Many years ago….many, many years ago in fact, my ancestors travelled much further than they had ever been before. No….this isn’t the intro to Star Wars – it is a tale of migration.
All my family, have come from Britain as far back as I can find (except possibly my maternal grandfather if you’ve read the last few blog posts). And for a variety of reasons they moved to Australia. Like most others before them, it was seen as the land of milk and honey. For some it was the lure of gold. For others took skills from the UK and established a name for themselves in cities far away. Later on others saw the economic benefits, and followed a (hideously racist) immigration policy targeted squarely at Britains wanting to make a better life for themselves.
The obvious exception, are the convicts that were sent as punishment. So far I haven’t found any in my ancestry (aka. Australian royalty!). And also in this group of those with little choice on their arrival to Australia, were the child migrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, like my paternal grandfather, John Scott.
As a child in Glasgow, he was told he was going on a holiday. He had a little bag packed for him and went on a long boat trip that he remembered fondly all his life. Sadly though he eventually worked out it was a one way ticket. Over the years he lost all connection with his Scottish roots – no accent except when he ‘turned it on’. In the end, he did ok for himself…better than many others. But he said of Britain – they abandoned me, so I don’t care about them.
For some of us though, there is a strange pull back to Britain. I once lived in Glasgow many years ago now and have visited the UK many times now. It’s funny to say, but I feel more at home here than in Australia?!
And so it was, three years ago today, that we arrived here in the UK ready to start a new adventure. A reverse migration if you like. We moved to London, and I have loved every minute of it. There is so much that culturally is the same, and so much that is also very, very different. In time I hope to post more about this. I often think of things and wonder how it might have been for my ancestors when they arrived in Australia. They had no option of turning around and coming back to the UK like we do today. They had to tough it out and make it work. Snakes and all….