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Barbara & John Woods, British Migrants, 1957
Image: Photograph - John and Barbara Woods, Melbourne, 1958
Source: Museum Victoria
Barbara and John Woods migrated to Australia from England in 1957.
They had married in 1955 when Barbara was 19 years old, following a whirlwind romance. They lived with extended family in commission housing in Little Missenden, Buckinghamshire. While John had secure employment in sales and Barbara in finance, they were unable to obtain their own house. This motivated them to migrate to Australia, which they chose over Canada for its warmer climate.
They migrated on an Australian government assisted passage scheme, paying ten pounds for each ticket, in exchange for agreeing to remain in Australia for at least two years. Over one million 'ten pound tourists' or 'ten pound Poms' migrated to Australia from Britain between 1947 and 1972.
Barbara and John Woods travelled on the Sitmar Line MV Fairsea from Southampton and Barbara's diary describes their journey as a mixture of excitement, boredom and exotic foods and ports.
John had been selected to work for Foys department store in Melbourne but the job didn't start immediately. When they arrived they went through the Commonwealth Labour Exchange in Preston; John started as a tram conductor (which lasted 6 weeks) and Barbara was employed at Nylex industries in Abbotsford. They first lived in a flat in Fairfield and then in 1960 purchased two blocks in Thomastown and built their house where they still live today.
The Barbara and John Woods Collection comprises documents, objects and photographs that provide a comprehensive insight into the Woods' immigration experience, from the issuing of their passage tickets, to their arrival and settlement in Melbourne. The collection includes the migration promotional booklets given to the Woods, tickets, ship menus, government booklets and documents received upon arrival, a handbag purchased from the side of the ship in Port Said, Egypt and photographs taken both during the voyage and of the working and social life in Melbourne.
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Handbag purchased in Port Said by Barbara Woods from a trade boat or 'bum boat' alongside MV Fairsea, 1957. Barbara and John Woods migrated to Australia as assisted migrants from Bucki ...Images: 5