Story of the Bus Boycott

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What is the Story of the Bristol Bus Boycott, 1963?


May 1963
West Indians & the Black Englishman
A resistance gathers

In May 1963 a group of young West Indians, Roy Hackett, Guy Bailey, Prince Brown and Owen Henry, led by British born Paul Stephenson organised a boycott against the Bristol Omnibus Company for refusing to employ Black and Asian bus crews.

April 1963
Resistance Builds
Protests are organised

As well as organising protest days when the public were persuaded not to take the bus, they also held meetings and marched through the city. .

May 1963
Media baby
Powering the Media

Paul Stephenson understood the power of the media and the story was reported both locally and nationally.

May 1963
Upping the Ante
Friends in high places

The protest gathered momentum. The Transport and General Workers Union (TGW) did not support the camapign and the Bishop of Bristol came out against it but the cricketer and Trinidadian Ambassador Sir Learie Constantine got involved with the campaign and lost his job because of it.

July 1963
Fair Play
Just not cricket

It was a crucial time for the Black community in Bristol, as the protest went on in the city streets the West Indian Cricket team were winning against England at the cricket ground.

August 1963
Raghbir become first black conductor

On the 27th August the Bus Company held a general meeting and the ban on Black and Asian bus crews was repealed. Raghbir Singh was the first Coloured bus conductor.

Race Relations Act
Racial Discrimination outlawed in UK

The victory of this small group was an important element in Race Relations Act which was instigated only two years later in 1965 and made it illegal to discriminate against Coloured people in public places.

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