I know it is awful what i am about to say so please don’t judge me for it.
But when i first started on Walsall council for the architects department in 1977, i was working on the new building sites, Dorchester rd in new invention, blockall in darlaston, and most of my work mates were Black and Asian.
We had one old Indian guy who had been a minister back in his own country, and he had retrained as a carpenter, but when he turned up to do the work he was putting the skirting boards on using an old brace,and he was drilling and plugging it, while the other lads were just nailing it on for quickness.
So after a while they took him off the tools and gave him a sweeping brush, and told him just to go around cleaning the houses up to get them ready for turnover.
Which must have been a blow to the once proud man that had held office back in his country of birth, but t least he was still earning a wage.
He used to use our canteen on a dinner time, and bought his food in one of those tin containers, i think they call them tiffins? and we had a white tradesman that took pleasure every lunch time to get to the container before him, and throw it on the roof.
At the time i was only 17 and the guy was the site bully, and i was advised just to leave it and not say anything, i had already gone through a site initiation ceremony at his hands, with him nailing me to the floor(with the help from others) and removing my trousers and underwear.
I HATED him for what he had done to the old Indian guy, so we fast forward to about 2000, the tradesman is still working for us but i don’t see him or have anything to do with him, and he passes away, so the council give us half a day to go to his funeral, and i go.
As i was standing outside the crem, talking to about 20 work mates, one of them shouts over to me " hey chunk, how come you have come you didn’t like him?"
And i shouted back " well i just wanted half a day off to see the bastard burn"