bertportrait_lBert has lived in Brighton and Hove since 1967, he moved down after he left the Royal Air Force. He is retired now after working for the NHS for 26 years. He does a couple of things (!) including voluntary work for MOSAIC and helping to run the Brighton and Hove Black History Group.

What brought you to Brighton and Hove?

My first visit here was in October of 1960, my two sisters were recruited from Jamaica and were brought to Brighton General Hospital. When I came over to England in 1960, I visited them. That was my first visit to Brighton and I loved it straight away. I love the chalk hills, I love the valleys, I love the sea, I just love the Downs. When I came here first, I’m sure I saw it all in colour, I saw a load of flowers and buildings like the Royal Pavilion. I’d never seen a building like that before and I was very, very touched by it really.

How do you relax?

Bert2You wouldn’t believe it but I enjoy doing Black History research work and I do spend a lot of time doing it and I feel it’s a form of relaxing. Since the advent of the internet, I spend more time doing research on the internet than I do in the local studies. I enjoy my gardening and I do love having the grandkids around
especially at the weekends. I like taking them to the park and I like showing them how to do a bit of gardening, at the moment we’re planting seeds. I enjoy Sunday lunch with the family.

What would you change about Brighton and Hove?

I would like to see Brighton much safer, when I say safe, I mean for women and Black people to walk around and feel safe. There is a lot of racism in Brighton, I would like to see that abolished. I’d like to see more equality for BME people and maybe an equal share of resources around the BME people.