Abduhl Sheikh

Born: 10th March 1942

Nairobi, Kenya

Date of interview: 24th May 2006

Map showing where Abduhl Sheikh came from

So you land at Heathrow. [yeah] And what did you do?

My father's partner had a cousin living in London, used to be a bus driver and fortunately he was there to pick us up from there. No we landed at Gatwick actually not at Heathrow. He picked us up and we stayed I think with him for a while. We tried to find a job. The police wouldn't have me. Nobody would have me with job. Got no money at all. £300 did go quite far in those days actually ... I applied literally every day. Got no help from the government or the social security, absolutely nothing ... Then I applied for the prison service. Sent in the application. I remember it was Birmingham. I went to Birmingham prison to attend the test and all that, passed the test, I was accepted and they said we'll let you know what happens next and then the bloody post office went on strike for three months, I remember that. No letters, no nothing and I was really, you know. I used to go round the local Pakistani shops over there. Clean their windows, clean their cars so I could earn something because that money was running, you know, running out. I could have bought a bloody house with that £300 if I had a job here, straight away, but one had to. She managed too because she likes sewing, she's a seamstress. She still does a lot of sewing. She managed to find an old sweatshop where she went down to sew anoraks for Marks and Spencer's so there was about £3 to £4 a week coming from there. No more than that. I managed to make about, what two or three pounds a week. Which is just about enough to pay for the weekly rent and to keep us in food and me in cigarettes.