The Little Girl Wholearned to Stand Up for Herself ...; as the Child of One of the First Black Families to Settle in Merseyside in the 1950s, Carol Evans Faced Racism and Violence. Now She Is a Leading Light in the Local Community. IAN FANNON Reports

Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England), October 4, 2002 | Go to article overview
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The Little Girl Wholearned to Stand Up for Herself ...; as the Child of One of the First Black Families to Settle in Merseyside in the 1950s, Carol Evans Faced Racism and Violence. Now She Is a Leading Light in the Local Community. IAN FANNON Reports


Byline: IAN FANNON

CAROL Evans was just five when she opened her front door and found a policeman waiting to take her to school.

As one of the young black children in her town, even a simple walk along the streets of Page Moss was dangerous.

And so, every morning, one of the local bobbies would arrive on her doorstep and escort her to St Dominic's school.

``I remember the intimidation of seeing a policeman on the doorstep and wondering why I had to go to school with him,'' recalls Carol, now 43.

``You had to stand up for yourself back then because you had no option. But that stood me in good stead for the future.

``I learned how to remove obstacles and make opportunities for myself.''

She could have grown up bitter and twisted. Instead, Carol chooses to look at her upbringing as a difficult, but characterbuilding experience.

In fact, she believes it helped her become a key member of her community, setting up Huyton Community Partnership with like-minded friends from her kitchen table.

Carol's father, Arthur Wiggins, was one of the first black men to move to Knowsley when he set up home in Huyton in the 1950s.

He had travelled from British Guyana in South America to work on the Ford production line.

Arthur may have left his home to find work, but not long after arriving, he found love as well - with Patricia Pointon.

The couple married and had eight children - four boys and four girls, including Carol. But they soon realised they would never be welcome in Fincham Road, Page Moss, where they lived in a council house.

Carol's eldest brother and sister were attacked and the police had to give them special protection. Carol had the police escort to school.

Her father - a strict disciplinarian - was adamant that she should continue with her education. It was a decision she was glad he had made.

``He was a stickler for education,'' she explains. ``It was only when I had my own children that I realised how important it was to be educated properly.

``I knew then I had to make some changes for myself and my family.''

Carol left school with five CSEs and took on various jobs, including bar and care work.

She married at 18 and moved to live on the Bluebell Estate in Huyton, but divorced just three years later.

She later found a new partner and at 27, she had her first child, Hollie - now 15 - later followed by Matthew, now 10, and Joshua, now six.

But it was Hollie's birth that really made her take stock of her life.

``I suddenly felt really passionate about the people of Huyton and wanted to do something for them.

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The Little Girl Wholearned to Stand Up for Herself ...; as the Child of One of the First Black Families to Settle in Merseyside in the 1950s, Carol Evans Faced Racism and Violence. Now She Is a Leading Light in the Local Community. IAN FANNON Reports
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