Asquith Xavier Mural

Building on our work to celebrate the hidden stories of this corner of Chatham, our latest mural has been painted on Hare Street.

Arches Local commissioned renowned artist Voyder to respond to a list of local stories and, as can be seen, he chose the extraordinary story of Asquith Xavier.

Asquith played an important role in the campaign for racial equality in the workplace.

He was born in Dominica and moved to England in 1958 as part of the Windrush generation, invited from the Caribbean to help rebuild post-war Britain.

He joined British Railways as a guard at London’s Marylebone station in 1966. With the closure of the Marylebone main line, Asquith applied for a transfer to Euston station but was rejected due to a ‘whites-only’ recruitment policy, which excluded black people from customer-facing roles.

Asquith fought this decision and eventually became the first non-white guard at Euston station, marking a pivotal moment for this country.

His strength and determination also influenced changes to the law, which made the refusal of housing, employment or public services to people based on their ethnic background illegal.

Asquith lived on Grove Road from 1972 to 1980 when he sadly passed away.

If you have a wall or a local story you’d like to be considered for future murals, please get in touch!