Immigration Experiences

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Bradfield Park Migrant Hostel

Migrant Hostels In Australia

Bradfield Park School

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Marie Hamilton (now Marie Law)
Marie & her family emigrated from Belfast, Ireland. They departed from London aboard the S.S.Chitral.

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  • Hi everyone, I see that a lot of people have written about their experiences in Bradfield Park. Mum Dad and me arrived in Melbourne in 1952. We went to Yallourn and were allocated a house here. Mum and Dad could not settle there and decided to move on to Sydney. Although I was only 6 years old I can still remember seeing Sydney Harbour Bridge for the first time and became quite frightened because I thought that you had to go over the arch!! It must have been Christmas because I also remember worrying that Santa would not find me because we had moved. Needless to say - I did not have to worry. We stayed for a brief period in Balmain, and somehow went to live in Bradfield Park Hostel. Most of the parents went out to work and I can remember having the Key round my neck.
    I too attended Bradfield Park School, and I stayed there until we returned to Belfast in 1956 (because Mum never got over her homesickness) BIG MISTAKE!!! I had lots of great friends , and was devastated to leave them, but as I was only 10 I had no option. It has been great over the last year or so to be in contact with some of them, and I hope that more of them will discover the site. I would dearly love to visit Australia one of these days, and have a great big reunion with my bestest friends.

    Below: Marie with her mother on the ship to Australia in 1952




Catherine Douglas (Haines)
Catherine and her family emigrated from Scotland. They departed from London?? on the S.S Asturias in 1952

Marilyn Capper (Astill)
 We (my Mum, who was pregnant with my brother Phillip), Dad and me) arrived at Bradfield Park Hostel in October 1952. I remember going to Lindfield Picture Theatre on the bus and buying all these lollies from the shop next door. Also going carol singing at Xmas time to the nearby houses. All good memories, had always lots of friends to play with there and even though money was short we still had good fun with makeshift toys.


Sue Salisbury
  •  How interesting that there is now a book with some details on Bradfield Park Hostel. I had a look at the reviews and I'm not too sure whether or not I would like to read it. The description of the living conditions as "Post War Poverty" are not those that fit with my childhood memories - not that I would ever like to experience that type of life again and I marvel at how our parents survived the experience (maybe that's why the Greengate Hotel stands at the forefront of my memories). Then again, my memories are those of a child - and as a child it was so much fun, so many children to play with, lots of places that as children we were allowed to go i.e. Lane Cove National Park - "on our own" and bush walks galore - I don't remember anything as being out of bounds and I can only recall one incident of feeling unsafe - and that was after hitching a ride from the pool at Lane Cove up through Lady Game Drive to the outskirts of the Hostel - imagine doing that nowadays......I don't think so.