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.
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 and the atmosphere of the long gone 1950s.