MERLYN ‘GRACE’ EMELDA WILLIAMS nee FRANCIS (1936 – 2015)

Born in St Catherine, Jamaica, Merlyn – or Grace as she was known – arrived in Leeds in 1961. Working her way up to a chef position at Leeds General Infirmary, the mother of two endured vicious racism – but persevered for her family. Undeterred, she studied part-time, left the NHS for Leeds Social Services and became a trades union shop steward. The proud Jamaican ‘country woman’, opened her own business, Dunn’s River Café, in Leeds.

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