story icon First Impressions of England in 1964

Contributed by: Sula Chance
1964 - 2003

Butterfly Fish

I came to England from Trinidad early in 1964, to study nursing. Of course I remember the cold, but I was also struck by the sheer number of houses and how close together they were. I had never imagined the wealth of England as estates of terraced houses, with chimneys smoking everywhere. I was also surprised to see white men working on street repairs. I was accustomed to white supervisors and coloured workmen.

Nearly all the residents of the trainee nurses' quarters were coloured, from all parts of the former British Empire. We all had our little pots of condiments and pepper sauce from home to liven up the food which was served to us in seemingly enormous but bland quantities. In those days the basic English diet comprised Breakfast, Lunch, Tea and Supper, and four meals a day, some of three courses, were an amazing novelty!

Carnival King

Having retired from nursing and raised my family, I am now concentrating full time on painting scenes inspired by Trinidad's Carnival culture and the Caribbean's beautiful landscapes, flora and fauna. I paint in a naive style which, for me, is the best replication of childhood's first impressions of colours and shapes. My paintings were featured over Christmas and New Year 2002/3 in an exhibition in Piccadilly Circus sponsored by London Underground.

You can see some more of my work on my website

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