NCT honours civil rights campaigner

Nottingham City Transport (NCT) has named one of its buses after civil rights campaigner George Powe.

The bus naming was carried out 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, Councillor Adele Williams and Panya Banjoko of the Nottingham Black Archive, took place outside George’s family home, 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. He was 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 was 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 Nottingham, 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.

“I am delighted that George continues to be honoured” – George’s wife Jill Westby

George’s wife 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.”

George’s bus will operate on Sky Blue 45 between City and Gedling.

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