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Emigration appeal for Stafford families in the sixties

By Staffordshire Newsletter  |  Posted: March 23, 2014

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WAS Britain such a lousy place to be in 1967 or is there some other reason why many people from the Stafford and Stone area decided to leave these shores for pastures new?

For many, it meant heading for a Commonwealth country such as Australia or Canada . . . either way, a new life beckoned with new opportunities and surroundings.

David McGill and his wife Joyce left with their three children for Glasgow to sail on the Empress of Canada for Montréal before finally settling at Prince Albert in Saskatchewan.

Mr McGill, of Beverley Drive, Trinity Fields, was expecting to take up a post as a contract electrician with a large company and accompanying the couple were their children, Fiona, six, Ian, five, and Jamie, one.

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Joyce was formerly Miss Pope, of Vincent Road, Walton, Stone, and had worked as a reporter on the Stone Guardian.

English Electric employee Barry George, of Surrey Road, was following in his uncle's footsteps when he left in June 1967 to work for the Pioneer Electrical Company in Toronto.

His uncle, Albert Wood had left earlier with his wife Margaret and daughter Linda . . . Barry was emigrating with his wife and children Tracey, six, Vernon, four, and Russell, two.

His departure was a loss to Highfields Football Club where he had served as trainer and club-mates showed their appreciation by presenting him with a watch before his departure. Barry is shown with (top left) says Mr W Tagg, Mr T Rees and his wife.

Keen footballer George Mason was heading for Australia and hoping for a game “Down Under“'” having been told that Aussie soccer standards were not as high as in the UK.

Universal Grinding Wheel employee George, of Bramall Close, Stafford, was known by locals as “Whizz Bang” because of his high goal-scoring record, playing for Seighford and Haughton in the Stafford Amateur League

Haughton- born George and his Finnish wife Anna met in Germany during the war and had lived in Seighford for 12 years but all that was to change when they headed for Melbourne.

The Masons took with them their six children including six-year-old twins Caroline and Roy.

1967 also meant a new start for 25-year-old bachelor Ray Johnson of Kent's Farm, Church Lane, Gayton, who began his new life by stopping off at Montréal to spend five days at the Expo 67 World Fair.

Mr Johnson had worked as an estimator for the Stafford-based shop-fitting firm of W H Peach and Co since leaving school ten years earlier.

When asked about his decision to emigrate, he said: “I felt I was in a bit of a rut and decided to combine an interest in travel with working overseas."

Finally, Stafford Borough Treasurer William Babb quit his post to emigrate to Canada where he was taking up a job with a leading Toronto charity.

Mr Babb, 43, of Deerhill, Brocton, had served with the borough since 1953 and appointed as its treasurer in 1959.

He left for Toronto with his family, wife Constance and daughters Susan, 16, Gillian, 14, and Caroline, 11.

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