Tony Bullimore: Sailor and entrepreneur celebrated

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Tony Bullimore’s work to break down racial barriers in the city was celebrated at the memorial event

A celebration of sailor and entrepreneur Tony Bullimore’s life and achievements has been held in Bristol.

He became world famous in 1997 when he survived four days in the upturned hull of his boat, which capsized during a solo round-the-world yacht race.

In 1966 he and his wife Lalel opened the Afro-Caribbean-inspired Bamboo Club which hosted Bob Marley’s first UK gig.

Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees said Mr Bullimore’s race relations work prepared the way for him to be elected.

Mr Rees said his mother told him she went to the club as a teenager because it was “a safe place to dance and enjoy music and company when black people just couldn’t go into clubs”.

“He put the building blocks in place for people like myself and Asher to be elected as mayor and deputy mayor,” he said.

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Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said Mr Bullimore’s work supporting young black people and giving them a safe place to socialise was ground-breaking

The memorial included an exhibition in the foyer of City Hall telling the story of Mr Bullimore’s life in Bristol and involvement with race relations in the city.

Tributes were sent in writing by actor and comedian Lenny Henry, who sailed across the Atlantic with Mr Bullimore in 2000, and by video from Admiral Raydon Gates of the Australian Navy, who led the rescue mission in 1997.

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