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Why did you or your family choose to live abroad?

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


SpanishEyes Report 24 Aug 2011 07:19

Isn't it interesting how a few words can bring back so many memories. I wonder if anyone on here can recall having to go into the the railway underground stations, during WW2. I know that in the East end of London one of the stations had an dreadful loss of people when a bomb hit the station. I cannot remember if it was Stepney Green or Betnal Geen Station. Maybe some one on here will know.
Shortly I shall write about one of my uncles who went to Australia.

Just going to have a coffee top up.



Berona Report 24 Aug 2011 08:39

Bridget - you just triggered another memory!...I worked for 12 months in the City of London in 1953/4 and each day travelled on the Circle line - passing the tube station of Holborn, which had been closed since hit by a bomb during the war.... It was in darkness and we could only see it by the lights coming from our train as it flew past. It always had an eerie effect on me.

In 1989, my OH and I were in a tube train which stopped at Holborn and I was so delighted, I almost said out loud - "Holborn's alive and working again!". Of course, it would be after all that time. I'm glad I didn't embarrass myself.


SpanishEyes Report 24 Aug 2011 12:09

"Memories are made of this"

Berona, one of the glories of writing about our experiences and sharing those with others is exactly as you have described. The message at the top of this reply is I from a song my mother used to sing, and it seemed to me that it fitted this reply perfectly.

Computer very slow trying to get on GR today, else where it is fine! It has taken me nearly 40 minutes to get onto GR, I can only ask "why"

So will have to add my second story about living abroad later this evening or tomorrow.

Hopefully others will be adding today??



SpanishEyes Report 24 Aug 2011 14:50

Percy Ford born 1891 was a brother of my grandfather who I shall write about another time.

Percy is a bit of an enigma. I have found him on the 1911 census but finding it difficult to find more info in the UK.

He was the third of four children and according to my grandfather Albert Edgar Ford caused problems for his parents.
The family information is that he also went into a young persons institution at one time but I cannot find any info to support that. I suspect that he was sent to relatives in Mere in Wiltshire.

When he was in his late teens ha was out one night in the City of London when he became involved in a fight in the street. He hit a man who fell and hit his head on the curb subsequently dying from the injuries.
Meanwhile the police were called and Percy was charged initially with murder but later lowered to Causing Death. However the case fell apart when witnesses stated that the dead man had started the brawl and was trying to steal money from Percy. He was found not guilty and released.

One can only imagine what sort of experience this was for not only Percy but the whole family. Then a couple of years later he decide to take the ship to Australia, my grandfather said this was because he was always feeling that wherever he went people knew he had been charged for Causing Death.

He went by boat of course which he once described to me as one of the most disgusting times of his life. Many of the men that were going came from difficult backgrounds, fought at any time, and the smell of everyone crammed into small places was appalling. Some people died on route including young children, new born babies and their mothers, etc.

Finally reaching Australia, he started to seek employment.

Part two later.



SpanishEyes Report 25 Aug 2011 09:20

I will be back later this morning, hope everyone is well



SpanishEyes Report 25 Aug 2011 11:11

As promised here I am again.

As I was writing about Percy I wondered how I could find out if the event I was told about exists. Can anyone advise please? I also contacted the family he maried into asking if they had any info about how he got to Austrailia, I do wonder if he went to the USA first.

Ok on with what I do know.

Part two re Percy Ford

When I was about 12, in 1958, I visited my grandparents and my grandfather was reading an airmail letter. Grandad read it out to me, and it was fascinating to know that I had a relative so far away.

Percy used to write regularly to my Grandparents and he would tell them about the place he lived in, what his wife and her children from her first marriage were doing etc.
Then a few months later he sent a letter to me. Wow what a surprise an email just for me.
Grandad had told him how interested I was about him, and kept asking when would we see him. So he wrote to tell me about how lucky he was to have married a lady with good children, he told me what they did each day, and descriped the surrounding fields and I learnt just how vaste Austrailia is.

In turn I wrote about where we lived how my mother had looked after his brother and his wife Sarah, little did I know that although considerably younger than my Grandmother he had fallen in love with her when he first met her another reason for leaving the UK.?!
I told him about school and now I would d like to go to Australia.

Soon after that one of his stepdaughters started to write and Percy faded
away .
The years passed with three or four letters each year, I went on to be a
nurse and I think the stepdaughter did the same. Her father was a Doctor at the local hospital. Sadly Percy died in Wahroomgg North Rocks Australia in the very year that I wanted to visit. I had been to London to gather all the necessary paper work and was trying to sort it all out.
Then my fiance decide that he wanted to get married as we both had good qualifications and could afford a decent house and have a I never saw him which was sad.
Just a few weeks later the girl I had been corresponding with wrote to say that the family belonged to a particular Religious Group something like the Mormons or it may even have been the Mormons and they would have no further contast with me!!! I never heard from them again.
So ends the story of Percy Ford



Florence61 Report 25 Aug 2011 19:24

well bridget i found your story most interesting and sad too about your father.
couldnt ever imagine having my children and then just leaving them and disappearing, perish the thought.(many times have i said to them if you dont help me in the house,i will leave you all to it and see how you mange then!!!lol) but that is only a figure of speech to motivate them into being more independant.

ann and berona, i too am enjoying reading your wonderful stories, its a refreshing change from everyday chit-chit.

when i eventually married and settled here, there were a lot of different rules if you like that i quickly learnt.coming up from the south of england to a rural, traditional scottish island was in some ways a culture shock.

people here never lock their fron door when they are in or indeed if they pop out to a neighbours. so expect a visitor anytime from mid-morning up til say 10pm at night.when they come they nearly always bring something nice to have with a cuppa. cake or biscuits etc. it is the custom to make them tea or coffee and maybe a few sandwiches. if it is in the evening they may expect a wee dram of whisky or a glass of wine. so you need to keep the biscuit tin full up and the drinks cupboard!!

always keep your house pretty tidy if you can as you never know who may afternoon not long after i arrived, a knock at my door came and then who walked in? the local minister! yes he came to introduce himself to me and then expected me to be in church next sunday. i politely declined with some feasible excuses so as to not offend him!

the community as a whole here very much pull together in times of trouble or need and you are expected to help out in whtever situation you can.

when someone dies, they have a family service at the family home on the first day. the second day after the death in the evening, there is a wake or service in their church and mostpeople that knew the person be it family or neighbour,friend etc would be expected to go. it may not be of your church, but that would not matter in this instance. on the third day the funeral would take place again from their church.

strangley the custom here is that the men folk go to the cemetry but very rarely do the women. they would go back to the family home where a huge meal would be prepared assisted by neighbours and friends.

quite often people will call with food and drink as a contribution for the meal or make a cake or desert to lighten the load on the grieving family.

if you think about what happens in cities and towns then we up here i guess are still a community as it was years ago. my mother lives down south and only knows i neighbour nnext door to her and noone else. they are all like strangers in her road.

so even though in the beginning i didnt have any of my own friends or family, i was quickly made to feel very welcome. what i will say though is i did have a slight advantage. firstly my firiends were here before me and secondly i married a local and that counted for a lot.

although they are friendly(the locals), it may of been very different if me and oh were both english and we had moved here not knowing anyone. that is completly different. there are many people here who have come from the mainland with no connections and you do becaome a little suspicious over the years wondering how they came to be here. some do have colourful pasts and you steer clear. others stay for 2 years then move away somewhere else as if they are on the run.

so when new people come to this part of the island,you cant blame us for being cautious.

does anyone else understand this? and has anyone who moved either to an island or abroad experienced any hostility or were you made to feel welcome? i would be interested to hear to compare life styles.

well got to dash as i am making some strawberry jam, the last i think of this year and dont want ti to burn

may look in later
in the hebrides.


SpanishEyes Report 25 Aug 2011 20:42


I can fully understand residents of an island being cautious about those who come to live there.
Would imagine that those who seek to join you would want to meet local people before taking such a decision, and what sounds idyllic,may well have a down side.for instance do they understand what hard work has to be undertaken, that the weather can cause the Island to be cut off from the mainland. Etc.
I do wonder what the education system is, is there a school on the Island for both very young children and the older children. Do they do the same
Courses that the Mainland children do.?
Are the children and the older people able to access medical care etc...

Finally we may just arrive at your door one day to have release from noisy traffic, over crowded cities and towns etc... Although living where I am is normally tranquil and interesting.



AnninGlos Report 25 Aug 2011 21:55

Maybe we shall all be beating a path to your door Florence :-D :-D I did have a chuckle when you were talking about incomers and suspicious locals.

Back in 1973 we moved to a small town in The Forest of Dean. It was then (I don't know about now), very hard to make friends with the locals. You were not accepted until you had lived there at least 25 years. And, if you did happen to talk to anyone local and complained about anyone else you could guarantee that you were talking about the aunt, cousin, grandmother, sister etc of the person you were talking to. We lived there for nearly ten years and liked it but most of our friends were incomers.


Florence61 Report 26 Aug 2011 00:12

bridget the population for the whole island is about 25000 people.this is made up of about 19000 living in the capital town and surrounds. the remaning 6000 is made up from people living out of town in villages.

i live 30 miles from the town on the very tip of the island. this district is made up of 13 villages and house around 1800 people.

we have one school that has primary 1-7 with about 110 children and also secondary 1-2 with about 45 children. for 3-6 secondary they will take a bus everyday to the town and continue the education up to 6th form in the only secondary school in the town. there are about 1100 pupils sec 1-6 yr.

considering we live so far away we do have all the modern technology. most pupils in class are able to have a computer to them selves due to the small class sizes. internet etc is all up to date as any mainland school. we even have a college here where you can do many degrees and not have to go away to university say in glasgow or edinburgh.

i am a special needs assistant/pupil support worker and work in a primary school that also has sec 1-2 attached. when children have additional support needs, whether autism aspergers or general difficulties with learning, they are kept in mainstream classes but with a one 2 one or shared support like me. this means they are able to intereact with others rather than being sent to a special school like they did when i was young or they put all the "backward" children in one class for their whole of their school life which they couldnt do today as that would be discriminating.

ann its true about everyone being related to each took me a while to get to know the family, there are so many cousins. when my son went to school, he was related to all the children in the class except for 3 english kids!!

i wasnt considered a local til i had been here 8 years and thats not a joke. if you are an outsider, it is very hard to become friends with a local totally. all the incomers seem to get to know each very quickly and become good friends. sometimes one friend comes to stay and the next thing, the rest of the family follow, sister,brother cousins etc, its quite extraordinary.

i remember the forest of dean vividly. inthe mid 1980s, i went with a friend camping ina tent. cant quite remember where but i know we walked to a local pub. it wasnt very friendly. it poured hard and i got soaked trying to put up this tent. a sign that said shop was infact a scruffy caravan with an equally scruffy man selling a few cans(out of date) at outrages prices. we only stayed one night and have never been back since. never been camping for that matter, do prefer my nice warm bug free bed!

going back we do have a good hospital here and my gp is 8 miles away. waiting lists fare a little better than most but a lot of the clinics are run by doctors that come once a month from the mainland and something like ENT always has a long waing list. for real emergencies or life threatening situations, air ambulance would fly you to the mainland immediately. the maternity dept is wonderful here because its never that busy. you can stay 10 days after having a baby if you wanted to and the food is lovely i must say.

of course there are some draw backs to living here like the weather,but i will leave that subject for another evening.yes the life is hard and its not for everyone but great for bringing up a family.

and yes anyone who lands up her is more than welcome to stop for a bite and liquid refreshment. and if the door is open then come in and help yourself, i wouldnt be far away!!
right time for bed i think

nite nite peeps
in the hebrides


SpanishEyes Report 26 Aug 2011 06:05

What has happened to the reply I posted less than 10 minutes ago?? One minute it was there and the next moment it had disappeared....never had that happen before?!


PS. I will be back later, need a coffee for the shock!

:-0 :-S


SpanishEyes Report 26 Aug 2011 09:10

Not sure who to right about next, any preferences??
Cousin who enterted the church, went as a missionary with his wife and children
Or my uncle who became a Bhudist and went abroad



AnninGlos Report 26 Aug 2011 09:28

The bhudist Bridget


SpanishEyes Report 26 Aug 2011 09:36

Ok Ann

I will see if there are anymore suggestions.
Bye the way, when are you going to add some more tales or similar?? :-D

How can we raise people to add similar posts, after all my short stories are about people who left the UK even if they returned later.?
So still fit in the heading

Another advantage is that now I hsve had two messages from people who live abroad about our connections and they were right!!



SpanishEyes Report 26 Aug 2011 11:07

Nudge nudge,, where are you all, oops, it is 12.07 here but in UK only 11.07"

I will wait until later this afternoon.

Bridget who is sweltering, so is OH and Jet & Joe....


Florence61 Report 26 Aug 2011 14:21

afternoon peeps, just home from school.only work til one on a friday and oh is sleeping as he has to work again tonight. so confined to this end of house until tea.

i think the bhudist bridget and look forward to your story later on. have to go now and tidy up kitchen and do some ironing,before anyone might come to visit!!!

it is a nice day but a little showery. gales are forecast for sat eve/sunday so flasks will be at the ready in case the power goes off!

will be back later
in the hebrides


AnninGlos Report 26 Aug 2011 15:11

I don't have many who moved abroad although there are some who are not in my direct line who live in Australia. However that is not my story. Most of my ancestors were pretty boring staying put in UK. (Did have one who moved to wales from Somerset but I guess that is not really abroad...... is it :-D


SpanishEyes Report 26 Aug 2011 16:33

Now Ann, you really cannot say that moving from England to Wales is not living in another country, and do we not have to pay the toll to get into Wales?

In some parts of Wales they only speak Welsh, but if he lived in such a place, you could still write in English!

How can we encourage others, maybe we should send each one a reminder, just had a thought!

How many on here have been abroad for a holiday and fallen in love with the area, country or conversely hated it!

I will write about the Budist before today ends!

Bridget whi is exhausted having been shopping in Carrefore our best supermarket, and our wonderful friends from Yorkshire arrive late afternoon,.



UzziWithTears Report 26 Aug 2011 18:56

Hi Bridget
I've taken awhile to answer this, lol 177 replies and 9 pages, because I had to think and then you changed your heading so I went and thought again.
Now my dad moved to France ..he spent 10years before retirement buying his home and renovating (? extending more like) it, learning the patios accent aswell as taking A level french to brush up on his war french. He even bought a left hand drive car the year of retirement .. Dad then retired and started to move lock stock and smoking barrel to France..he came back for a short term because he unretired and he still needed to sell property in London.
Dad moved because the lifestyle in a small french hamlet was better and in some ways thanks to BUPA cheaper for his health (by now he had already had 2 heartattacks and 1 cancer scare).
He loved the slower pace of life France gave him and he also loved the opportunity that the building trade gave him over there. He'd previously owned 3 houses in London but now he could buy, do up, and sell to his hearts content. Also it was only a days drive back to th UK.
He never missed the UK at all because he was so close although he often moaned about the French red tape (mind he did that in the UK also).
he spent 16 very very happy years in France, and not once did I hear a regret about moving there, even tho' at the end of dad's life many were selling up and heading "home" work money family etc. He said for him the time had been right.

I'm another story lol !


UzziWithTears Report 26 Aug 2011 19:21

lol@ Bridget about Ann and Wales
believe me Ann Wales is a whole seperate way of live.
My ex was half welsh (and half cockney don't ask !! ) and we once went there ..well I had made forays into wales having lived in Hereford and Glos before but the day we returned to his mums birth place was an eye-opener for me.
I walked into a shop in Merthyr to try a dress on I liked, the shop went silent...Ex spoke as he could from his mum do the accent just and we bought dress. Then we went to a pub Me, Ex , greyhound and 2x 11yr old kid bruv and cousin.
mmmmm The greyhound was allowed ..the kids were allowed both boys, but not me ...if I wanted to be in there I had to sit in the snug, WHAT.
That was years ago and although Wales has changed it's attitude it is still thankfully very individual from England.

and yes it might have p**d me off but I still think it's a lovely place to be.