AFTER the Second World War and up to 1972, Australia believed it needed to radically boost its population to get industry moving.
It invited Brits to up sticks and take an assisted passage to Oz for just £10 an adult.
More than a million took up the offer and took the six-week boat trip. They were known as the Ten Pound Poms.
One such couple were Peter and Christine Wade (nee Calligan).
Both are Huddersfield-born. Peter was born in Longroyd Bridge in 1934 but spent his childhood in Town Avenue, within kicking distance of the old Town ground.
He went to Beaumont Street Primary School and then to Hillhouse Secondary, but had to leave school aged 15 to help support his ill parents.
He worked at Blamires textile mill on Leeds Road until called up for National Service. He served in the Coldstream Guards with a spell in the Canal Zone in Egypt and then on guard duties in London.
Christine was born in 1937 and lived at Newsome. The family included older brother George, later a Huddersfield Borough policeman, and two younger sisters, Anne and Pat.
Christine attended Stile Common School when its much-loved headmaster was Wally Heap and headmistress Miss Fawcett.
“When I left school I helped look after our father and younger sisters because we’d lost our mother Elsie,” said Christine. “She died young, aged 34.”
Christine got a job as a weaver at Newsome Mills and then Brook Woodhouse on Queens Mill Lane, then trained as a nurse.
Peter and Christine met in 1957 and were married the year after. They lived on Leeds Road and at Bradley.
Three sons – Gary (1957), Steven (1960) and Andrew (1962) followed.
Christine worked briefly as a nurse at Bradley Wood Sanatorium while husband Peter got a job at ICI.
“We made the decision to migrate to Australia and in February, 1968 we sailed from England on an assisted passage,” said Peter.
“The boys by then were aged 10, nine and five, and while we went for £10 each, they went for free.”
The family landed in Adelaide on April 1 and initially Peer had trouble obtaining work.
The ‘Ten Pound Poms’ had created a stir in the Australian economy and walking straight into a job was a promise the government simply couldn’t always keep.
Instead, he got a job 250 miles away in a migrant town called Whyalla with a steel manufacturing company called BHP, while Christine found a job at Whyalla Hospital.
They stayed there for the next 15 years then moved back to Adelaide where the whole family could get work.
“Several years later we decided to buy a business and bought a par three golf course with licensed club rooms,” said Christine.
“It was at Gawler at the gateway to the Barrossa Valley, a well known wine area. We had a good four years there.”
But ill health overtook them both and they were forced to sell up, buying a large mobile home and touring Australia for the next four years with their pet golden retriever.
They finally resettled in Adelaide near the sea with their now extended family and friends.
They are over here for an extended stay with Huddersfield relatives, chiefly George – who still lives in Newsome – and sister Pat. This is their fourth visit.
Away from Huddersfield for 42 years might have dampened their enthusiasm for local sports but there’s been no sign of that so far.
They are still keen Town and Giants fans and saw Town play Charlton and the Giants play Warrington.
They’ve also visited Chatsworth House, the Dales, Cannon Hall and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park at Bretton.
They also plan to visit London this month as Peter has managed to get tickets for the Trooping of the Colours at Horse Guards Parade on June 12.
Once a Brit, always a Brit!
Last week’s story about Steve Lawson and his hunt for Almondbury/Huddersfield relatives contained a duff phone number and postcode. His number is 01158 840147 and his address is 3, Bridge Court, Evelyn Street, Beeston, Nottingham, NG9 2DQ.