Mr Wadi Hussain






Arrival to the UK

Mr Wadhi Hussain arrived in Bradford, England on 27th December 1968. His brother was already living in Bradford and working in a Wool Mill. His brother arranged for him to emigrate to the UK and arranged a job for him in the same Mill. The next day his brother took him shopping to buy clothes. Mr Wadhi remembers “I went outside and it was very cold and there was so much snow”. He recalls that the English shop keepers warmly greeted them and that wherever he went he was treated well by his English hosts.

First day of work

He had never worked in a factory or office before so working in the factory was new. He earned £16 pounds for working  5 days, doing a 12 hour shift during his time at the Mill. He recalls that more could be bought with money then and money seemed to stretch further. They had bought a house in Bradford for £500 and when they sold it in 1972, they sold it for the same price they bought it. Since many of the people that had arrived were men and they all missed their families, individuals would meet up on a Saturday to catch up on family news from those who had newly arrived.  After four years of working in the Wool Mill in 1972, the Mill closed and Mr Wadhi worked for another mill for a short time and then in 1972, he went to Pakistan to get married.

Moving on

Whilst he was in Pakistan, his brother moved to Birmingham to seek work and so when he came back to the UK, he came to Birmingham. In Birmingham he got a job with the Post Office and later with British Telecom. He worked with British Telecom for 18 years till he was made redundant.  

Contribution of the Pakistani community to the UK

Mr Wadhi feels that the Pakistani community have contributed immensely to life in Britain and also for the betterment of future generations. Pakistani’s have benefited the British economy through their hard work, added richness to the food culture through the variety of Pakistani foods that are available, have contributed to the continuation of Islamic practice in the UK by building mosques and Islamic schools of education. He adds that it was difficult to find halal food when the Pakistani’s first arrived and now the practice of slaughtering halal is widespread.

Gains and Loses

He feels that financially the Pakistani’s have gained but there have been changes due to acculturation into British life which he feels has left young second and third generation British Pakistani’s become more detached from Pakistani culture of living together and helping each other in extended family living. He also feels that even though children have become educated the promise of better jobs through education has not materialised. He states that the appreciation from the investment in Pakistan has been disappointing for some, he feels  much investments have been made in Pakistan and that these have benefited those left behind such as parents and siblings but also feels that in cases where there is no one left behind, the investment in Pakistan has been fruitless as people outside of close families do not appreciate the investments made.