HOME THOUGHTS FROM AUSTRALIA
NIGEL AND TONY CROWTHER
'Good Adventure' is a book which tells the story of one particular young family in the north of England shortly after World War II. Like many others, these parents and two young sons set off from their homeland and sailed round the world to Australia on the ‘Assisted Passage’ emigration scheme.
‘Down Under’ lay a land reputed to be full of opportunities which lured many from depressed, post-war Europe. Many of these families, particularly British people, stayed in their new land and became today’s Australians or the parents or grandparents of them. They realised their hopes and ambitions there, making a successful new life.
Others returned home after what they felt had been a bad experience, even a disaster, when things had not worked out as their dreams had imagined. Yet others sailed home for family reasons in which they followed their hearts rather than their heads.
‘Good Adventure’ tells the story of how Ernest and Lilian Crowther, with their two sons Nigel and Tony, came into the latter category. Their time in Australia was, throughout their lives, to be the ‘Good Adventure’ which they had hoped, although it was to be a temporary chapter, brought to a close by family circumstances
which they could not have envisaged.
In the story of Australian migration, their story could
be that of countless other families from that period.
Forty years on, the two sons from that family made what was to them the most amazing discovery when an uncle produced from a chest of drawers in his Manchester flat a bundle of old air-mail letters.
These were all the correspondence the mother had sent back to her family. She wrote every other day, then weekly, then periodically, but always she wrote as she spoke - plainly, honestly and vividly. Reading these letters brings back such memories, but of a different life, experienced by a family in a different age.
We decided to transcribe these letters and together with the many photographs sent back home, Nigel's narrative brings anecdote and historical background to tie the story together beautifully.