My Britain: BRIXTON
Reader's Digest UK|July 2020
You'd be hard-pressed to think of many areas of London that have undergone such dramatic changes over the years as Brixton. From a bustling hub of south London shoppers in the Twenties to the home for many members of the Windrush Generation in the Forties and Fifties, who brought with them new businesses, cuisines and culture. In the Eighties and Nineties, Brixton became the backdrop for riots sparked by police brutality.

The district has swung between periods of immense wealth and immense poverty over the years. Some say the Brixton of today—which hosts a plethora of new businesses and tourist attractions—has regenerated, bouncing back from years of neglect. Others say it is becoming gentrified, and losing touch with its diverse cultural roots, as more black-owned businesses close. Here, two long-term residents offer their thoughts on the corner of Britain they call home.

Eddy Grant's hugely successful 1983 song was written in response to the horror and anger he felt during the 1981 Brixton Uprising. The song's namesake, Electric Avenue, was the first market street to be lit by electricity.

JEANNIE BLUMIRE, 70, moved to Brixton in 1959 aged nine, when her parents took over a newsagents on Acre Lane.

When my family moved to Brixton in 1959, there was a real community spirit. You didn't wait to be introduced, you were automatically a member of the community. All the shopkeepers helped each other and the community out.

Brixton then, though on the wrong side of the river, was a very friendly, happy area. You could play in the street any time of the day, and there was no difference in races getting along—we were all just friends. Of course we were interested in each others cultures' clothes and such like, but it was a very lively, happy community. We all called for each other to play—if people were going to the common or park, everyone tagged along. All ages looked out for each other.

Our shop was more like a meeting place a lot of the time. The downside was that I felt I didn't have a home life or parents—long hours meant no one had time to talk to or listen. But I did have the rest of the community looking out for me.

BRIXTON'S BEST BLACK-OWNED BUSINESSES

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM READER'S DIGEST UKView All

Moving On From Savings

This month, Andy Webb helps us navigate the complex world of stocks and shares

5 mins read
Reader's Digest UK
November 2021

How To Avoid Digital Immortality

Now is the time to organise your online life

7 mins read
Reader's Digest UK
November 2021

AND BREATHE…

Want to blow out all the candles on your cake when you’re 75 or climb three flights of stairs without gasping at the top? There are ways and means to boost your lung power

2 mins read
Reader's Digest UK
November 2021

Felt-Astic

It’s never too early to get started on your Christmas decor…

2 mins read
Reader's Digest UK
November 2021

If I Ruled The World Steve Hughes

Australian thrash metal musician and comedian Steve Hughes shares the rules he’d put in place should find himself king of the world…

3 mins read
Reader's Digest UK
November 2021

CAPE TOWN REVIVAL

A generation after the end of apartheid, the city is buzzing with a new creative energy

8 mins read
Reader's Digest UK
November 2021

Sir Paul McCartney “There's Nothing Stranger Than Celebrity”

Why, even after six decades, Sir Paul McCartney’s magical mystery tour rolls on into the next town

10 mins read
Reader's Digest UK
November 2021

Outsmart Kidney Disease

Symptoms are elusive—here’s what you need to know

9 mins read
Reader's Digest UK
November 2021

My Great Escape: Ladies In Lausanne

Londoner Sidonie Chaffer-Melly takes a trip with her friends

2 mins read
Reader's Digest UK
November 2021

THE COUPLE WHO HELPED SAVE THE WORLD

Not only did they create a COVID-19 vaccine and team up with Pfizer to save countless lives, they are also a shining example of integration

5 mins read
Reader's Digest UK
November 2021
RELATED STORIES

QUEEN LIZ ICES OUT GREEDY CHARLES!

Profiteering prince loses game of thrones to king-in-waiting William

2 mins read
National Enquirer
September 27, 2021

LAND OF THE PICTS

New excavations reveal the truth behind the legend of these fearsome northern warriors

10+ mins read
Archaeology
September/October 2021

BRITAIN TO TEST MIXING AND MATCHING OF COVID-19 VACCINES

British scientists are starting a study Thursday to find out if it’s OK to mix and match COVID-19 vaccines.

2 mins read
Techlife News
Techlife News #484

Britain Still Can't Escape Europe

Brexit will not end the U.K.’s long, fraught relationship with the Continent

7 mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
January 11, 2021

MEGHAN UNDER FIRE FOR BABY BOMBSHELL

Fears Harry’s wife went public with miscarriage ews as shocking PR stunt

2 mins read
Globe
December 21, 2020

WILLIAM'S CANCER NIGHTMARE!

Terrified Kate begs hubby to forgive Harry and Meghan before it’s too late

3 mins read
National Enquirer
December 14, 2020

Supermarine Spitfire Elliptical Elegance

Showing off the flowing curves of a jaguar ready to pounce, a Spitfire snugs in close, its pilot a picture of concentration as he carefully places the airplane exactly where he wants. It’s a timeless image of a timeless design.

2 mins read
Flight Journal
Annual 2020

GOOGLE FACES UK SCRUTINY OVER NEW ADVERTISING DATA REVAMP

Google faces fresh regulatory scrutiny in Britain over plans to revamp its ad data system, after an industry lobbying group complained to the competition watchdog that the changes would cement the U.S. tech giant’s online dominance.

2 mins read
Techlife News
November 28, 2020

LEGEND HOBBY - SPITFIRE 50 GP/EP ARF

This winning warbird is a fast build and flies like a dream

5 mins read
Model Airplane News
December 2020

TOY BOY ROD MAKING TRACKS FOR BRITAIN

ROD STEWART is definitely leaving L.A. and moving back to Britain, say insiders, who note the rocker is taking apart his massive model railroad set and shipping it to his home in Essex.

1 min read
Globe
November 02, 2020