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Nottingham mural pays tribute to UK's first black magistrate

Eric Irons OBE, who relocated to Nottingham from Jamaica after WWII, is honored in this artwork. Credit: BBC

Nottingham has dedicated a mural honouring Britain's first black magistrate and equal rights champion.

It honors the work of Eric Irons OBE, who was born in Jamaica in 1921 and moved to Nottingham in 1948 after serving in the Royal Air Force during WWII.

He was a social justice advocate who became the UK's first black justice of the peace in 1962 and was awarded the OBE.

The artwork, created by local artist Honey Williams, can be found at Castle Wharf, along the Nottingham and Beeston Canal.

Mr. Irons' family said they were "delighted" by the "unique and innovative acknowledgement" of their father.

"We hope that the public enjoys the mural while also learning more about our father's major contribution to racial and social justice," they said.

Eric Irons passed away in 2007. Credits: The Irons Family/BBC

Mr. Iron's Jamaican ancestry, his stint as an RAF serviceman during WWII, and his efforts for the black population in Nottingham are all mentioned in the mural, which is placed near Carrington Street Bridge.

During the city's race riots in 1958, he was a significant factor in calming tensions. He also launched a campaign to abolish a ban on employing black bus drivers and other transportation workers.

This is The Nottingham Project's second mural, which aims to honor "rebels and pioneers" who have shaped the city's past, present, and future.

"Eric Irons OBE is possibly the ultimate expression of Nottingham's rebellious and pioneering spirit," stated project director Lee Walker.

"Having made Nottingham his home, he worked tirelessly for the betterment of our city's people, paving the way for future generations, and we are honored to have had the opportunity to create this mural in his honor."

At a council-run car park in Fletcher Gate, the project's first mural commemorated Nottingham's lace legacy.

From the Spinning Jenny machine to the Luddite struggle, the elaborate lace pattern features a variety of references to Nottingham's historic status as the world leader in lace manufacture.


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