and pickpockets. Nearly 200 people died, including several of Clement’s friends.

Moving to the UK

Soon after the crash, Clement started to think about moving to the UK. He wanted a better life for his young family.

He sailed from Jamaica on December 31st 1959 – for him 1960 would not just be a new year but a whole new way of life in another country. He left Veris and two small children behind.

In Jamaica, he’d been used to working outdoors but in the UK the jobs available were in heavy industry.

He quickly found work, first in London and then later in Wolverhampton.

Moving to Newport

In 1961, Clement sent for his wife Veris – the couple’s children remained behind in Jamaica with their grandmother.

With Veris at his side, Clement decided to join his brother Stanley in Newport.

It was the early sixties and the newly built Spencer Works needed men to work in the steel industry – thousands of them. 

Clement found work in the new steelworks.

The Carnegies had other children, but the oldest two – Patrick and Viveen – remained in Jamaica.

They stayed in Newport and lived in Capel Crescent for thirty years, later moving to Balmoral Road and then Treberth estate.

Clement Carnegie died on January 22, 2016 at home in Wales.


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