Thursday 11 June 2020

"No blacks, no dogs, no Irish"


The cherished myth that English landladies used to have notices saying: "No blacks, no dogs, no Irish" is not accurate, according to Mary Kenny. Actually I already knew this. No photograph exists and no-one testifies to seeing such a sign.

"The academic Clair Wills wrote a very well-researched book about immigrants which examined this issue. There were "No Irish" signs (landladies thought the Irish too boozy): there were also some "No Australians" signs in Earl's Court (Ditto). There were "No Coloureds" signs, but there were also signs saying "Coloureds preferred." And "Indians only" (Indian medical students had a reputation for being quiet and diligent). May I add there were also "No children" signs, and young couples were terrified they'd be turned out if they had a baby. There were NEVER the "No Dogs" added to the other signs. That's an import from apartheid South Africa. Unfortunately, it has now been empowered by legend, and legend is hardly ever contradicted by fact, or academic research."

I wonder if the story that in 1968 'I.R.A. I Ran Away' was written in chalk on walls in Northern Ireland is true. It sounds highly probable.

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