Love in The Queens

Recently, I was talking to my grandad about how he flew from Jamaica to Leeds. I was surprised to learn how interesting my grandad’s background is. This is a story of travelling, mystery, culture, bravery and love.

When people think of Jamaica they think of sunny hot beaches and relaxation but that wasn’t the case for my grandad. Even though it was beautiful, his family didn’t like their life there and wanted to start fresh. My grandad’s mum and dad moved to Leeds leaving him with his grandma while they sorted out the house and financial things they needed. In 1966 (when he was 6) he came over to join them in Leeds. He loved his new life and was happier than ever! This all changed in 1974 when his family decided to move back to Jamaica.

Persuading them to stay didn’t work so when the day came to leave he made a rash decision… he ran away. As soon as they realised he was missing, they contacted the police to file a missing persons report. Everyone was looking for him but what they didn’t know is that he had escaped on a ferry from Liverpool to Northern Ireland to live with his friend. Bearing in mind he was only 14 at this time, this was a very brave decision to make. Selfishly his parents gave up looking for him and moved to Jamaica without him.

After 3 months of living in Northern Ireland, his uncle invited him to live in Leeds with him. Without warning, after a few weeks of living in Leeds, there was a loud, aggressive knock at the door. It was the police! Since he wasn’t British, he was living here illegally. Unfortunately, he was taken into government care (an orphanage) and stayed there until he was 17. To earn money, he worked as a long-distance lorry driver and did a series of other jobs after that one.

My granddad played for the local rugby team, which was called the Queens. At a pub called the Queens he saw a girl (my nana). They started dating, got married and had my dad and auntie. My grandad Daz (my mum’s dad) was a DJ in the same Queens pub he met my grandma in. Finally, in 2007, my mum and dad met in a local pub called the Queens!