THE ASSIMILATION OF AN AUSSIE BACKPACKER Into an English Life Style and Work Force 1952
This book tells of my experiences of working in England for three months and being included in the social life style of a young English group of married people of my age. Kings the excellent English company I worked for in my trade, was located adjacent to the famous LNER railway line and I was able to watch a cavalcade of famous passenger steam trains that I had read about in my railway books. More
This book The Assimilation Of An Aussie Backpacker is the fourth of a series of separate books derived from my unpublished book Aussie Backpacking Abroad the Beginning 1951 to 1953.This book titled The Assimilation Of An Aussie Backpacker, tells the story of the first period of my working holiday abroad and my entry into an English lifestyle and work force. I was very lucky in obtaining a job in my trade in an excellent company Kings as well as board and lodging on the in the company’s hostel on the same day. I had previously met Ralph Bateman an Australian a dentist and friend of the Bakers and soon after I began work he introduced me to his circle of English friends and they welcomed me into their social life. I quickly learned the customs of the English working man, their skills and lack of, in the first few weeks on the job. I enjoyed living and working in Stevenage and being part of an English social group of young English people. Before I left Australia with my traveling companion Leon Langley, I was not aware of the location of Leon’s English relatives the Bakers, until just before we left the ship in Southampton. They lived in Hitchin, Hertfordshire and they looked after us before we left on our first tour together, during which in the first week in Austria, Leon without any prior warning left me. When I returned to England Leon was already there. I stayed at the Bakers for the first few days before moving into King’s hostel and during that time Leon kept out of my way. I think he must have felt guilty for abandoning me. From my point of view Hitchin where the Bakers lived and Kings in Stevenage some few miles down the line towards London where I worked, was perfect from my point of view with regards to my very keen interest in trains from my childhood, because right beside where I worked in Kings, the main railway line to Scotland and the north passed right by. I was able to view a daily cavalcade of famous, fast passenger trains making their way to and from London. It was very exciting for me to see these trains that I had read about in my first railway book The Iron Road. It was such an exciting spectacle to see the trains picking up water as they passed by. Much more intriguing and fortuitous was the discovery that the railway bridge that I walked over and back each day to Kings to work, featured on an inside, cover page, a coloured photograph of that very bridge with the Flying Scotsman passing under it! Apart from that item of serendipity, the three months I spent working and living in Stevenage prior to embarking on my next tour, were some of the most exciting months I spent in England. I dated my first English girl and made two short tours to the south west of England and the Isle of Wight, an island very similar to Phillip island in Victoria. I also travelled to London from Stevenage many times meeting members of the Youth Hostels Association from Australia and attended various theatre performances and other important places of interest in London.
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