58 Mount Road, Bexleyheath, on 29 March 1965.
The day we left the UK for Australia.
Left to right:
Bruce Ennis (Dad), Sylvia (Mum), Karen and Neil (me). Harold and Anna (Grandpa and Gran) in the background.
Mum’s pregnant with Kevin.
One can only imagine what was going through Grandpa and Gran’s minds as their eldest son, only 22 years old left for the other side of the world with his young wife and kids
The house is next door to a pub called the “Polly Clean Stairs”.
Liz and I visited here in 1997. Unfortunately no one was home. But at least I can vouch that the place exists!
As a matter of interest, it was spring the day we left – as you can see from the buds on the trees. When we arrived in Australia in early May it was late Autumn. So we experienced summer in England mid 1964, and didn’t have summer again till the end of 1965 in Brisbane. That’s a long time between summers.
On his travels in the merchant navy Bruce had been to many countries one of which was Australia. He had really only seen it through the eyes of a traveller. He was sure it would be a great place to live. At the time we were living in Bexleyheath in Kent in a small house the rent was 8.00 pounds. That was a lot of money in those days; he only earned 16.00 pounds working at a dairy delivering milk.
We decided to apply to immigrate to Australia, our application was successful. We left for Australia on the 29thMarch 1965. Having said that, in sounds so simple. Looking back to that time it was heart wrenching. I had never been anywhere before, Scotland was the only other place I had ever travelled to. Leaving all our families was very frightening; also I was already 5 months pregnant with our third child. This was a chance to start a new life and we would never know if we didn’t give it a go. So off we went not really knowing what was in store for us. Ten pound Poms!