Cabot Primary was privileged to be the only school invited to visit Avon and Somerset Constabulary to meet a special police horse, Brutus, who is in the process of being renamed in honour of the pioneers of the Bristol Bus Boycott. Cabot is located in St Paul’s, an inner suburb of Bristol, with a rich history and its ‘Seven Saints’ being instrumental in leading the Bus Boycott.
The school’s values of inclusion made this invitation even more significant, as the children recognised its prominence for representing the past and drawing attention to racism, something close to their hearts.
According to BBC News, the shortlist, poll and subsequent rename of Brutus: “Pays tribute to key people involved in the peaceful boycott of 1963, which began in response to the refusal of Bristol Omnibus Company (BOC) to employ Black or Asian bus crews in the city. It is hoped the poll will encourage people to hear of and be inspired to explore the names and histories of those Bristolians who paved the way for equal rights and justice.
“PH Hackett, is one of the names, in recognition of Roy Hackett, who formed an action group in protest against the BOC’s refusal to give his wife Ena a job as a conductor despite her being fully qualified for the role.
“PH Bailey is another option, in recognition of Guy Bailey, whose job offer was withdrawn by the BOC when they realised he was of West Indian heritage and he joined his fellow campaigners in the boycott.
“Owen Henry’s role in the campaign to boycott the BOC is being recognised, with another option being for PH Henry.
“PH Prince and PH Audley are other options, in recognition of Prince Brown and Audley Evans, who were both pivotal members of the campaign group.
“The final name, PH Singh, is in recognition of Raghbir Singh, who was hired as Bristol’s first bus conductor of colour after the company conceded to the boycott and ended the discrimination.”
The children at Cabot Primary School shared what the visit to meet Brutus and Avon & Somerset Constabulary meant to them:
“We were the only school there, it made me feel like a VIP. I am proud to represent Cabot.” Amir
“We were able to touch the Police horses which is something new. It is important to me that history is remembered.” Mumtas
“The horses were huge and I hadn’t realised that the Police used horses for their jobs.” Ahmed
“It is exciting that we can all help to select the name of the horse and that it will mean something to the community, it will create a legacy and a reminder that we are all welcome in Bristol.” Hibo
Furthermore Felicity Llewelyn-Hodgson, Principal of Cabot Primary School comments: “We were delighted to have played our part in the renaming of Brutus, which acknowledges the incredible work of the Seven Saints, whose movement was the launchpad for justice and race relations across the UK. Our children were thrilled to appear both on local TV and newspapers.”
Fairfield High School just up the road from Cabot also proudly celebrates the Seven Saints, in its Atrium: