About this Archive
Community activist and civil rights campaigner Frank Gilbert Crichlow was born on 13 July 1932 in Port of Spain, Trinidad; he emigrated to England on the SS Colombie in June of 1953.
Initially he lived in Paddington, London, and worked for British Rail. He formed the Starlight Four band in 1956, enjoying some success bolstered by television and radio appearances. The proceeds from the band allowed Frank to open, in 1959, the El Rio cafe at 127 Westbourne Park Road in Notting Hill. The cafe was popular and fashionable both with the local community and with notable public figures such as the MP John Profumo and Christine Keeler.
In 1968 Frank opened the Mangrove restaurant at 8 All Saints Road, Notting Hill. Celebrity visitors included Diana Ross and the Supremes, Vanessa Redgrave, and Sammy Davis, Jr., as well as political activists including Darcus Howe. The police raided the premises six times in its first year, but found nothing illegal.
In 1970 Frank was part of a march on the police station to protest against this victimisation on the part of the police. He and eight other protestors, including Howe, were arrested and charged with incitement to riot. Becoming known as the Mangrove Nine, they were acquitted after a celebrated trial lasting 55 days in 1971.
Frank formed the Mangrove Community Association as an offshoot of the restaurant, providing advice and assistance with the aim of improve housing, establish services for the elderly and youth facilities, and help ex-offenders and those dealing with substance abuse.
Frank Crichlow was one of the founders of the Notting Hill Carnival; the Mangrove being for many years the base from which the event was organised. Falsely accused of drug offences twice more, in 1979 and 1988, the second time led to a charge of possession for which he was defended in court by Gareth Peirce, Michael Mansfield, and Courtenay Griffiths, acquitted and paid £50,000 in damages by the Metropolitan Police for false imprisonment, battery, and malicious prosecution.
Scope and Content
Papers, correspondence, press cuttings, photographs, witness statements, legal documents, film tapes, and other material regarding the life and career of Frank Gilbert Crichlow (1932-2010), community activist and civil rights campaigner. Includes material regarding Crichlow's Mangrove restaurant in Notting Hill, the Mangrove Trust and Mangrove Community Association, community activism, court cases involving Frank Crichlow, the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry into the Metropolitan Police, and Notting Hill Carnival, [1950-2014].
NOTE: For further information on accessing the Frank Crichlow Archive, please contact the Special Collections and Archives at: firstname.lastname@example.org.