This is a familiar story for many West Indian children and the film describes her feelings and unhappiness of that time.

Finally the glorious news arrives that their parents are sending for them. They make the two week journey to England, unaccompanied by adults on a passenger ship, across the Atlantic Ocean. They have little idea of what to expect in the far off land they have been educated to believe was the greatest, most wonderful land on earth, the land of hope and glory.

Dressed in thin clothing, best suited for the Caribbean climate, they embark on the long sea trip. They enjoy their new found freedom and make friends with the sailors who encourage them to help with work below decks.

Gradually the seas turn from blue to grey, the temperature falls and Floella, for the first time in her life feels the damp chilly hand of the British climate grip her heart and soul.


But as the ship docks at Southampton they are united as family once again and are warmed by the sight of their beloved mother who is waiting with embroidered cardigans and jumpers for them. The pretty cardigans however cannot protect them from the shock of discovering that they are about to start a new life in a cold, misty and unwelcoming place, half a world away from the beautiful island home they have left behind.

The last part of the film shows how Floella, her brothers and sisters adapt and begin to build a new life in England. It shows their experiences of a hostile society at school and in everyday life and depicts the realisation that they are going to be treated differently because of their colour.


But their mother instills confidence in them and repeatedly tells them that education is their passport to life.


Floella realises that in order to survive in Britain she has to work twice as hard and be twice as good.


The film ends on a high note as Floella breaks through a personal barrier and realises that she must excel and achieve in order to be accepted in England. Watch a clip here.


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