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Thread: The 1970 riots

  1. #1
    Senior Member danensis's Avatar
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    Default The 1970 riots

    Reading the Toxteth thread, and seeing the picture of Eddie Murphy, reminded me of the 1970 riots in Grafton Street area. As I remember the council had some sort of quota system going to ensure that new housing schemes had a racial mix, but this was considered discriminatory, so it was abolished, and of course all the families at the top of the housing list were black, so the folks who were already in the new houses got a bit upset.

    After two days the police turned up to remove the barricades, and Ed Murphy came out and said "Where the (expletive deleted) have you been for the last two days" and promptly got arrested for threatening behaviour.

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    www.liverbuild.co.uk chrismarsden's Avatar
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    I didn't know about this.
    Living in Lodge Lane during the 70's and 80's I thought I might of heard about it.

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrismarsden View Post
    I didn't know about this.
    Living in Lodge Lane during the 70's and 80's I thought I might of heard about it.
    St Nathanial St around Myrtle Gardens not Grafton ST. 1972. It went on for number of nights. All the new houses with the blacks in had all the windows smashed and the kids locked horns. Then the blacks smashed the windows of the whites.

    Taken just after:
    http://www.britishpathe.com/images//...0/00086718.WMV
    Last edited by Waterways; 03-05-2008 at 11:43 AM.
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    Senior Member lindylou's Avatar
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    Yes, I saw some of it !

    I was in a house on the Falkner estate when the front window was smashed we had to sit with the lights out until the rabble went away.

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lindylou View Post
    Yes, I saw some of it !

    I was in a house on the Falkner estate when the front window was smashed we had to sit with the lights out until the rabble went away.
    It kicked off on the Friday night. On the Saturday morning I went there to commission some new heating systems in the new houses. There was bricks and large objects all over the roads and windows smashed everywhere. The police couldn't handle it the first night and beat it for a while. Whole families were scared stiff and emotions were very high.

    The Liverpool Echo never reported it. Only when the nationals did, the Echo did.
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    Chris48
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    If these are the same riots, they were known as "The Berkeley Street Riots" within the Police.

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris48 View Post
    If these are the same riots, they were known as "The Berkeley Street Riots" within the Police.
    They were a way from Berkley St, so probably a different skirmish.
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    Senior Member lindylou's Avatar
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    Don't know about Berkley st having any connection to it.

    it was to do with the re housing of L8 residents as already stated.

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danensis View Post
    Reading the Toxteth thread, and seeing the picture of Eddie Murphy, reminded me of the 1970 riots in Grafton Street area. As I remember the council had some sort of quota system going to ensure that new housing schemes had a racial mix, but this was considered discriminatory, so it was abolished, and of course all the families at the top of the housing list were black, so the folks who were already in the new houses got a bit upset.
    At that point, the housing was based on need. Those in the worst housing were top of the list. The blacks, especially the newer immigrants, were in the worst. Many of them had only just come into the country and were given new houses with gardens and full heating/ventilation systems. The local indigenous whites saw this a favouritism as they were still living in poor housing. Many long established black families didn't like new immigrants been given brand new homes either. Taunting occurred one night and it flipped over.

    The policy was obviously wrong and clearly insensitive. Local white families in poor housing, whose linage was all British and the father and grandfathers probably fought in the war, were seeing people of a different, race, culture and colour who had contributed little to the society, coming in and been given brand new homes. Many of these people had been waiting well over 20 years to be rehoused and would naturally be not be too pleased at what they saw.

    St Nathanial St has now been demolished.
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    Senior Member lindylou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waterways View Post
    At that point, the housing was based on need. Those in the worst housing were top of the list. The blacks, especially the newer immigrants, were in the worst. Many of them had only just come into the country and were given new houses with gardens and full heating/ventilation systems. The local indigenous whites saw this a favouritism as they were still living in poor housing. Many long established black families didn't like new immigrants been given brand new homes either. Taunting occurred one night and it flipped over.

    The policy was obviously wrong and clearly insensitive. Local white families in poor housing, whose linage was all British and the father and grandfathers probably fought in the war, were seeing people of a different, race, culture and colour who had contributed little to the society, coming in and been given brand new homes. Many of these people had been waiting well over 20 years to be rehoused and would naturally be not be too pleased at what they saw.

    St Nathanial St has now been demolished.
    and it must have slipped their notice that there were many black men and women who faught and died in the war too.

    although this is a Birmingham site - the same applies to Liverpool black people who took part in the war:
    http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/printer...&MENU_ID=10596

    http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/printer...&MENU_ID=10277

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lindylou View Post
    and it must have slipped their notice that there were many balck men and women who faught and died in the war too.
    I am fully aware of WW2 - is it my pet subject. In working class Liverpool most families had someone who fought in WW2 (few never), with many having people who died in action and family members who died in German air raids on the city.

    I am attempting to put a reason why the violence occurred. I said "people of a different, race, culture and colour who had contributed little to the society, coming in and been given brand new homes." Few of these raw Caribbean and African immigrants had fought in WW2. .....and had contributed little to nothing towards this society. Not their fault - just the way it was. You can't blame them - they must have thought they had gone to heaven.

    As regards to the local whites.."Many of these people had been waiting well over 20 years to be rehoused and would naturally be not be too pleased at what they saw.
    In the early 1970s WW2 was not that far back, and still fresh in the mind. If I had fought in WW2, had a family, and had been waiting over 20 years to be rehoused, and fresh people in from the Caribbean and Africa, contributing little or nothing to the UK, were given brand new houses over the road from me...I would not be too pleased to say the least. I would wonder why I put my life on the line at all. As I said, many second and third generation Liverpool blacks (Liverpudlians) didn't like what they saw too, as they were being pushed to the back of the line as well.

    The policy was very wrong and insensitive indeed, and the violent backlash proved that.
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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lindylou View Post
    Don't know about Berkley st having any connection to it.

    it was to do with the re housing of L8 residents as already stated.
    Berkley St was probably the late 1950s early 1960s. The white boys from Park Rd and around Sussex Gardens would lock horns with the new Caribbean immigrants who lived around Berkley St/Upper Parli/Arnold St. Some of it was quite violent indeed (chains being used). As a kid I witnessed a bit of it as the blacks did one of their occasional reprisal sorties into the white part where we lived. They soon stopped it after being hammered.

    Because of this, the black population spread north up Upper Parliament St, not south, leaving Park Rd/Mill St 100% white. Then they hit white Lodge Lane and in 1972 that erupted too.
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    Senior Member ChrisGeorge's Avatar
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    Hi all

    I am speaking out of ignorance here but were there riots in Toxteth in early 1970's in addition to the famous riots in Toxteth in 1981 or is there some confusion here? Thanks, someone, for clarifying.

    Chris
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    John(Zappa)
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    With the Toxteth riots there was "Mini" riots. The shops inBroadway Norris green took a little battering.Am sure there was a few other small ones about.

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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGeorge View Post
    Hi all

    I am speaking out of ignorance here but were there riots in Toxteth in early 1970's in addition to the famous riots in Toxteth in 1981 or is there some confusion here? Thanks, someone, for clarifying.

    Chris
    To me a riot is anti-establishment thing. The Toxteth riot in 1981 was one - 100% anti police. Nothing racial in it, as most of the rioters were white.
    The 1972 "riot" was racial between mainly ethnic groups - against a housing policy if anything.
    The late 1950/early 60s Berkley St riots were pure racial. Just anti black, and the blacks anti white.
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    how it once was?


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