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Posts tagged with 'child migrants'

The boy in the lifebuoy

21 March 2012 by Sam

old group photo of boys on the deck of a ship

Child emigrants on the ship Rangitoto, on their way from England to New Zealand in 1951

When you look at old photos like the one above in museum displays, do you ever wonder what happened to the people in the picture? Curator of Maritime Collections, Ellie Moffat, has spent a lot of time researching their stories. This has led to an international exhibition and a special visitor to Merseyside Maritime Museum last week, as she explains:

“Last week I was delighted to finally meet up with Tony Chambers, a gentleman I have been in touch with since working on our exhibition On their own – Britain’s child migrants.

The exhibition was a collaborative venture between us and the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney, bringing in to focus the experiences of many thousands of British children who were sent to Canada, Australia and other Commonwealth countries between 1869 and 1967.

It opened in Sydney in November 2010 and is currently touring various museums around Australia. Unfortunately it is unlikely to go on display in the UK, but we developed an accompanying website which reflects all the content – so do have a look if you haven’t already done so. The message board has received a tremendous response, with many people sharing personal stories. Read more…

On their own – Britain’s child migrants

9 November 2010 by Sam

archive photo of 4 young children carrying suitcases

Four children bound for Fairbridge Farm School, Molong 1938. Reproduced courtesy of Molong Historical Society.

This week two museums at opposite ends of the world are unveiling the results of a major collaborative project about child migration schemes from Britain to the Commonwealth. Curator Ellie Moffat from the Merseyside Maritime Museum explains:

“Over the last couple of years we have been developing an exhibition in partnership with the Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) in Sydney. Tomorrow that exhibition, ‘On their own – Britain’s child migrants‘, opens at ANMM.

ANMM approached us a few years ago about collaborating on a project looking at the history of Britain’s child migrants, and this exhibition is the culmination of that work. The partnership has been very productive and engaging – if sometimes challenging due to the distance and time differences! Read more…

Medallion tells of the leaving of Liverpool

23 June 2010 by Sam

two women, one holding a medallion

Ellie Moffat from National Museums Liverpool receives the medallion from Phyllis Clark (niece of William Nevin)

Often objects in museum displays can seem like very ordinary everyday items until you find out the incredible and sometimes very moving stories behind them.

One such item is a small medallion that is being loaned to the upcoming exhibition On their own – Britain’s child migrants, which opens in the Australian National Maritime Museum later this year before coming to Merseyside Maritime Museum in 2011.

The medallion was awarded to Everton schoolboy William Nevin a century ago, for being a star pupil at Major Lester school. At the age of 14 William left Liverpool for New Zealand in 1911 and never saw his home again. William married, had children and was successful in business, but he never forgot about his Liverpool family. Read more…

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. Read more…

Official apology to Britain’s former child migrants

24 February 2010 by Sam

You may remember that last year the Australian government apologised for its role in Britain’s child migration programme. Today the UK government has also made an official apology to former child migrants from Britain. You can watch a video of Prime Minister Gordon Brown making the apology on the BBC News website.

More than 100,000 British children from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds were sent to live in Canada, Australia and other Commonwealth countries from the late 19th century onwards. Some were orphans but many were separated from their families and sent halfway across the world. It was believed that they would have a better life working in the clean expanses of the British Empire, where they were a source of much-needed labour.   Read more…

Child migration exhibition

16 November 2009 by Karen

Over the past few days you will have seen news reports on the Australian government’s apology for its role in the British child migration programme (you can see the PM’s apology on the BBC website). The British government is expected to follow suit shortly.

From the late 19th century Britain operated schemes which sent more than 100,000 children to Canada, Australia and other Commonwealth countries. These children did not travel with mothers or fathers but alone, in groups. Taken from poverty and disadvantage it was believed that they would have a better life working in the clean expanses of the British Empire, where they were a source of much-needed labour. Read more…

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