Fifty years on… how the Wolverhampton community remembered Enoch Powell

It’s fifty years since Enoch Powell made his infamous ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech. Journalist LYNN BUTLER attended the ‘Rivers of Love’ rally held in the same room at the Burlington Hotel…



“I’d like to think that if Enoch Powell was here today he would stand up and apologise to all and sundry and say ‘I was wrong’.”

– Brendon Baston OBE, former West Bromwich Albion footballer


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“In 1948, the Empire Windrush arrived at Tilbury Docks. The promise was of streets paved with gold. The reality, as we know, was very different.”

– Rose Brown, Unison NEC member for the West Midlands


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“Fifty-five years ago there was a black woman walking down the street in Walsall. She was pregnant and she was attacked in the street. She survived and her child survived. That was my mom and that was me.”

– Roger McKenzie, Deputy General Secretary, Unison

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“I wish my dad was alive to see that in the very place those evil words were said, his daughter is joining with others in defiance and as a real and practical legacy of how wrong Enoch Powell was.”

– Salma Yaqoob, head of the Birmingham Stop the War Coalition and spokesperson for Birmingham Central Mosque

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“We will all stand together, united in solidarity.”

– Labour MP Eleanor Smith, Wolverhampton South West (pictured standing)



“We represent all that is good in this country and we represent the majority of people out there who say we are not going to stand for racism. We are going to meet it head on.”

– Brendon Baston OBE, former West Bromwich Albion footballer


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“What we are here for is the future, and what we want to do is make sure Powell belongs in the dustbin of history. He doesn’t represent us.”

– Weyman Bennett, co-convenor of Stand Up To Racism


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“People commit racism because they know they can get away with it. The only way of getting rid of this cancer is by tackling systematic, institutionalised racism. We have to start there.”

– Maxie Hayles, anti-racism activist (seated right)


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“We are all one. It is time for all of us to stand up and be counted.”

– Reverend Doctor Desmond Jaddoo


There are fears racism is on the rise again, with 3,495 incidents reported to West Midlands Police in 2017, compared with 2,328 in 2013, according to Weyman Bennett, Joint National Convenor for the Stand Up to Racism campaign.

Salma Yaqoob, Head of the Birmingham Stop the War Coalition, told the invited audience of around 50 campaigners they represented ‘the best’ of the region and were a legacy of ‘how wrong Enoch Powell was.’

But she warned racism in the West Midlands wasn’t dead, adding: “Whether it’s institutional, cultural or ignorant, it’s still there. But we won’t give up hope and we won’t be complacent.”


Living Memory project at Haden Hill House this June!

Black Country archive project Living Memory is holding an exhibition, writing workshop featuring ARTS FOUNDRY editor Louise Palfreyman and archive talks at Haden Hill House this June. Geoff Broadway tells us more…

We are delighted to announce our first exhibition of the Living Memory project at Haden Hill House Museum in Cradley Heath, Sandwell, running from 21 June – 1 July 2018.

We will be presenting a selection of photographs and stories that have been shared with us from the local area, with a special spotlight on the Ron Moss collection. Our exhibition also features new work created about the collections by Walk Works, photographic students from Sandwell College and pupils of St Michael’s CE High School, Rowley Regis.

We have also organised a special celebration day that includes talks, archive sharing and a creative writing workshop. We be in residence at Haden Hill House on several days to talk about the project and record more stories and photographs around local people’s collections.

Page from the Jean Sweetland family album, Oldbury

You can find about all that is happening around the Living Memory project at Haden Hill House Museum with all the dates, times and linked booking information by viewing the full programme (pdf).


Haden Hill House Museum
In Perspective – Photography Collections and The Black Country
Saturday 30 June, 11am – 3.30pm Free event
A day celebrating some of the important photographic collections and archives from across the Black Country. We are delighted to bring together five specialists to discuss the unique collections that they have created over many years. We want to share some of
the stories behind these collections and explore what the future may hold for
these collections.
The event is free but booking is essential as places are limited due to room restrictions. To reserve your place please go to our Eventbrite booking page.

Writing Workshop 
Louise Palfreyman: Writing around collections
Saturday 30 June, 2pm, £5

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Bob Mansell Collection 1980

Louise will lead a short story writing workshop using archive images as a starting point. Expect fun exercises to get your creativity flowing, expert guidance and come away inspired. If you have a personal image that you want to write about then we encourage you to bring it along on the day.
The two hour session costs £5 and booking through our Eventbrite page is essential to reserve your place.

Archives Collections on View 11am – 4pm


Sample materials from the Living Memory project, The Jubilee Arts Archive, The APNA archive and Sandwell Archives will be on view throughout the day. You can come and talk to us about each of the collections, look through some of the work and learn more about the background stories.


Midsummer Music in Park
Sunday 24 June, 12-4pm
We will be taking part in this year’s 1950s-themed event that takes place throughout the lovely park grounds. We be running a Living Memory stall and sharing some more of the fascinating stories and photographs we have collected. Bring along your own favourite
photograph to share with the project or just come and say hello and arrange a time for a more in-depth sharing session. We will also be giving guided tours of the Living Memory exhibition.

John Henry Price (back row in sailor’s uniform) and family outside their Oldbury home, 1950

In Residence at Haden Hill House Museum
Thursday 28 June, 11am-3pm

Our team of skilled volunteers are setting up a special recording and digitising studio within the house for the day. You are invited to book for a special one-to-one session where you can talk about your own album, photography collection and record your story in your own words. You will need to make an appointment rather than
simply ‘drop-in’.

Contact Rachel at or 07967 093256 to book your slot. We will also be available on the day for guided tours of the exhibition and to talk more about the project.

Contact Geoff at or 07850 176567 to find out more about the Living Memory project and what we are up to at Haden Hill House Museum.

Banner image: Ron Moss and Family self-portrait, 1962. The Ron Moss Collection. All images courtesy of the Living Memory Project.

Visit Haden Hill House in June to see more!