On Saturday 1st December 2012, which was a very rainy day, I made my way literally down the hill to my neighbour Hilda’s house for a barbecue ! We were not at all put off by the “cats and dogs” spectacle since it was about 19C, wet but pleasant which was very unlike the British weather.
We sat in the garden area, on the terrace, at a table bedecked with huge pint sized glasses of alcohol. I admittedly could not manage to drink such quantities because I’m more of a “martini and lemon person” but it was, however, a most welcome sign of a forthcoming fun-fuelled evening.
The hosts Graham was of Scotland heritage and my friend Hilda of Norwegian nationality. My friend Maureen was also there sitting at the table and is Scottish. The conversation was in full swing and I mentioned that my surname is Campbell which probably derives from the times of slavery. Perhaps, not a good move to mention that but it is a most significant part of who I am and it is a fact that I know some people would rather wish never existed. The subject was not discussed in depth but I am sure might have warranted so at another time and another place!
A week later, on Saturday 1st December, I did some research, like I normally do and came across Jackie Kay’s Guardian article of Saturday 24th March 2007 on Scotland’s Role in the Slave Trade which makes very uncomfortable but interesting reading.
I found it most relevant to the above conversation scenario since both my friends Maureen or Graham came from Scotland and one of them was born in Glasgow; if I remember correctly. I had no idea that Glasgow profited from the slave trade just as much as Liverpool, Bristol and London. Now that’s history!