Three Pounds In My Pocket [world Service]

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
01Three Pounds in My Pocket - The Documentary2015011120150114 (WS)

Stories from those who came to the UK from the Indian subcontinent in the '50s and '60s

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

In the 1950s and 1960s tens of thousands of migrants came to Britain from the Indian subcontinent. Many arrived with no more than £3 in their pocket - the limit set by the Indian authorities. They came to work in Britain's factories, foundries, and new public services. It was a time when the country desperately needed workers from its former colonies to regenerate its post-war economy.

Presenter Kavita Puri, whose own father Ravi came with just a few pounds himself, hears his and other stories of the pioneering men and women who arrived in the '50s and '60s. They recall their first impressions of the country that once ruled over their own: the shocking housing conditions, the curiosity of neighbours and kindness of strangers and also the memories of casual racism and animosity. And they discuss their sense of belonging to their adopted homeland.

These pioneer men and women led the way for the three million people of South Asian descent who live in Britain today.

Producer: Smita Patel

(Image: The Grewal Family. Credit: The Grewal Family.)

01Three Pounds in My Pocket - The Documentary20150111

Stories from those who came to the UK from the Indian subcontinent in the '50s and '60s

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

In the 1950s and 1960s tens of thousands of migrants came to Britain from the Indian subcontinent. Many arrived with no more than £3 in their pocket - the limit set by the Indian authorities. They came to work in Britain's factories, foundries, and new public services. It was a time when the country desperately needed workers from its former colonies to regenerate its post-war economy.

Presenter Kavita Puri, whose own father Ravi came with just a few pounds himself, hears his and other stories of the pioneering men and women who arrived in the '50s and '60s. They recall their first impressions of the country that once ruled over their own: the shocking housing conditions, the curiosity of neighbours and kindness of strangers and also the memories of casual racism and animosity. And they discuss their sense of belonging to their adopted homeland.

These pioneer men and women led the way for the three million people of South Asian descent who live in Britain today.

Producer: Smita Patel

(Image: The Grewal Family. Credit: The Grewal Family.)

02The Documentary20151101

02The Documentary20151101

Kavita Puri hears the stories of the early migrants who came to post-war Britain from the Indian subcontinent. Many arrived with as little as £3 - strict currency exchange controls meant they couldn't bring in any more. In this second episode, she picks up the story of the three pound generation from the late 1960s to 1981, starting in the pivotal year of 1968. The British government had passed the Race Relations Act and the conservative Politician Enoch Powell had divided the nation with his impassioned warnings about the effects of immigration on British society. By the early 1970s the numbers from the Indian subcontinent had increased with family reunions, and people fleeing Bangladesh following the war of Independence in 1971. Asians also came from Kenya and Uganda, following political turmoil there. With larger numbers, the community became more visible. The atmosphere on the street was changing - in contrast to the post-war years - where many had been greeted with curiosity. Racist abuse became commonplace as immigration became a charged political issue. From 1976 onwards there were confrontations and street battles across the country, in largely immigrant towns, between the far-right National Front and anti-racist organisations. Many from the first generation shied away from conflict and ignored racist abuse. The younger generation - many born here - fought back. "We are likely to die in this country," one interviewee says, "so if it means staying and fighting that's what we will have to do, and we won't give an inch."

02The Documentary20151101

Stories of the pioneers who came to post war Britain from the Indian subcontinent.

02The Documentary2015110120151104 (WS)

Stories of the pioneers who came to post war Britain from the Indian subcontinent.

02The Documentary2015110120151104 (WS)

Stories of the pioneers who came to post war Britain from the Indian subcontinent.

Stories of the pioneers who came to post war Britain from the Indian subcontinent.

Kavita Puri hears the stories of the early migrants who came to post-war Britain from the Indian subcontinent. Many arrived with as little as £3 - strict currency exchange controls meant they couldn't bring in any more. In this second episode, she picks up the story of the three pound generation from the late 1960s to 1981, starting in the pivotal year of 1968. The British government had passed the Race Relations Act and the conservative Politician Enoch Powell had divided the nation with his impassioned warnings about the effects of immigration on British society. By the early 1970s the numbers from the Indian subcontinent had increased with family reunions, and people fleeing Bangladesh following the war of Independence in 1971. Asians also came from Kenya and Uganda, following political turmoil there. With larger numbers, the community became more visible. The atmosphere on the street was changing - in contrast to the post-war years - where many had been greeted with curiosity. Racist abuse became commonplace as immigration became a charged political issue. From 1976 onwards there were confrontations and street battles across the country, in largely immigrant towns, between the far-right National Front and anti-racist organisations. Many from the first generation shied away from conflict and ignored racist abuse. The younger generation - many born here - fought back. "We are likely to die in this country," one interviewee says, "so if it means staying and fighting that's what we will have to do, and we won't give an inch."

02Three Pounds in My Pocket - The Documentary2015103120151101 (WS)

Stories of the pioneers who came to post war Britain from the Indian subcontinent.

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Kavita Puri hears the stories of the early migrants who came to post-war Britain from the Indian subcontinent. Many arrived with as little as £3 - strict currency exchange controls meant they couldn't bring in any more. In this second episode, she picks up the story of the three pound generation from the late 1960s to 1981, starting in the pivotal year of 1968. The British government had passed the Race Relations Act and the conservative Politician Enoch Powell had divided the nation with his impassioned warnings about the effects of immigration on British society. By the early 1970s the numbers from the Indian subcontinent had increased with family reunions, and people fleeing Bangladesh following the war of Independence in 1971. Asians also came from Kenya and Uganda, following political turmoil there. With larger numbers, the community became more visible. The atmosphere on the street was changing - in contrast to the post-war years - where many had been greeted with curiosity. Racist abuse became commonplace as immigration became a charged political issue. From 1976 onwards there were confrontations and street battles across the country, in largely immigrant towns, between the far-right National Front and anti-racist organisations. Many from the first generation shied away from conflict and ignored racist abuse. The younger generation - many born here - fought back. "We are likely to die in this country," one interviewee says, "so if it means staying and fighting that's what we will have to do, and we won't give an inch."

02Three Pounds in My Pocket - The Documentary2015103120151104 (WS)

Stories of the pioneers who came to post war Britain from the Indian subcontinent.

Investigating global developments, issues and affairs.

Kavita Puri hears the stories of the early migrants who came to post-war Britain from the Indian subcontinent. Many arrived with as little as £3 - strict currency exchange controls meant they couldn't bring in any more. In this second episode, she picks up the story of the three pound generation from the late 1960s to 1981, starting in the pivotal year of 1968. The British government had passed the Race Relations Act and the conservative Politician Enoch Powell had divided the nation with his impassioned warnings about the effects of immigration on British society. By the early 1970s the numbers from the Indian subcontinent had increased with family reunions, and people fleeing Bangladesh following the war of Independence in 1971. Asians also came from Kenya and Uganda, following political turmoil there. With larger numbers, the community became more visible. The atmosphere on the street was changing - in contrast to the post-war years - where many had been greeted with curiosity. Racist abuse became commonplace as immigration became a charged political issue. From 1976 onwards there were confrontations and street battles across the country, in largely immigrant towns, between the far-right National Front and anti-racist organisations. Many from the first generation shied away from conflict and ignored racist abuse. The younger generation - many born here - fought back. "We are likely to die in this country," one interviewee says, "so if it means staying and fighting that's what we will have to do, and we won't give an inch."