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.”
This book is mainly a record of a mother's unfailing attempt to comfort her own parents and brother back home, particularly at the very difficult separation from their two grandsons, then aged six and just under two.
These are the authors of the book, or rather, the producers of it, since their mother Lilian was the real authoress, the writer of the letters, (with a couple contributed by her husband Ernest!). The 'Ma and Da' of all the letters,
Lily and Will Cooper, had run their corner shop in the Manchester suburb of Moorside (Swinton) since moving there from Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent in 1917.
Their son Bill lived with them there throughout the rest
of their lives and it is thanks to him that this book could ever become a reality. It was he who, decades later, nonchalantly handed over a plastic bag stuffed with preserved airmail letters written by his sister from Australia between October 1951 and October 1954.
His question: "Are these of any interest to you?"
must surely be a monumental understatement of how
his two nephews would feel about such a treasure!
Their hope is that many people will indeed find them of great interest by reading this book of one family's set of memories set against the backdrop of post-war days, the Assisted Passage migration scheme, the 'White Australia Policy,' the Suez Crisis, the death of King George VI, the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the conquest of Mount Everest and the atmosphere of the long gone 1950s.
The family featured in this book came from the Manchester area, although the Crowther side had previously been in Leeds and other parts of Yorkshire.
The Coopers were from the Potteries of Staffordshire, but in the early years of the twentieth century they all seem to have moved to the Manchester area. That led to the later meeting of Ernest Crowther and Lilian Cooper prior to World War II and even during that conflict these two were married. They expected to raise a family after the War and to continue to live in the area where their families were, but the chance arose to emigrate to Australia in search
of a new life.
The wrench of leaving the family behind would be a terrible strain but a decision had to be taken. By the Summer of 1951 that decision had been made.