I AM 75, and for 66 years I lived in Birmingham. I was only three when the Empire Windrush docked with the first immigrants in 1948, so I have grown up with great change.

I was a milkman for many years, serving in a large black community, went into an engineering apprenticeship, had my own fruit and veg business and my own pub, and at one stage I was a convenor representing more than 8,000 people from many different nationalities.

So I have been involved with black people from a very early age and had some good nights out and trips with them. I was never racist. I always treated them the same,

But I am going a little that way now, because in my opinion, although the recent demos may be changing the views of the racists, the ripping down and forcing the shielding of our history is turning a lot of people like myself the other way.

To my grandchildren and their children, a statue like that of Edward Colston is a prompt to ask what that man did, dad, and for their parents to tell them that, like Hitler, the things they did should never happen again.

We have a statue of Lord Londonderry in Durham Market Place. He owned many pits and treated the miners like cattle fodder. In the strike of 1844 he told the traders not to give the strikers credit or he would give them no more business, he recruited strike breakers from Northern Ireland, bullies boys, and he evicted those strikers who were his tenants. He triumphed and literally starved the strikers back to work, in many cases for less than before they went out.

The one thing he is credited for is the construction of Seaham harbour but that was only for his own benefit so he could ship his coal.

I do not condone anything these people have done but it is a history that should never be forgotten. If we take these reminders out of view we may as well take history out of the schools also.

If I went to any country in the Caribbean or the world, it would not even enter my head to try and change their culture, and, let’s be completely honest, I do not think it’s the early generation from the Empire Windrush days who wants to either.

D Dunbar, Sherburn Village, Durham.