Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Bio #42 - Leaving England 1953

After nearly nine years living in England we decided to return to Canada. Ron was rather fed up with working conditions at the time, the weather had been so bad, and we had a sick boy to cope with. Bob had spasmodic bronchitis and spent more time in bed than out. Our doctor recommended we move to a drier climate, and thought western Canada ideal. After the first seven years we knew Bob was finally on the road to recovery. You should see him now. (1976) The damp and fog in England nearly killed him.

Although I was only four when we left Huddersfield, I still remember things like black fog, which today we would call smog. There were over fifty industrial chimneys belching black smoke into the Yorkshire air, and clothes left outdoors to dry frequently came indoors with tiny black spots all over them. I believe poor air quality affected my brother's health as much as damp.

To me, Letty described bits of our life in England. Many of my memories, now, are from photographs, showing trips to the seaside, donkey rides in Liverpool, visits with friends, a talent show, and picnics on a blanket in a grassy field. Financially they struggled with Ron's low wages and continued rationing.
Letty with Bobby and me at the seaside, about 1952.

Holidays at Home Talent Contest winners including Linda, age 3, 3rd from right. Summer, 1952

Post-war England was in rough shape: so much damage to repair, thousands of demobilized soldiers home from the war looking for work, and an economic recession. It's no wonder my parents along with thousands of others, decided that Canada and America looked much more promising as places to raise their children.