Mixed race family want to leave London.. :(

(168 Posts)
Clebaby Tue 15-Sep-20 13:03:28

Hey! Please help if you can (but also please do not comment if you do not support anti-racism. Thank you!) We want to leave the rat race by buying a more rural/village/town outskirts house where mortgage repayments are way less so we can work less and be with our 2 young kids more. But outside of London we are so worried about racist attitudes. We’ve worked out a few areas that may be more diverse than others - like Leamington Spa - or places that may be white but more liberal and welcoming - like Stroud and Malvern. We have (white) family in the middle of these 3 places. Are we accurate in our assumptions? Is there anywhere else in midlands/cotswolds or even wales that would either be diverse or open minded and less racist? I spend so long looking up racist attacks on twitter every time we find a good place that I end up back at square one: London is the only safe ish place. But we don’t want to work 24/7 and never see our kids for the privilege. Over it. Maybe we have no choice but cities? sad

OP’s posts: |
pjani Tue 15-Sep-20 13:20:28

I'm sure you've already thought about this but what about the outskirts of London?

I am white so not very knowledgeable but in a mixed relationship and would probably shoot for a more relaxed, green part of a smaller city. We looked at Moseley in Birmingham for a while, for example.

OwZ321 Tue 15-Sep-20 13:27:16

I am black British and grew up in the outskirts of London. I met my partner when I was in university of Northampton. We decided to stay in Northamptonshire because of house prices and his family were local. We now have 3 children and have found Northamptonshire to be quite multiracial and friendly. House prices are also much more reasonable. Good luck in your search.

mogtheexcellent Tue 15-Sep-20 13:30:38

I live in a mid sized village outside of Reading next door to a lovely mixed race family. And there are more than a few at DDs school. No racist incidents as far as I am aware. Great schools, leisure centre and lots going on plus we are surrounded by fields and woodland. Pricey as M4 corridor but cheaper than London.

As an indicator, my 3 bed semi with huge garden is valued at 350k

buckleten Tue 15-Sep-20 13:35:18

I second the villages around Reading, there are some beautiful areas, and Reading itself is very diverse. I love it!

Clebaby Tue 15-Sep-20 13:37:24

Thanks everyone it gives me hope that towns and villages can be as mixed as cities.. just hate thought of kids being minority in classroom and never seeing or experiencing different cultures. Will check out Northampton villages and towns - Reading doesn’t sound too expensive. Mosley sounds good too. We want to be away from London mainly as even outskirts are expensive and then get a bit ..racist 😩 This is me just googling local newspapers and twitter tho and am sure incidents happen everywhere. Just more in some places hey.

OP’s posts: |
loutypips Tue 15-Sep-20 13:39:23

I spend so long looking up racist attacks on twitter every time we find a good place that I end up back at square one

Remember, the bad experiences are the ones people shout about. The lovely, kindnesses that people experience are never heard.
Unfortunately everywhere you go there will be horrible people, but you can't stop living because of the minority. As well, you can't tar all people in a place with the same brush, when it might've been a one-off incident.

Visit the places. Speak to the locals, join their Facebook groups. You might be surprised.

Smaller cities, university towns tend to be more diverse.

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Proceedwithcare Tue 15-Sep-20 13:39:41

Hi OP,
I have NC’d for this only because I want to offer you some real life experience but don’t want to link to my other threads as it could be outing.

I’m mixed race myself and was born and grew up in Cheltenham. Cheltenham is a nice place but predominantly white so there is very little multiculturalism.
Gloucester is very near to Cheltenham and is much more diverse so might be worth considering but it is quite run down in the city centre. Outskirts of Gloucester might be an option but do lot’s of travelling around and googling if you want to consider it. Places like Hucclecote, Churchdown and Abbeymead are largely nice areas in Gloucester but have little diversity as they are a few miles away from the city.
I have worked in Stroud and I can honestly say I could count on one hand the number of BAME people I saw when I worked there but the local people did seem nice. It is a very small place and I would suggest if you are moving from London that you look for somewhere where there is more going on otherwise it will be a big shock. But most importantly somewhere which has much more diversity.
Malvern is a lovely area but I’m not sure what it is like culturally. It might be worth looking into more.

Looking more towards the midlands might be better, maybe places in the outskirts of Birmingham and Dudley. I don’t personally know these areas but they have much more multiculturalism.
Most places in the Cotswolds are largely populated with white people. If you are looking at villages or small towns be careful because you are likely to encounter a ‘small town mentality’ and lots of cliquey people. I know it sounds like a huge generalisation but I have grown up in this area and I have experience of this.
One particular place to avoid IMO is the Forest of Dean. It is known to have a higher number of white supremicist groups and I have known many cases of racism there.

Whereabouts do your family members live? If you get on well with them could that area be an option? Moving to a whole new place can be isolating enough but if you have supportive family nearby it would make all the difference.

I hope you find somewhere that you will feel happy and comfortable with your family soon. Good luck.

Jollof Tue 15-Sep-20 13:41:59

I'm a mixed race mum with a mixed race family of my own,

I'm also an ex-Londoner, now living in Cardiff and loving it.

There are idiots here, as there are everywhere. But it's generally a welcoming place (not just a 'tolerant' one). I couldn't have picked a better school for my kids anywhere, in terms of school management attitudes to equality, equity & diversity.

Jollof Tue 15-Sep-20 13:43:55

P.S. I name changed for my reply as Cardiff as anyone knows me well could take a guess it's me. So I didn't want the combination with my previous posts to confirm that 🤣

OverTheRubicon Tue 15-Sep-20 13:46:26

Sadly, there are racist attacks all over. We're a mixed family and have stayed on the outskirts of London partly for this reason - but lots of smaller cities/large market towns are good options, like around Reading or Bristol, I don't know Hitchin well but we have friends who live there and love it.

I'd avoid anywhere that's a long held Tory seat or places that voted for Brexit - this is not at all to say that all Tory or Brexit voters are racists, but there's a definite overlap.

Not rural. You'll stand out a lot more, and while there will be many lovely and open people who won't treat you any differently to any other family, some won't and with fewer neighbours it's a huge impact if someone thinks that a mixed family next door is a negative thing (or in the case of one of my friends, keeps reporting your visiting black friends in nice cars as drug dealers).

ekidmxcl Tue 15-Sep-20 13:53:15

Racists can and do go everywhere. Just like rapists or burglars.

Personally I’d go and live near to whichever of your family members that you would like to.

bookmum08 Tue 15-Sep-20 13:55:53

My husband is from a Northamptonshire town. I find sometimes language used can be a bit old fashioned (even with younger generation) - as in if describing someone they might say 'coloured fella' or 'Indian' (for anyone of Indian/Pakistani/Sri Lanka background). But it is (mostly) just descriptive - not racist. If that makes sense. I find in London people might say "that Polish lady" or "Spanish guy" when the people are actually from Bulgaria and Portugal.
It's the type of language that if you aren't expecting it can come as a shock but generally in find any racism is more likely to be aimed at 'The Polish' folks. Which is sad.

twilightcafe Tue 15-Sep-20 14:18:17

We are a mixed-race family that moved from London to Banbury 10 years ago. We've been very happy - it is diverse (I can get my hair done and there are an array of food shops here) and easy to get to anywhere else.
You get racists and bigots in all shapes, sizes and colours wherever you go, tbh.

fairlygoodmother Tue 15-Sep-20 14:27:45

I don’t know from personal experience but I think you might find you’re wrong to assume that there is more racism outside London. I was talking to a Black woman recently who has lived in many different places and she said she experienced more racism in London and New York City than most other places she’d lived. Cornwall apparently everyone was lovely. So you may be pleasantly surprised. If you google for racist incidents somewhere, you are bound to find them unfortunately.

JaJaDingDong Tue 15-Sep-20 14:35:04

North Wiltshire is fairly diverse. There are certainly a fair number of non-white kids in my DDs' old school. I was never aware of any racism while they went there, although they both left a few years ago. Not aware of any racism in the community either.

IMO, there's more likely to be racism in cities, with large numbers of non-white and/or non-British origin inhabitants which make the indigenous population feel marginalised.

Where non-white/non-British people are in the minority, they are more likely to be magnimous and non-racist to people not like them.

vcrees6 Tue 15-Sep-20 14:38:29

What do you mean by mixed-race? As your specific mix may be more prevalent in some areas but not others.

TobyHouseMan Tue 15-Sep-20 14:43:32

>> just hate thought of kids being minority in classroom

I'm afraid if you are looking for a more rural place to live then the truth is this will probably be the case.

I live in a large village just outside Guildford. There are a few mixed race families here; not many. You actually made me think about this where I havent really before.

One of my friends who is mixed has mentioned to me before she has experienced racism but qualified it that was covert and low level. But the general day to day experience has been very positive.

I'm afraid there are arseholes everywhere and there's no getting away from it. But the vast majority of people in our village are not racist and wouldn't stand for it either.

What I find encouraging is the kids don't seem to bat an eyelid at BAME kids, in fact it doesn't even feature. The BAME kids get invited to as many parties, included in all the sports and treated no different from any other kids. It's just a non issue for them.

Best of luck.

Sssloou Tue 15-Sep-20 14:55:44

Sounds like a non-racist AND diverse area is what is best for your family.

My top tip on any big area moves is either rent for a year so that you know the nuances of the areas and schools etc and/or do a few air BnB short term rentals to get a feel for actually living in the place.

Also don’t go too rural - kids need ferrying to clubs, play dates etc - you want to have options nearby so that it’s not a 40 mile round trip for swimming lessons on a Thursday evening etc.

OverTheRubicon Tue 15-Sep-20 14:57:28

Where non-white/non-British people are in the minority, they are more likely to be magnimous and non-racist to people not like them.

To me this is the kind of attitude that puts me off places like North Wiltshire. 'Magnanimous'?!?

It's also completely unsupported by evidence, which strongly shows that people living in more diverse areas have far less racist views, driven in large part because you see more of others and realise that Ahmed from next door and Babatunde from one street over also have kids who feel shy at the school Christmas concert, or you take out each others bins when going on holiday. Or even if not, you see enough black faces every day to recognise which child is which, but also not so few that all local minorities are known by name.

At minimum, you wouldn't suggest how white people might be so kind as to be 'magnanimous' to 4th generation British people who have decent jobs and families and different coloured skin.

BabyLlamaZen Tue 15-Sep-20 14:58:32

Somewhere like Reading

Inpensity Tue 15-Sep-20 15:20:28

Short answer: the suburbs.......i.e. if you’re in London zone 1-3 try zones 6: especially SE London/kent border (3 bed semi 550k). If this is also out of your price range then each UK city has a suburb. I’d stick to those. However. As someone who has lived in Yorkshire , east midlands and south east cities The south east cities are by far the most inclusive. One issue, I have found northern cities to still have Black and Asians ‘ghettos’ which is a bit of a shock coming from London where areas of depravation include all races and hence there is less ‘them and us’ regarding race. Many People I talk to who live in these areas have moved up from comparable london areas where the rents have gone too high and say themselves they feel they have stepped back in time and not sure if it’s worth the extra Mahoney in their pockets......I should say thats I am someone also bought up in similar areas and although I couldn’t be living more differently now. I feel that when you’re a person of colour it doesn’t matter what class you are with regards to how locals treat you.

Wherehavetheteletubbiesgone Tue 15-Sep-20 15:20:34

Clebaby

Thanks everyone it gives me hope that towns and villages can be as mixed as cities.. just hate thought of kids being minority in classroom and never seeing or experiencing different cultures. Will check out Northampton villages and towns - Reading doesn’t sound too expensive. Mosley sounds good too. We want to be away from London mainly as even outskirts are expensive and then get a bit ..racist 😩 This is me just googling local newspapers and twitter tho and am sure incidents happen everywhere. Just more in some places hey.

Britain is 85% white British your kids will almost certainly be a minority anywhere outside of London and maybe parts of Birmingham.

Inpensity Tue 15-Sep-20 15:21:37

*money in their pockets

drspouse Tue 15-Sep-20 15:31:02

25% of young children are not White British, though; while this means your kids will still be in a minority (and "not White British" will include Polish etc.), they won't be in as much of a minority as a retired mixed race couple.

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