Sunday, 4 March 2018

My Far Flung Family

My cousin Miriam posted a picture on Facebook this week. Exactly forty nine years ago, her family left a wintry England to sail to Australia- they were "Ten Pound Poms". They emigrated and built a whole new life on the other side of the world.  
The press had a field day - a picture of them all lined up at the quayside in the UK before they left - Ted Hall says "It's cheaper by the dozen!" was the caption to the photo which my Gran cut out of the paper, and kept in her bag for years.
The local press in Leigh On Sea, Essex, went round and interviewed them before they left. Uncle Ted was Boys' Brigade Captain at the local Baptist Church, and all my cousins were involved in the Boys' and Girls' Brigades, Auntie Jean helped out too. This was the picture in the Southend paper. Miriam still has it in a frame in Oz [and I have Gran's stashed away somewhere too] Miriam is on the left, sitting on the arm of the chair.
When they arrived in Perth, they went along to the local Baptist Church - and almost doubled the congregation. Ted and Jean adopted another couple of children. and now the family has grown and grown.
Uncle Ted passed away in 1998, a month or so before my Dad, who was his brother.
But look at the Oz Connection now
I have around 100 'Hall relations' in Australia - most of whom I have never met. But I can still remember every name, in age order, of that first dozen who set out all those years ago.
Uncle Ted, Auntie Jean, Nina, Keith, Geoffrey, Miriam, Roger, Martin, Steven, Sadie, Julie, Brian.
Which is due to my grandmother's encouragement to mention them all by name in my prayers every evening when I was a child.
Here's a photo of Miriam and my aunt taken just after Christmas. Miriam is 63, and my amazingly active Auntie Jean is in her mid 90s.
Grateful to God for this lovely family - miles apart, but close to my heart.


  1. What a lovely story. I remember my mum's best friend going on the £10.00 package. I remember standing at the railway station and them both crying. It was so far in those days. With only letters to keep in contact with. Regards Donna x

  2. Brilliant. My husband's uncle went on the £10 passage and met his future wife on the ship.

  3. In 1962 our family boarded the Canberra to say farewell to my mother’s friend, Mrs M A Robinson who was sailing to Canberra ACT to join her ex daughter in law, Joan Robinson. Mrs M Robinson paid £10.00 for herself, and £100.00 for her mongrol dog obtained from Battersea Dogs Home. I still have the white leather bound prayer book she gave me.

  4. Thank you for sharing all your stories. £10 to find a new life AND a wife sounds a bargain. £10 for the new life, but £100 for the dog seems less of a good deal!


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