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Tony's story (part 4, page 3)

Arriving in Liverpool at around 8 o’clock in the morning, we were all weary and wasted from the incredible journey that had just befallen us. My eldest Brother Patrick was there to greet me and I was glad to see a friendly face on a faraway shore. Bags secured, we located the little mini car which was my brother’s pride and joy and set off for Birmingham. I was so travel weary that I slept all the way to England’s second city. My first impressions were like nothing I had ever seen before, houses of great stature all painted brightly and dissected into flats, mainly for the immigrant population (I include myself in that category). The colours were so vivid - pinks with blues and orange with yellow - it was a sight to behold.

On Sunday mornings in Handsworth it seemed that all the ethnic races would wash their cars; music blared from the poor quality car radios, which have now improved greatly. I had not seen many black people before so I was curious and always staring but you don’t notice after a short time. My first outing was to the pictures to see a musical West Side Story. It was excellent and remains on of my favourite films to this day - who can forget the Jets and the Sharks? - it made me want to be a dancer / singer. Birmingham was, and still is, one of the most popular cities and welcomes all its visitors. Steeped in history and mentioned in the Doomsday Book, it’s the home of the famous City of Birmingham Orchestra and the great Roy Wood, who is with us every year because of a very special song "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" How many of us remember that with fondness? Earning it the title of "the city of a thousand trades" because of its vast diversity of manufacturing, Birmingham is still an important manufacturing centre today, producing among many other things, chocolate, cars and jewellery. From Birmingham I would travel to Scotland to work at the famous holiday camp Butlins in Ayr.


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