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Sailors of the Caribbean:
a Historical Resource for Key Stage 3

Primary source evidence based on the memories of merchant seamen who sailed on Harrison
Line ships between Barbados and London's West India Dock in the 1950s and 60s.

Sailors of the Caribbean is comprised of extracts from transcripts of oral testimonies about memories of life on the Harrison Line given by two ormer seamen who sailed with the Harrison Line: Mr. Rudolf Murray and Mr. Leonard Evelyn. These extracts are supported by facsimiles of primary source documents provided by the seamen and additional information about the Harrison Line, which provides some historical background.

The Sailors of the Caribbean pack supports the teaching of both History and Citizenship at Key Stage 3. The information contained in the seamen's testimonies, in the supporting photographs and in the documentary evidence explores:

• the trade relationship between Britain and the Caribbean
• the changes in the shipping industry in Britain
• the changes in land use in the Docklands area of East London which have taken place over the last 50 years
• the challenges faced by West Indian seamen working on the Harrison Line
• the change in the colonial and post-colonial relationships between Britain and Barbados

Example Section: Why we went to sea

Order Form


Why we went to sea
This section looks at the reasons for seeking a job in the Merchant Navy during the 1950s and 60s.

1. Photo of Rudolf as a boy scout

2.Photo of Rudolf and his cousin

3.Copy of letter written in1952

4.Photo of people embarking at Bridgetown and information about Barbados in the 1950s

 Sailors of the Caribbean: Order Form