8 Test

“Going to West Park School and the Rivers of Blood speech – this is a part of it.” At a recent reunion of West Park’s class of 1968, Mr Edwards says he contemplated the legacy of Powell’s speech. “It was calculated, intended to create division, and to some extent it worked,” he says. “This is […]

7 A different Britain

The MP in Enoch Powell’s old seat of Wolverhampton South West is currently Labour’s Eleanor Smith – who became the West Midlands’ first female black MP at the last election – and between 2010 and 2015 it was held for the Conservatives by Paul Uppal, a Sikh. It was this community that was held up […]

6 The ‘go-between

Lance Dunkley settled in Wolverhampton in 1955. Originally from Jamaica, he first arrived in London but was eager to make his way to the Black Country because of its name. “At the time I didn’t realise it was [because of the] mining of coal – I thought it was black people,” he laughs. “I was […]

5 Enoch! Enoch

“It was the main subject – we might have to leave the country at any time,” says Baldev Singh Bassey, who was 25 at the time of the speech and living in Wolverhampton. “We didn’t have suitcases [packed], but that was the only talk at the time. “There was fear in our community, a lot […]

4 The whip hand

Enoch Powell gave the speech that was to define him, on 20 April 1968, at a Conservative Association meeting at the Midland Hotel in Birmingham. Flanked by two stony-faced colleagues, Powell told his audience about what he said was an exchange with an unnamed constituent. “If I had the money to go, I wouldn’t stay […]

3 The stars burst out

A few days before the speech, Powell went to see his good friend Clem Jones, the editor of Wolverhampton’s Express & Star newspaper. The two men had grown close over the years – their families lived only a few streets away and would go on outings together. During the visit, somewhat cryptically, Powell told Jones: […]

2 white child

Warning: this story contains offensive language

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