HOME THOUGHTS FROM AUSTRALIA
NIGEL AND TONY CROWTHER
Bruce Fisher (Forest Hills, Victoria, Australia)
“Nigel mate, my copy of ‘Good Adventure’ arrived on the 30th December. I have just finished the book, and I have to say, I didn't want it to finish! I wanted you and Tony to continue with your lives after your Mum and Dad’s letters and your young memories ended! Nigel, I felt every and
all emotions as I read the book, and admit the tears fell!
“Nigel, I commend you, Tony, Mum, Dad, and all your family for putting together a really
bloody Good Adventure!!!”
Ann Riddell (Burntwood, Staffordshire, England)
“Finished the book today Nigel. I absolutely loved it. The voyage over sounded like a first class cruise and your time in Australia was fantastic. I feel I've missed out on a wonderful time.
I'm glad you got to spend twelve months with your Nan before she died.
A ‘Good Adventure’ indeed - I hope your return trip lived up to expectations. Thank you."
Dr Sophie Couchman (Exhibition Curator Post WWII British Migration to Australia,
Humanities Department, Museums Victoria, Melbourne, Australia)
“I’m writing to thank you for alerting us to your book via the storyport website we’ve been using to gather stories of post WWII British migration to Australia. We’ve obtained a copy of the book and were delighted to read your account. We are currently in the process of selecting and shortlisting personal stories for our exhibition and are interested in the Crowther family story.
“I’m writing to see whether you would be agreeable if we used some of the material in your book and also perhaps reproductions of your mother’s and also Nigel’s letters in the exhibition? If we were to use your story we might also be interested in interviewing you and also your brother about your experiences in Australia and the impact that might have had (or not!) on your lives after your return to England. Would you be interested in participating in the exhibition in this way?”
Mathew Montebello (Assistant Principal, Williamstown Primary School, Victoria, Australia)
“We would love to promote your book and will do so through our social media platforms.
We thank you for your time and memories.”
Sally J (Kindle purchaser, Birmingham, England)
“An interesting piece of social history told through the letters of a mother and the memories
of a child, interspersed with the odd current event such as the Coronation of Elizabeth II.”
Sallie Morgan (Birmingham, England)
“. . I really enjoyed the book. It was a 'gentle book' - full of loving feelings and concern.”
Sylvia D (Cardiff, Wales)
“I loved your book. Couldn't put it down.”
'Good Adventure' is a book which tells the story of one young family in the north of England shortly after World War II. Like many others, these parents and two young sons decided to set off from their homeland and sailed round the world to Australia on the ‘Assisted Passage’ migration scheme.
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.
‘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 for, 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 immigration, their story could
be that of countless other families from that period.