Tributes have been paid to Ulric Thompson, Haringey’s first black Labour Councillor, elected in 1971 for South Hornsey, who has died aged 90.
Ulric was born in Guyana, then British Guiana, the fourth of five children. On leaving school he worked as a farrier but then got the travel bug and went to New York and Massachusetts at a time of segregation in the US. He spent a couple of years there before returning to Guyana, but in 1957 he decided to come to the UK for a short stay. He came to Haringey and made it his home.
At first Ulric lived on the ladder in rooms with other migrants from all over the Commonwealth. He never spoke of the hardship but of times sharing food and friendship. Ulric worked for Enfield Council as a street cleaner and enjoyed the outdoor life and chatting to residents.
In the 1960s Ulric got involved in local politics and became a lifelong member of the Labour Party. As well as serving as a Councillor, he was a governor at Hornsey School for Girls and at Earlham Primary School. Ulric met his wife Rita while volunteering at an evening information office and they settled in Wood Green.
In retirement Ulric returned to Guyana to spend time with his family and visit old haunts. Back in Wood Green he continued to take a lively interest in politics and was a stalwart member of Woodside branch.
Our condolences to Rita and his family.
Words from Woodside Councillor Pete Mitchell.