Monday, 21 November 2016

Ethnic Ealing

Ethnic Ealing



ETHNIC EALING
An Index
to
Local Newspaper Material
concerning
The London Borough of Ealing’s Immigration, Race Relations, and Ethnic Minority Issues,
1970-1979

Researched and Compiled
from issues of the:
Middlesex County Times (Ealing edition)/Ealing Gazette,
Middlesex County Times (Southall edition)/Southall Gazette,
Acton Gazette,
and
Midweek County Times/Midweek Gazette

by

DR. PIOTR STOLARSKI

(2016)

INTRODUCTION

How did Ealing’s multicultural society come into being? What circumstances, interests, tensions, and policies shaped its birth? And which past events and issues remain seminal in the consciousness of today’s ethnic groups, having helped influence the outlooks of Ealing people more generally?
There can be little doubt that the 1970s were especially crucial to the development of multicultural Ealing. Indeed, immigration and race-relations were the most prominent issues appearing in 1970s local newspapers in the London Borough of Ealing: the Middlesex County Times (Ealing and Southall editions), the Acton Gazette, and the Midweek County Times/Midweek Gazette.
The reason for this prominence is straightforward: the composition of the borough (Southall in particular) had – by the later 1970s – changed considerably since the late 1950s, with the settlement of large numbers of people born outside the British Isles. These had travelled from the Commonwealth countries of the Asian sub-continent (chiefly India and Pakistan), Africa, but also from Europe (Ireland and Poland), to find work. Their arrival, however, especially in Southall, occasioned considerable local tensions,[1] of a gravity unheard of before or since. 
Southall first came to national prominence as an area of rising immigrant population in the early 1960s, with the opposition of the Southall Residents’ Association (SRA) to mass immigration. The SRA cited problems such as overcrowding, the perceived impact of immigration on education, and alleged immigrant misconduct. It seemed to some pre-existing residents that Southall was being taken over by immigrants at an alarming rate.
1968 saw the anti-immigration ‘rivers of blood’ speech by Conservative MP Enoch Powell, which resonated with many white British people, including in Ealing and its environs. Later, the bussing issue took centre stage. Ealing Council deemed it necessary to transport Asian children aged 5-11 and considered to have poor English skills from Southall to schools throughout the borough. A fixed quota of ‘immigrant children’ (40 per cent in any given Southall school) was established to ease the perceived burden on teachers and non-immigrant pupils. This practice of ‘bussing’ however (initially accepted by many Asian parents, and in force between 1963 and 1981) met with rising opposition by the early 1970s, with many Asians considering it to be racially discriminatory. By then more Indian children had been born locally, and thus fewer had ‘poor’ language skills to justify the policy.
The Sikh custom of wearing turbans had already become a contentious issue in the work place in the 1960s (and remained so in the 1970s), and more so in the context of attempts by some Sikhs to wear turbans in place of helmets when riding motorcycles. The law was duly changed after Southall MP Sydney Bidwell’s private member’s Bill passed in 1976.
Racial tensions rose further during the 1970s, with Skinheads and Asian gangs facing off, and prominent local immigrants (and their supporters) becoming increasingly vocal and strident about perceived racism, and the inflammatory rhetoric of the National Front. Racist attacks and graffiti against ethnic minorities escalated. A rising radical Marxist agenda and the emergence of the Black Power movement were contributory factors to a more confrontational attitude among some immigrants at this time. Yet the untimely death of school boy Gurdip Singh Chaggar (1976), and that of the New Zealander Blair Peach at the Southall riots (1979), indicated the extent of broader social unrest bubbling beneath the surface.
Nevertheless, the ‘Asian community’ of Southall (itself internally diverse) was not simply beleaguered and victimised: immigrants could be politically savvy, articulate, hard-working, and proud of their culture and identity. Some of the positive interaction between people of different backgrounds, often at cultural events and in schools, was recorded in the local press.
More negatively, some immigrants also caused crime and wreaked violence or intimidation against the pre-existing population. Offences against the immigration laws and threats of deportation were also commonly reported in the local press. Moreover, rapid cultural change was difficult to come to terms with for older (white, English) residents, whose views cannot always be boiled down to prejudice and discrimination.
Yet at the same time, through all this, the beginnings of progress were being made with airing and tackling issues of race-relations, particularly by the Ealing Community Relations’ Council (ECRC) and its affiliated organisations – including local churches and political parties. (Yet the ECRC remained a controversial body which was seen as politicized and pro-immigrant by some Ealing residents.) Increased participation of Asians in the running of ECRC and progress in local government representation by the later 1970s were also significant developments.
In an era before the Internet, 24-hour televised news, and mobile telephones, the local newspapers were the key opinion-forming fora – devoting considerable space to the views of the pre-existing English population and those of the recently settled. These views concerned everything from politics, customs, religion, housing, integration, arranged marriage, to gang violence and racial discrimination. The letters pages were thus replete with opinions and debates linked to the issues of immigration and race-relations, their local significance, and their wider ramifications.
Newspapers also reported on a wide range of related community events, as well as on issues such as Police-immigrant relations; the activities of the prominent Ealing Community Relations Council (ECRC); those of the Indian Workers’ Association (IWA); and Ealing Council policies pertaining to immigration. At times many of these bodies or others, such as the National Front, were embroiled in ongoing discussions and exchanges. The opinions of local councillors and MPs were also frequently shared.
Many of the newspaper features covered contentious issues such as bussing, the Muslim burials controversy, attitudes towards local Gipsies and Gipsy camps, and the Sikh motorcycle helmet issue, in considerable detail (far more meticulously than current newspapers) and reveal ways of thinking at odds with today’s accepted norms. Unlike in the present day, when a widespread consensus exists about the inherent positive value of ethnic and cultural diversity, in the 1960s and 1970s views were far more polarized and confrontational. Contemporaries were only learning to deal with ‘diversity’, much of which they did not see as positive. Parties such as the National Front or Union Movement existed and tapped into such sentiments. Language, assumptions, preconceptions, stereotypes, and a shifting sense of fairness, were all involved in this process of accommodation. Yet, luckily for the historian, local politicians, community leaders, and residents of the day seem to have been far more engaged in the issues concerned and more open about their views than today’s people might be. The papers therefore reflected these concerns with a similar level of intensity. As such, they constitute an invaluable local source of information about these issues, and are indispensable to any researcher of related subject matter. 
This book is the result of two years’ of painstaking microfilm research into some 1,900 issues of four local newspapers, spanning the years 1970-1979. It provides a year-by-year, month-by-month, listing of the newspaper material touching on all aspects of the aforementioned issues and many more besides. The subject index at the back highlights particular individuals, themes, and subjects, for ease of navigation and study.
My aim in producing this book has been to enable researchers to locate relevant stories and get a sense of the chronological context to the developing race-relations, immigration, and ethnic minority situation within the London Borough of Ealing in this tumultuous decade. It is hoped that Ethnic Ealing will serve as a comprehensive research tool and facilitate a fuller understanding of the upheavals of the period, thereby shedding light on how Ealing’s multicultural and multiracial society came into being.

Dr. Piotr Stolarski
Local History Assistant
Ealing Local History Centre
November 2016


[1] See: Piotr Stolarski, Ealing in the 1960s: Cultural ferment in local context (2013), chapter ‘Immigration and Race’.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Polish Ealing

Polish Ealing

Polish Ealing: A Brief History, 1945-2015 (Tignarius Publications, 2016), 409pp.



From the back cover:

The London Borough of Ealing is home to the largest Polish
community in Europe outside Poland. In this, the first detailed
account of the Poles in Ealing in English, historian Piotr Stolarski
sheds light on the origins of the community, its development and
subsequent history after World War Two, including the impact of
migration to Ealing after Poland's E.U. accession in 2004. The
book delves into questions of Polish culture, memory, identity,
and generational change; including the local significance of
Polish Pope John Paul II, and Solidarity leader Lech Walesa. The
role of Ealing's Poles in the fight for freedom under Communism,
and the ways in which Poles have integrated yet remained a
distinctive ethnic community in Ealing, are among many other
topics of discussion. With 93 illustrations.

Dr. Piotr Stolarski was born in Gdansk, Poland, in 1980, and has
lived in Acton since 1983. A Polish and British citizen, he
currently works at the Ealing Local History Centre, London.


I work at the Ealing Local History Centre; the archive of the London Borough of Ealing.

Ealing has the largest Polish community in Europe outside Poland, with about 30,000 Poles out of a total population of 350,000.

My latest book is a history of Ealing's Polish community, from World War Two to 2015. This is the first book in English to cover the community in any depth or detail. I will give a talk on the subject in 2017 at Ealing Central Library.

The book is priced at £10. Available at: tignarius@yahoo.co.uk, or from Ealing Local History Centre.

Friday, 7 August 2015

Christian Ealing: An Ecumenical History


Christian Ealing: An Ecumenical History (Tignarius Publications, 2015), 304pp


This book is the first detailed synthesis of Ealing's Church history, drawing on a wealth of primary and secondary source material. It surveys the genesis and development of Church life in what is now the London Borough of Ealing from Medieval times to the present day. Taking an ecumenical approach, it investigates the rich tapestry of Christian faith and culture through time, highlighting and explaining both continuities and changes across successive periods of Ealing's Church history, while situating the churches in their wider social context. With 90 illustrations, and Appendices.

(From the Back Cover) 


CONTENTS

Preface: Ealing Christian Voices……………………………………………..7
Acknowledgements…………………………………………………………...15
Map: London Borough of Ealing…………………………………………….17

Introduction………………………………………………………………….19

1. The Roots of Parish Life: The Medieval Period…………………………..21
2. The Confessional Age: Reformation to Catholic Emancipation,
1534-1829……………………………………………………..…….37

3. Church-Building in an Age of Christian Pluralism: The Victorian Era,
1837-1901…………………………………………………………...61

4. Growing, Irrelevant? Christians, Secularisation and Social Change,
1901-1969…………………………………………………………...89

5. Beyond Secularisation: Ecumenism and Multiculturalism,
1970-2000s…………………………………………………………139


Conclusion…………………………………………………………………..177

Illustrations…………………………………………………………………181
Picture Credits……………………………………………………………...229
Appendices………………………………………………………………….237
Bibliography………………………………………………………………...273
Index………………………………………………………………………...293


If I have a vocation as a historian, it is primarily in the field of Church History. My PhD was on the Dominican Order in the Polish Counter-Reformation, later published as a monograph with Ashgate in 2010. I dealt with 'Religion' in the 1960s in my last monograph, Ealing in the 1960s (2013). Since then, I have produced a researcher's guide on the local churches of Ealing, entitled Ealing Church History Notes (2014) - which details over 400 churches from more than 30 denominations across time, including basic details such as year of foundation, address, and a list of sources in which the church appears, etc.

Christian Ealing builds on Ealing Church History Notes and provides a narrative of Ealing's Church history through time, highlighting the salient features of church life. It is based on extensive research at my workplace, the Borough Archive of the London Borough of Ealing (also known as Ealing Local History Centre). Ealing, for those unaware of it, is a London Borough, now encompassing over 300,000 inhabitants, comprising several smaller localities. The scope and breadth of the subject matter was thus rather challenging, but also made easier by the sheer volume of relevant source material and extant parish histories.

The book is shorter than my 1960s book, and probably all the more readable for that reason. I shall be giving a talk on the subject, Churches through Time: Ealing's Christian History, 1114-2014 AD on 1 December 2015 in the Green Room of Ealing Central Library, where the book will go on sale for the first time, priced £10. The intention is to attract as many Christians as possible, who will hopefully find the book interesting and instructive. Any reader of this blog who wishes to attend would be more than welcome. Please contact staff at Ealing Central Library is you wish to book a place, on: 0203-700-1052. Tickets are priced £3 for library members, or £5 for non-members.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

In the Pipeline: Tignarius/Evangelisation!



After Ealing in the 1960s.... what? An anticlimax? A joy? Satisfaction? Probably all three. If you see my Homepage (www.piotrstolarski.blogspot.com) you can see that the Three Colours: Faith series has been born out of the association of Tignarius Publications and my evangelisation work (more of which on the Christian Existentialist Medley blog - cf. links). 

I now propose to separate out this evangelisation work on an operational basis, and produce the same books as always, but specifically designed for and targeted at particular audiences. Yet they should remain usable by a wide range of people. They are to be given out for free and ad hoc to anyone interested in them... after engaging people in free conversation. 

Thus:

FULL MEASURE GOSPEL (2013): a simple book incorporating parts of the New Testament. Designed for all, as an introduction to the Christian faith. Especially useful for the less well-educated, people with limited English, or those of other religions. 

LOVE SUPREME, THE CHRISTIAN REVOLUTION (2013): designed for 'political' use. In other words, for those with ideological commitments but no faith. Otherwise, good for focusing the reasons for becoming a Christian in the modern world of today.

GROUND OF BEING (2013): a Christian Existentialist manual. Designed for advanced thinkers with knowledge of Christian faith, this book is an enchiridion and contains short reflections and maxims/aphorisms. Born from an engagement with Nietzsche.

APPROACHING ISLAM (2013): my response to Islam in the "Age of 9/11". Could be coupled with an "Injil" ([Full Measure] Gospel) to put the Christian case across to Muslims. This book is my Christian contribution to dialogue with the Muslims, whom I admire. 

CROSS POEMS (2013): poems on suffering, with brief reflections concerning the faith appended. Good for those with a short attention span, as very short. 

HEARTSPEAK (2011): poems from 22 Christian poets, edited by yours truly. Good for inter-denominational dialogue. 

TWILIGHT OF THE IDOLS (2011): a journey from Nihilism, confronting Napoleon and Nietzsche, together with the darkest thoughts imaginable. Destination? Christ! This book is again influenced by Nietzsche, but transcends him completely. A Dark Night of the Soul - not one for the feint-hearted. 

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

New from Tignarius: Ealing in the 1960s

Ealing in the 1960s
Ealing in the 1960s: Cultural ferment in local context

by Piotr Stolarski

Tignarius Publications, 2013

339pp, 30 illustrations

£10.00

Contact: tignarius@yahoo.co.uk


Chapters:

1. Youth Culture
2. Music
3. Drugs
4. Sexual Revolution and Women
5. Protest, Internationalism, Counter-Culture
6. Industry and Consumerism
7. Protest as Local Politics
8. Religion
9. Immigration
10. Housing 



Well, it's been 15 months in the researching and writing. I wanted to get to grips with the usual and not so well known aspects of the 1960s. So plenty on the "swinging 60s", but also on the "other 60s" of religion (e.g. ecumenism), immigration, and housing. Abortion and Humanae Vitae also covered! Ealing in the 1960s forms the basis for my talk on the same subject at:

EALING CENTRAL LIBRARY on THURSDAY 19TH SEPTEMBER, 6:15PM 

Tickets £4
Advance booking essential. 
To book:
Contact the library in person or on 020 8825 9278 
or email reading@ealing.gov.uk

BOOK ON SALE AT TALK!

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Neo-Renaissance Eclecticism

Alma Mater (2005-2008): University of Aberdeen, est. 1495

Max Scheler, who influenced John Paul II, earned the title of "the Catholic Nietzsche". Tignarius Publications' philosophy is Nietzschean with respect to being highly personal, with an emphasis on existentialism and aesthetics, as well as Catholic truth (which Nietzsche denied).

I have been writing books which I want to share with others. The best way is to do this for free. Obviously, a physical copy is also desirable, and these are available for a price. Yet I make it all available for free by email.

"Tignarius" derives from the Latin for carpenter: faber tignarius, a neo-Renaissance pun on my surname, Stolarski (which means Carpenter or Joiner). The symbol here being Christian carpentry (Jesus' profession), the Cross, and 'fashioning the culture' (hence the motto 'Culture-Crafting Texts'). This is also existential and vocational in its meanings. Bearing the (wooden) Cross, and co-fashioning the culture with Christ. 

Nietzsche is close to my heart because we share a method, and possibly a madness. Idiosyncrasy, and indifference to making loads of money by being recognised, coupled with a genuine concern for truth. Nietzsche was virtually ignored during his lifetime. That doesn't mean I want to be; but neither do I care to be "discovered as an amazing genius" after I die. I don't much care. Whatever, I document my works and make them available.

I combine a Nietzschean streak with Catholic faith, then refract that through my concept of Neo-Renaissance Eclecticism. This means: an "early modern" aesthetic of pluralism, multiple perspectives, and richness; woodcuts, engravings, baroquery, weirdness, melancholy, and faith. That is closer to the real Nietzsche than bland nihilism.

I have studied at the universities of Oxford, London and Aberdeen. I have visited Krakow, Lwow, Pisa, on my academic travels. I was a wandering scholar, and I still am. My academic days are behind me now, however. I have burst through to "real life", but retain the aesthetics of the Renaissance as an inspiration, and a love for early modern history (particularly the Reformation and Counter Reformation).

Hopefully, all this adds up to a means for ecumenism, engagement with secular culture, and an integral humanism summarised in my concept of "heroic normalcy": which includes faith, culture, and knowledge. 

Just email me at tignarius@yahoo.co.uk if you'd like a free book.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

New from Tignarius: Substance of Accidents


Substance of Accidents 
by Piotr Stolarski

A companion to Christian Existentialist Fragments 

370pp 
(give or take)

Available now priced 10 English Pounds

Critical Reviews:

***** Catholic Culture

"He's done it again. An outstanding counterblast to the World." - J. Ratzinger

"Marvellous. A tour de force." - Jeremy Spencer, The Times 

"Nobody will read it. Then he will die. Then everyone will (read it)." - Vanessa Xerxes, Paris Match

***** Existentialist Magazine

**** Marxist Contrarian

**** Distopic Mandarin