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Old Feb 3rd 2008, 10:06 am   #1
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Default 10 pound Poms documentary

Anyone watch it on BBC 2 last night? Fascinating. They interviewewd several people who went out in the period from the 40s to 60s when you could go to Oz for 10 pounds, as long as you stayed for at least two years.

I didn't realize that 1 in 4 returned, and that of the returners, a significant proportion then went back to Oz - so the ping pong Pom is not just a modern phenomenon! [the documentary said it gave rise to the term "boomerang Pom", but I've never heard it called that on here]

Although it was 50 plus years ago, it was interesting to hear about the problems they encountered - you can read the same comments on BE. Expensive housing, too hot, too backward, noisy birds, unfriendly locals ... and of course, homesickness.

But the most amazing story was of a woman who, after 50 years, returned to the UK in 1999 "to die" (her words). She left behind all of her family (50 of them!) in Oz and didn't regret it one bit. She said after years of supporting them, she had earned some peace and quiet! What a brave decision, and just goes to show that for some people, the UK will always be home no matter how long they have been away. She seemed completely at peace.
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Old Feb 3rd 2008, 10:50 am   #2
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Default Re: 10 pound Poms documentary

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Originally Posted by dunroving View Post
Anyone watch it on BBC 2 last night? Fascinating. They interviewewd several people who went out in the period from the 40s to 60s when you could go to Oz for 10 pounds, as long as you stayed for at least two years.

I didn't realize that 1 in 4 returned, and that of the returners, a significant proportion then went back to Oz - so the ping pong Pom is not just a modern phenomenon! [the documentary said it gave rise to the term "boomerang Pom", but I've never heard it called that on here]

Although it was 50 plus years ago, it was interesting to hear about the problems they encountered - you can read the same comments on BE. Expensive housing, too hot, too backward, noisy birds, unfriendly locals ... and of course, homesickness.

But the most amazing story was of a woman who, after 50 years, returned to the UK in 1999 "to die" (her words). She left behind all of her family (50 of them!) in Oz and didn't regret it one bit. She said after years of supporting them, she had earned some peace and quiet! What a brave decision, and just goes to show that for some people, the UK will always be home no matter how long they have been away. She seemed completely at peace.
Hi. Yes this was on over here (Aus) a few months ago and saw it then - assumed it would have been shown in UK first tho'.

She was a lovely lady that one, in her 80's I think. I hope she gets a good few years of feeling contented in the UK. As you say, a brave soul.
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Old Feb 3rd 2008, 2:44 pm   #3
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Default Re: 10 pound Poms documentary

I didn't see it, but I had read about the programme . . .

Call me thick, but I don't remember ever knowing about it. Perhaps I was just too young (I was born in 1954).

What I do remember is my mother constantly saying when I was a child that we'd be better off moving to Australia -- and I wonder why we didn't if it was so cheap! Maybe because she was an only child and didn't want to leave her mother?

I suppose I'll just have to ask her.
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Old Feb 3rd 2008, 3:33 pm   #4
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Default Re: 10 pound Poms documentary

Two of my uncles went over. One when I was a kid and one much earlier. I remember my uncle and his family coming back when I was about ten. They regretted it the minute they stepped foot on UK soil, though I dont know the reasons for their return, the usual probably.

The other uncle I never met. They family lost all contact with him over the years. The hole family spent years trying to find him, putting ad's in papers in the UK and in Oz. No chance. Years and years after everybody had given up a young cousin of mine, who wasn't searching for them at all, came across a post on friends re-united. He was just looking for some old school mates from Manchester. Like a mad miracle it turned out to be our lot. My uncle had long since died but we discovered hordes of family we never knew about. He had loads of kids and so there are lots of cousins and stuff milling about there. We are now in touch with them by email and they are a lovely bunch. My cousin jackie has spent most of her adult life fostering many many kids and helping them toward a much better life against all the odds.

So, just a nice story I guess. The first uncle and aunt are set to return any time now by the way, they have dreamed of it for years and are no retired so are off to meet the clan.
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Old Feb 3rd 2008, 3:39 pm   #5
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Default Re: 10 pound Poms documentary

I remember as a kid being taken one Sunday to Australia house in London and looking through the windows at the different models and pictures. My Dad in particular was really keen to go as one of the £10 passesngers, he talked to us kids about being on a boat for a long time etc etc. We didn't ever go as my Mum wouldn't leave her Mum.... What a different path we would have led.
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Old Feb 4th 2008, 4:44 pm   #6
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Default Re: 10 pound Poms documentary

I didn't realise that it carried on until 1982!
Like the OP said I found it facinating.
On Sunday I spoke with my Nana who then informed me that her and my Grandad had applied and been accepted.
The reason they did not go?
BECAUSE OF THE 'HUTS' THEY HAD TO SAY IN ON ARRIVAL :curse:
A friend of theirs sent letters back complaining about the accomodation on arrival so they never went.She then said that the 'friend' was a right moaner anyway!!
Luckily my Mum and Dad went in 1974 and we stayed until 1987
Now I want to go back again....
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Old Feb 4th 2008, 8:55 pm   #7
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Default Re: 10 pound Poms documentary

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Originally Posted by Jaycee1 View Post
I didn't realise that it carried on until 1982!
Like the OP said I found it facinating.
On Sunday I spoke with my Nana who then informed me that her and my Grandad had applied and been accepted.
The reason they did not go?
BECAUSE OF THE 'HUTS' THEY HAD TO SAY IN ON ARRIVAL :curse:
A friend of theirs sent letters back complaining about the accomodation on arrival so they never went.She then said that the 'friend' was a right moaner anyway!!
Luckily my Mum and Dad went in 1974 and we stayed until 1987
Now I want to go back again....
J x
Yes, the documentary showed the Nissan huts that many of them had to stay in, with shared bathroom facilities, etc. They also showed old movie footage of returnees complaining about the accomodation and saying they were promised houses of their own after 3 months, but then they discovered they would be in the Nissan huts for up to 3 years.

Notably, one couple who took part in the documentary described how they both got jobs, saved as hard as they could and bought their own place within a few months.

So, just like BE, people's experiences and interpretation depended a lot on their individual situation and outlook.
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Old Feb 6th 2008, 7:54 pm   #8
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Default Re: 10 pound Poms documentary

I watched this programme because my family were ten pound poms, it was very interesting and took me back to the ocean voyage, and landing at terminal 13 Woollamaloo in Sydney . The strangeness, the smells and the noises, all so very different.

All of the people they interviewed I could relate too, it was an incredible time and I am really pleased that we didn't go to the house in South Australia full of cockroaches. Mind I was horrifed by the humpy accommodation and the food was yuk. Happy days NOT.
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Old Feb 6th 2008, 10:35 pm   #9
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Default Re: 10 pound Poms documentary

For those of you interested. This programme is being repeated on BBC 1 on Saturday morning 16th Feb at 2.05 am. The timing isn't great so you might need to Sky + it or tape it.
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Old Feb 9th 2008, 4:00 am   #10
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Default Re: 10 pound Poms documentary

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Originally Posted by tipp1974 View Post
For those of you interested. This programme is being repeated on BBC 1 on Saturday morning 16th Feb at 2.05 am. The timing isn't great so you might need to Sky + it or tape it.
i guess that in some ways it would probably be easier if wed have all arrived together. The journey took 3 weeks by boat, and many lifelong friendships were formed on the journey, plus they all lived close together upon arrival. We all now come from such different circumstances that its very difficult to compare?
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