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Message board for former child migrants launched

7 June 2010 by Sam

actors in period costume on board a ship

Two of the actors with a lifebuoy prop during filming

National Museums Liverpool in partnership with the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney are developing a new exhibition, On their own – Britain’s child migrants. The exhibition, which opens in Sydney this November before coming to Liverpool, will tell the story of child migration from Britain to Commonwealth countries. Here’s the latest news about the development of the exhibition from curator Ellie Moffat:

“From the late 19th century up until the 1960s Britain sent more than 100,000 children to Canada, Australia and other Commonwealth countries. They all had very different experiences along the way and many former migrants are still coming to terms with what happened to them.

Those involved thought that the children would receive a better start in life in the ‘New World’, where there was also a demand for labour. They were ‘seeding’ the British Empire with ‘good British stock’. These children, some as young as 3 years old, were sent off in groups on their own. Some were orphans but many were separated from families and this often led to a lonely and brutal childhood.

Today we are launching our message board about the child migration movement. If you are a former child migrant or someone in your family was affected then we would like to hear from you. You can upload your memories and photographs to this message board. On the website you can also find links to organisations connected with child migration.

The exhibition itself is coming along well and as part of it our Audio-Visual team were filming on board our Edmund Gardner pilot vessel this week. They had a cast of 6 boys and 6 girls, along with Dave Brown and Emma Walmsley from our Education team, dressed in period costumes. There were filmed in various locations on board for two short films to be shown in the exhibition. The first film features a little girl sailing to Canada in the 1880s and the second film a boy travelling to Australia in the 1950s. The two-day shoot went very well and thankfully the weather was kind!

Have a look at more photos of the filming in our On their own – Britain’s child migrants set on Flickr.”

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