Britain continues to be a major source of emigrants in the 21st century – not something we often hear about. So why do people leave the UK now and which countries do they choose to settle in? And how is emigration today affected by Britain’s colonial past? Mukti Jain Campion talks to sociologist Professor Michaela Benson of Lancaster University who studies modern British emigration and hears from a range of British people currently living abroad. Read more
Britain is unique in its long history of exporting its own children. Well into the 20th century there were official schemes sending young children out to settle in former colonies such as Canada and Australia with the promise of a better life. While some children were fortunate enough to do well in their new country, for thousands of others the forced migration was a profoundly traumatic experience of family separation, neglect and abuse. Mukti Jain Campion hears from two former child migrants who were sent to Australia in the early 1950s without their parents’ consent. She also speaks to Margaret Humphreys, founder and director of the Child Migrants Trust which was established to support former British child migrants reunite with their families and asks what lessons can be learned from their experience?
When we speak of emigration we tend to think of the people who leave to go abroad. But what about the families and communities left at home? In 19th century Cornwall this was a pressing question. As the once-thriving local mining industry went into decline, thousands of men left each year to find better paid jobs abroad. They were often gone for years, leaving wives and families to cope alone and rely on remittances that didn’t always come. Mukti Jain Campion speaks to Dr Lesley Trotter author of The Married Widows of Cornwall to find out how these so-called “left behind” wives survived and why their stories are so important to understand the full story of migration. Amanda Drake also shares a poignant letter sent by her 19th century ancestor. Read more
In May 1865, 153 men, women and children set sail from Liverpool to travel to the other side of the world. Their dream was to build a new homeland, somewhere they could speak Welsh, govern themselves and pursue their religion and culture without interference. A romantic vision that took them 8,000 miles to the remote Chubut valley in Argentina. Did their dream of a Welsh utopia come true? And what impact did their arrival have on indigenous people who already called this region home? Mukti Jain Campion speaks to Professor Lucy Taylor of Aberystwyth University who has studied the archives of the Welsh in Patagonia, and Gareth Jenkins who has traced a family from his own village in Montgomeryshire that was amongst the early migrants. Read more