Hometown - BME Group Reminiscence - Part 2

Memories of Hometown's - January 2009

By Lu Pearson

Photo:Effat & Mohammed - Persepolis, Iran

Effat & Mohammed - Persepolis, Iran

Photo from WRVS Heritage Plus Archive

Photo:Mohammed and children in Iran - Iranian New Year 1977

Mohammed and children in Iran - Iranian New Year 1977

Photo from WRVS Heritage Plus Archive

Photo:Effat age 25, 1979 Tehran, Iran

Effat age 25, 1979 Tehran, Iran

Photo from WRVS Heritage Plus Archive

Photo:Effat & Parents 1955

Effat & Parents 1955

Photo from WRVS Heritage Plus Archive

Brighton's Black and Minority Ethnic's first group reminiscence heard participants recall childhood memories of their hometown's.

Mohammad: Born 1945, Neishaboor, Iran

My city has had lots of poets. It was the centre of Iranian culture when Mongolia attacked it. It has a long history linked to Persia. In total, there were three girls and four boys in my family.

There were lots of parks and gardens in Neishaboor and lots of horses and carriages. But now there are many taxis and buses. Now everything's been modernised. We lived in a big house with a fountain and gold fishes, plenty of fruit such as apples and grapes; and we had beautiful roses.

I started school at six. For six years I was at Junior school and for three years I was at Intermediate school. I went to university after passing my high school exams.

I joined the Navy and trained in Italy for three years. I qualified as an electro mechanic and back in Iran I taught all the things that I learnt in the Navy to students."

Effat: Born 1954, Tehran, Iran

"My dad was an army officer and was often in training. Mum didn't work. I was born April 1st. We lived under the Shah. Dad moved from Tehran to the North. We went to school like normal kids. I had one sister and six brothers.

I looked after my brothers. My mother had problems with her hands so I washed the dishes for her. My sister swept. My brothers helped with cleaning.

We didn't have T.V. so we went to watch T.V. in a coffee shop (when T.V. first came to Tehran). Every Friday, mum would take us to see movies. We used to watch 'Days of Our Lives' and 'Gilligan Island' on black and white T.V. In the Summer we slept in the roof and we used to try to watch our neighbour's T.V.

We always had a lot of guests. Cousins would travel to see one another at New Year. We would never allow our guests to go to a hotel; that's not our culture."

Noel: Born 1939, Liverpool, England

"My earliest memory was sitting in an air raid shelter, with all the bangs and booms. Mum and dad used to say it was Uncle Sam tipping the coal! I didn't have a life of beaches in the tropics. We were certainly deprived of fruits! We lived in a Victorian railway house in the country. It was cold in Winter. My father used to collect coal from the railway for the house fire. There was no electricity in those days, just gas. Mum washed clothes from the gas boiler.

In the evenings, my father was an air raid warden. We really got hit hard by the war. I didn't have any toys to play with as all the metal was used for weapons. Even the metal was taken from the houses to make weapons.

Then we moved to Manchester. I went to Grammar School for five to six years. I wasn't given a job at sixteen to eighteen as I had to go into the national service. I was resilient, I got on with things; children always do."

Shirley: Born 1942, Guyana, South America

I was born in my grandmother's house in the country. The grandparents on my mother's side were rice farmers. They sold rice, fruit and supplied milk to locals. Everyone knew everyone else. I was in a family of three - I had one sister and one brother. Mum was one of ten and so was dad.

On my father's side, the dad (my grandfather), was a tailor. I remember him teaching my dad how to measure and sew a shirt. Mother was an excellent seamstress. Every single girl in my grandparents' families learnt to sew and cook. Mum made our clothes: mainly dresses for me and trousers and shirts for my brothers. Everything was made by my mother on a Singer machine.

As children, we didn't pay much attention to war. Mother listened to the BBC 'World Service'. Mum and dad liked listening to the news. My grandparents had no electricity so they didn't have what you call blackouts. They had oil lamps.

In my early childhood I kept moving because of my father's profession as a pharmacist. From one to five I was at my father's post in a prison. I grew up being looked after by prisoners - all my siblings too. We would be rocked to sleep on hammocks."

This page was added by Lu Pearson on 27/04/2009.

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.