September 24 2014 Latest news:
by Janine Rasiah, Senior Reporter
Monday, August 11, 2014
The lives and stories of West Indian immigrants moving to Newham have been told in a book penned by the daughter of one of the borough’s first arrivals.
Claudia Lord-Lynch wrote Distant Dreams loosely based on her father’s experiences of moving from Grenada to Stratford in the Sixties.
“It’s a little bit of history that needs to be told,” she explained.
“I have grown up listening to my father and these stories about how it was when he first came to the country.”
Her father, Edwin Lord, who was known as Rupert, settled in Plaistow for most of his adult life before moving back to his homeland.
Claudia, 49, said: “He came over for the opportunities that he wouldn’t have had in his homeland as in this country following the war they needed people to come and work and my father happened to be in one of those preferred professions, as a carpenter.”
Her novel aims to highlight the rejection and hostility immigrants endured but also reveal their determination to overcome obstacles and their efforts in creating a more integrated, cosmopolitan and diverse country.
One of Claudia’s favourite moments in the book is in the last chapter when she describes her father reflecting on his experiences, including losing a child and dealing with his ambition of becoming an architect not being realised.
“He was thrilled and ecstatic that I decided to tell his story,” Claudia said. “He has enjoyed reading it and hopefully it will also teach the younger generation about the contribution that Caribbean people have made to our society.”
*Distant Dreams costs £9.95 and is available from Amazon and Anchor House