[ Postwar Australia: English 'Old Fogies' in Brisbane, 1949. ] Typed Letter Signed from 'Elsie & Bill' in Clayfield, to 'Mabel & Walter' in England, filled with information about the state of Australia.

[ Postwar Australia: English 'Old Fogies' in Brisbane, 1949. ]
Publication details: 
"Nydon", Rees Avenue, Clayfield [ Brisbane, Queensland, Australia]. 18 and 25 May 1949.
SKU: 16900

3pp., 4to. In good condition, on lightly aged and worn paper. And interesting and informative letter from a long-established couple of English settlers in Australia, to their kin in England. They have been prompted to write after viewing 'a Fox Short showing Bathing at Southend, Eastbourne, Bognor, Brighton and Blackpool taken during the Easter Holidays when you had a remarkable warm spell. To make it even we had a vicious little cold spell descend at the beginning of April [...]'. The first part of the letter describes various features of Brisbane, including the tram system (the couple having attended a lecture by 'a Mr Morwood our B.C. Council Engineer'), the Hospital, 'a Million Pound City Hall the largest in the world', the 'Voluntary Ambulance service'. The letter next turns to news of rationing in Britain: 'we all work so hard on the food for Britain Appeal. Here goods are in worse short supply, but from a different reason to you, our is through production going down owing to shorter working hours (40) and a further claim is now lodged in Melbourne in the Confectionery trade for a 30 hour week. Here there is plenty for all who come, but it has to be turned out so you can see why we are losing ground. The worse setbacks come from the Miners and wharfies. Sydney Melb and Adelaide are in for another cold winter with no gas, E. L etc.' The discussion now turns to house prices ('We have been in our house12 months and still waiting to complete it. [...] What we came out of the Cannon Hill shop with has disappeared with high costs, and we thought we were going to take life easy.') Family news follows ('Philip calls us Old Fogies, What about it.'). News of the recipients' holiday in Wales leads to the mention of two oil paintings the writers have for sale ('We are going to ask the Museum Curator to have a look at them.'). 'Australia is still very much English never you doubt. We get quite a kick out of the English new settlers who shop with us. They all still pick us for a Londoner and Somerset.' They urge them to 'make a move all of you. Do you feel too old or do all the relatives still hold you. With the years our eyes become dim and we still remember as in 1919 Kit Char Yourselves Frank, Father Rene (on my knee) But for the war we should have seen you all again, but time is running out and cash getting short owing to changed conditions.' The writers next turn to 'another experiment' by the government, 'amalgamating our South Coast Beaches into one Town Council'. The next topic is immigrants and refugees: 'As you know thousands of displaced persons are arriving here and they are being housed in old War Camps, Queensland is full of such camps, as we had over a million Yanks down here during the war and they left a lot of assets behind to use or pull down. Disposal sales are still on in Australia. The only drawback is that these people if they are married have to live apart for two years whilest they work for the Government and be kept. If they have children they lose all Aid and are given a dictation test in a language they do not know and sent back.' The letter ends with news of an Easter holidahy 'at Murwillumbah 20 miles over the NSW border past Collangatta', and a section dated 25 May 1949, stating that they have had 'at least two dozen newly arrived English people at the shop. They are mostly from Lancashire and Yorkshire, all making up the Coast to Bundaberg the Sugar District.' The last section concerns the fact that 'Mother was buried with Father in the Military Plot at Toowong Cemetery'.