Hazel George

Liverpool
I always remember the Sunday Disco, it was the highlight of our week. There was a gang of us, girls and boys, from the Berkley area, in Toxteth. We were just young and loved dancing. We all had Afro hairstyles. The Black-E and Stanley House played the best soul music in town. We perfected all the latest dances from the Popcorn to Cha Cha.
We knew that we would have to face bricks and bottles, thrown by skinheads, as we walked up the hill from the Black-E. It became a weekly ritual of cat and mouse. It was the kind of racist encounter we experienced across most areas outside of Liverpool 8, during the 1970s. It never stopped us going to the Blackie, a safe haven.
I remember going on many coach trips with the Blackie. We always played Games on the way, they often involved taking photographs during the journey. We just had fun.
I was a founding member of the Freedom of Choice Housing Co-op. The group was composed of local women from L8 who established a major self-build housing project (John Moores and Freedom Close). This was a major step for the right of communities to determine where they live and design their own homes.
The success of Freedom of Choice was acknowledged when Lady Diana visited Liverpool. The Princess came to my home and had a cup of tea. We spoke about the project and issues in general. She was lovely and down to earth. We were all very proud that we had demonstrated what ordinary women could do.
I was invited to be part of the Hillsborough enquiry group following the tragic deaths of Liverpool fans in 1989. So many families were affected. It was an experience I will never forget. I met with so many nice people from Merseyside.