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They traded the warmth of a Barbados beach

For London’s damp and its smogs

But met with a welcome as cold as the rain

“No Irish No Blacks and No Dogs”.


Some fought for the motherland during the war

Following in Montys’ tracks

So didn’t expect that they’d ever hear

“No Irish No Dogs and No Blacks”


They kept London moving, helped build it again

Leant shoulders to wheels and to cogs

And then after work would look for a home

“No Irish No Blacks and No Dogs”.


But Rachmanist landlords held out a hand

“Vacancies Here” their signs read

“Lettings Available – 9 to a room

With relays of 3 to a bed”


“What colour is their skin?” asked Winston to Clyde

“These men they say live in bogs”

“Does it rub off on bedsheets like ours?” laughs Clyde

“No Irish No Blacks and No Dogs”.


“I thought we were on our way up in the world

When we left our wood and tin shacks;

I can’t write to Esme to join me out here”

“No Irish No Dogs and No Blacks”




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John Coopey

Thu 6th Jul 2023 10:58

Thankyou, Uilleam. Yes, I haven’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.

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Uilleam Ó Ceallaigh

Thu 6th Jul 2023 10:33

Thanks JC.
I remember "Rachmanism" in the news.
Whether or not those notices actually existed hardly matters.
Those sentiments existed then, and, as is only too obvious, they currently persist.

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John Coopey

Mon 3rd Jul 2023 18:49

Thankyou, Stephen. There seems some doubt as to whether these notices ever existed or have become urban myths. You can find photos of one on Google which is reckoned to be a set-up. The juxtaposition of Windrush and Rachmanism which came to headline in the 50’s and early 60’s is a set-up of my own.
And thanks for the Likes, Aisha and Telboy.

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Stephen Gospage

Mon 3rd Jul 2023 16:55

A fine, timely poem, John. It looks as though the US Supreme Court would like these times to come back.....

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