What is Reading's connnection with its twin town Speightstown in Barbados?
While the Berkshire town cannot boast sand, sea or sun, it does contain the largest Barbadian population outside the Caribbean island itself. The (late) former Prime Minister of Barbados, David Thompson, came to Reading in October 2009 to promote the island as a holiday destination.
He described Reading as a little part of Barbados. But why is a Berkshire town home to so many Barbadians?
In 1966 the British Government gave Barbados its independence, many Barbadians decided to leave the island in the 1960s to emigrate and find their fortunes in the 'Mother Country': the UK. The British Nationality Act, 1948, recognised and gave preferential treatment to people who were "citizens of the independence Commonwealth countries", which combined with labour shortages in the UK gave rise to mass immigration from the Caribbean to Britain.
Reading was formally twinned with Speightstown, Barbados at a council meeting on Tuesday 21 January 2003. His Excellency, The High Commissioner for Barbados, Mr Peter Simmons, and the Deputy High Commissioner, Mr Herbert Yearwood attended the ceremony. The Barbados and Friends Association (Reading) will be in conjunction with other Berkshire bodies; celebrating the 10th Anniverary of the twinning during 2013.
MORE INFORMATION ON EVENTS TO FOLLOW:
Barbados and Friends Association (Reading)
Corporate Communications, Ground Floor South ,
Tel: 07889 641600 - Chair person
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