Alexander Broodie Alexander with his mother and siblings

Alexander with his mother and siblings

Alexander Broodie

“We just left home blind, like blindfolded, you going into a land of nowhere, you don’t know where you going, wherever the wind blew, you happy with it…”

Alexander Broodie was born in Antigua, West Indies in January 1925, and he came to Britain by boat in 1955. Much of his story is tethered to the slave trade.

“The slave master, he name was Broodie… my father then was ‘Adams’, I don’t carry his name… I came over [to Britain] and I send him some money… water came from his eyes… because he think I were gonna’ carry his name, but I couldn’t carry his name…”

“Work was very hard [in Antigua], and you work for nothing much, I used to, make ends meet, I used to cut hair like a barber, [also] used to work aboard a steamer… pick up the cargo and drop it in the boat and we take it ashore… they come for the sugar.”

“When I came, you know what my first job was? Carrying iron, on my shoulder… you know, they melt it and they pound it… I left, from there I went to a timber yard… these are the worst jobs, as I said, the job that the white people don’t want…”

“What I was getting, £8 a week… With the £8, I save £5… I put it down there [savings] ,£3 left, £1 for my rent, another £1 for my pocket money and another £1 food…”

“I put it down to providence guide your hand, providence seem like it guide my hand, it happened to me lots, lots, lots…”


“Wrth adael cartref, roedden ni’n ddall, fel pe bai mwgwd dros ein llygaid ni, yn mynd i ryw unlle o wlad, dim syniad ble’r oedden ni’n mynd, bodloni ar ble bynnag roedd y gwynt yn ein chwythu...”

Ganed Alexander Broodie yn Antigwa, India’r Gorllewin ym mis Ionawr 1925, a daeth i Brydain ar gwch yn 1955. Mae llawer o’i stori yn plethu â’r fasnach gaethweision.

“Enw’r caethfeistr oedd Broodie… ‘Adams’ oedd enw fy nhad, ond nid fy enw i... fe ddois [i Brydain] ac anfon arian i ’nhad... fe wylodd... am ei fod o’n meddwl ‘mod i am gymryd ei enw, ond fedrwn i ddim cymryd ei enw...”

“Roedd gwaith yn galed iawn [yn Antigwa], ac roeddet ti’n gweithio am fawr ddim cyflog, roeddwn i’n arfer torri gwalltiau fel barbwr i gadw dau ben llinyn ynghyd, [a hefyd yn] gweithio ar stemar... codi’r cargo a’i ollwng yn y cwch a mynd ag ef i’r lan... am y siwgwr roedden nhw’n dod.” “Pan ddois i, wyddoch chi beth oedd fy ngwaith cyntaf i? Cario dur, ar fy ysgwydd... wyddoch chi, maen nhw’n ei doddi ac yna yn ei ddyrnu... fe wnes i adael y fan honno a mynd i iard goed... dyma’r jobsys gwaethaf, fel dwedais i, y swyddi nad ydi bobl wynion mo’u heisiau...”

“Beth oedd fy nghyflog i, £8 yr wythnos... gyda’r £8, ro’n i’n cynilo £5, yn ei roi i’r neilltu [fel cynilon], £3 dros ben, £1 i dalu’r rhent, £1 o arian poced a £1 arall ar gyfer bwyd...”

“Rwy’n gadael i ragluniaeth fy nhywys i, mae’n teimlo i mi mai dyna sy’n fy arwain i, dyna sydd wedi digwydd i mi lawer, lawer gwaith...”