This film is part of Free

Black Magistrate

Nottingham welcomes Britain's first black magistrate.

Non-Fiction 1962 5 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Media Archive for Central England


Eric Irons came to Britain from Jamaica to serve with the RAF. He settled in Nottingham and rose to local prominence as a liaison officer for the Nottingham Education Department, speaking out after so called race riots in the city in August 1958. In this film, shot for ATV's Midland Montage, he talks to Reg Harcourt about his appointment as the first black magistrate in the UK. Cornelius Cameron provides the views of Nottingham City Council.

Eric Irons served on the bench in the city of Nottingham until 1991. He was awarded an OBE in 1977 and died in August 2007. The black bus worker seen towards the end of this item owes his job to Mr Irons who had broken down the 'whites only' rule of Nottingham City Transport in the 1950s.