Following the large scale immigration of the 50s and 60s, the subsequent decades witnessed a marked growth in the mixed race population in cities such as Birmingham and Manchester. The Home Office was active in its surveillance of these new communities, recording the racial composition of families, whether their births were outside marriage, and their housing circumstances. Besides such initiatives and those of some city medical officers of health, any attempts to count either the number of interracial partnerships or the growing mixed race population did not come till the end of the period when a few new government social surveys started collecting data on racial/ethnic group.
The 1970s was a decade of overt racism and political violence against black people. The first race relations legislation had come in 1965 and was strengthened by the 1976 Act. By the start of the 70s Enoch Powell’s Rivers of Blood speech was fresh in people’s minds and an emergent National Front cast a shadow over civil society. Popular culture (films and plays) took themes from Britain’s new demographic communities and the increasing frequency of what were still regarded as ‘transgressive’ interracial relationships in productions such as Taste of Honey and Tamed and Shabby Tiger.