They were part of the Windrush generation of people who were encouraged to come to the UK from the Caribbean to rebuild the economy after the Second World War. About ten men arrived at Bank Top station from Jamaica in response to an advertisement placed by Darlington council which was looking to recruit people to run the town's buses.
“I worked as a bus conductress for Darlington Transport when these men arrived to work on the buses,” says Sheila. “I think they stayed in the Naafi Club near Feethams till they found somewhere to live.
“I knew Jacky Tucker, Mr Henry, Mr Webley and Al and Noel Thompson, and Al’s girlfriend, Kathy, came over later and I helped train her to become a conductress.”
This ties in with Wendy Acres’ snippet as Al and Kathy got married. “I can remember what I believe was the first West Indian wedding in Darlington,” she says. “It was, I believe, on Christmas Day 1957, and the bridegroom's surname was Thompson. They were married at Corporation Road Methodist Church and the minister was the Reverend Dan Hunter.
“They were married on Christmas Day because they both worked on the buses and that was the only day when all their colleagues had the day off.
“Because none of their families back in Jamaica could attend, Rev Hunter asked as many of the congregation to attend as possible to support them. A lot of us rushed our Christmas dinner and then went to the service.”
Sheila also remembers the wedding. “Kathy invited me to their home in East Mount Road for a drink and a piece of wedding cake,” she says.