NCT names bus after civil rights campaigner George Powe

Nottingham City Transport (NCT) has named a bus after civil rights campaigner George Powe on what would have been his 96th birthday.

Born in Jamaica, George was known throughout his life as an advocate for the rights of the African Caribbean community, particularly in Nottingham. He was a founding member of the African Caribbean National Artistic Centre in St Ann’s, now one of the UK’s oldest Black community centres.

After volunteering to serve in the RAF in 1944, George served as a radar operator until 1948. He was elected as Councillor for Long Eaton District Council in the 1960s (the second black person to achieve that position in the country) and for Manvers Ward for Nottinghamshire County Council in 1989. He also worked as an electrician and retrained as a maths teacher from 1969 to 1972. He retired in 1983.

The bus named in George’s honour will operate on Sky Blue 45 between City and Gedling. The presentation took place outside George’s family home, on Gorsey Road, where a blue plaque to commemorate his lifetime achievements was recently unveiled. His wife Jill Westby, daughter Cynthia Horton, City Councillor Audra Wynter, City Councillor Leslie Ayoola, Deputy Leader of Nottingham City Council Cllr Adele Williams, and Panya Banjoko of the Nottingham Black Archive were in attendance.

Nottingham City Transport’s Head of Marketing, Anthony Carver-Smith says, “We’re proud to unveil our latest named bus in George’s honour in recognition of his lifetime of campaigning to improve the lives of others who faced inequalities, particularly in Nottingham.”

Adds Jill: “I am delighted that George continues to be honoured, and grateful to NCT and Nottingham City Council for their parts in this.

“His achievements were sometimes on a large scale, locally and nationally. But for numerous African-Caribbean people in Nottingham their abiding memory of him is that he was the one to go to when they needed help to cut through bureaucracy or racist practices. He was of the Windrush generation and throughout his life his voluntary work was based on the concept that black lives matter.”