A yet-to-be named gardener was mentioned in Newcastle in 1888 for the caretaker of the Shieldfield Green Park was a Black man. There were comments about unemployed Whites: and the city’s engineer indicated ‘It is very improbable that the coloured gentleman will be re-engaged’. The complete report reads:
The Black Caretaker of Shieldfield Green. Certain members of the Newcastle Town Improvement Committee have been much agitated by the fact that the caretaker at the Shieldfeld Green Park was a black man. They were averse to a black man being employed when there are hundreds of white men going about looking for work and cannot get it. The question came up in an indirectmanner at the meeting of the Town Improvement Committee on Wednesday, when the matter of providing a shelter for the caretaker at Shieldfield Green was discussed. Mr Laws, the city engineer, suggested that the caretaker should now be dispensed with, and that the place should be put under what was known as the “loose gang,” in the same manner as Eldon Square and other plots that are part of the park accommodation of the city. The committee decided to try this system for a month or two, and in the meantime the Parks Committee will be requested to take charge of Shieldfield Green. If the “loose gang” arrangement does not answer, it is very improbable that the coloured gentleman will be re-engaged.[i]
[i] Newcastle Weekly Courant, 21 September 1888.
Identifying this man would be useful.
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