Nottingham City Transport has named one of its buses after civil rights campaigner George Powe today, on what would have been his 96th birthday.
The presentation, attended by his wife Jill Westby, daughter Cynthia Horton, City Councillor Audra Wynter, City Councillor Leslie Ayoola, Deputy Leader of Nottingham City Council, Cllr Adele Williams and Panya Banjoko of the Nottingham Black Archive, took place outside George’s family home, on Gorsey Road, where a blue plaque to commemorate his lifetime achievements was recently unveiled.
George was born in Jamaica and volunteered to serve in the RAF in 1944, serving as a radar operator until 1948. After being demobilised, he was an electrician, who retrained as a maths teacher in 1969-1972. He then taught in the maths department at Robert Mellors School, retiring in 1983.
Amongst his many achievements were being elected as a councillor on to Long Eaton District Council in the 1960s, the second black person to achieve such a position in the country, and being elected as a councillor in Manvers Ward for Nottinghamshire County Council in 1989.
He was a founding member of the African Caribbean National Artistic Centre in St Ann’s, now one of the UK’s oldest Black community centres.
Throughout his working life, and when he retired, George became a prominent voluntary community advocate for the rights of the African Caribbean Community, particularly in Nottingham.
Commenting on the bus naming, Jill Westby said, “I am delighted that George continues to be honoured, and grateful to Nottingham City Transport and Nottingham City Council for their part in this.
“His achievements were sometimes on a large scale, locally and nationally. But for numerous African-Caribbean people in Nottingham their abiding memory of him is that he was the one to go to when they needed help to cut through bureaucracy or racist practices.
“He was of the Windrush generation and throughout his life his voluntary work was based on the concept that black lives matter”.
Nottingham City Transport’s Head of Marketing, Anthony Carver-Smith said, “We’re proud to unveil our latest named bus in George’s honour in recognition of his lifetime of campaigning to improve the lives of others who faced inequalities, particularly in Nottingham”.
Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Highways & Transport, Cllr Audra Wynter, said:
“It’s an honour and right that we recognise and celebrate the achievements of George, who came here from Jamaica and contributed to life in his adopted country and city.
“His family can be proud that his hard work and dedication, making positive impacts in our communities, has been acknowledged by this bus naming.”