Doing a bit of catching up already and its only been 3 weeks since starting as a volunteer. One of the great things about being a volunteer in a museum is the people you meet. We had visitors from Australia today. A wonderful couple moving on in age but still active enough in mind and body.
They’d come to see the area his dad had lived in before he set sail to settle in Australia. I showed them around and talked about the different things. Then we talked about the life of farming back then in 1704 and the farming community the visiting son knew in Australia.
Apparently, the dad packed up everything he had and got all his money together. Then he set off to find a new future in Australia. He never returned to England. He was too busy or too poor when he was young. He was trying to make it in a new country.
When he got older he didn’t have the need even if he had the money. He was an Australian now. No need to turn back.
Different for his son though. His son who had heard stories of the places back in the old country. His son who had only know Australia but who knew others in his family had journeyed from far away to get there.
So here was the son and his wife, both now ageing gracefully, both coming to see the area they had heard about while growing up. He was really interested to see and compare the area around the museum as the place his father left all those years ago. Here was the son returning on behalf of the father to know his father and himself better.
The son remarked on how hilly and green the area was around the museum. They’d seen Rosedale and now Hutton le Hole where the museum is located. He said how similar it was to the place his father had gone to in Australia.
The father had gone to Apollo Bay in Victoria. Apparently, a small town on the southern coast there. Apparently, also hilly and green round about. There he had arrived and built a life farming there.
It struck me how the father had seemed to look for a place similar enough to the area he left behind. If he couldn’t return then perhaps he could take his old home with him by choosing somewhere similar to carry on his trade.
Here was the son visiting his father’s past which was his past. All of this connecting in the museum and the Stang End moorland farmhouse. Maybe a museum can be a place to help people tell their stories and connect with other stories. I really enjoyed meeting them and they won’t be forgotten.