Across the miles

It's the place where Expats tell us all about themselves, what they're up to, what they miss, and what are their treasured memories of home.


Hello. I live in The Netherlands, in Arnhem to be precise “A bridge too far”. I was brought up in Outwood during the 1960s and played out as a kid by the Cuckoo Steps near the Railway Cottages.

The miners from Lofthouse Colliery used to give us their left over snap when they came off shift, that bridge was a sort of "forbidden zone” when we dared to go over it, we pinched the Lupins on the other side, that would seem silly now, but at that time they were the only thing we could get to take home to mam, we couldn’t afford flowers or find anywhere to buy them.

I lived in Lingwell Gate Crescent (the houses you see behind the Railway Cottages). there was a Welsh bloke there who worked at the pit and played in the Rugby League Cup Final in about 1964 for Hunslet against Wigan.

I met him in the ginnel on the Monday after the final. I saw it on the telly, they had lost, he gave me a packet of crisps.

     Brad Downing

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I hail from Thorpe and Lofthouse and went to school in Thorpe and Outwood. When I was 18 I taught for one year at Outwood Primary School.
I played soccer for Wrenthorpe and  Wakefield Tech in  the Wakefield and  District League.
I attended Sheffield University in 1975 and got an  M.Ed degree.

I emigrated the following year to Canada. I have a wife and two grown boys. I taught for 30 years in high school and at the University of Toronto.

I have written 8 books - mostly for Oxford University Press in Canada. I am a passionate golfer but love to visit the UK. I have a very good friend who lives in Stanley - Ray Saperia.

We meet with other guys every year (in Spain, the UK, Canada, or Florida) to play for a golf trophy, The Beaver Pelt. I am still an avid Leeds United supporter (I check their results before the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Blue Jays). Less said about that!!. 

I retired from 35 years of  teaching in Canada last year. Presently I am working part-time at the University of Toronto (teaching teachers). I occasionally get over to the Wakefield area and love taking nostalgic walks around my old stomping grounds.

 Fraser Cartwright





I was born in  Bradford, the daughter of a foreman woolsorter, but shifted to Pudsey  aged ten. I attended Pudsey Grammar School, spent a year working for the Telegraph and Argus and then joined the ATS in 1944. 

Post war, I trained as a teacher and taught in Fridaythorpe, E Yorks and at Pudsey Greenside School. I was always interested in New Zealand and when two aunts moved there I applied to immigrate. 

I left UK three days after the Coronation in 1953. Settled in Auckland, taught, married, had five children and went back to teaching when youngest was aged three. Left teaching 1980 and worked with refugee resettlement for ten years.

Widowed in 1990, sold up and moved to Waiheke Island, in the Hauraki Gulf, where I had a small holiday cottage. Have been there ever since. 

I Have thirteen grandchildren, seven in New Zealand, six in Australia and a great-grandson in Australia. Three daughters in Auckland, a son in Perth, West Australia and eldest son leaving for Queensland soon.

Since I came to the Island I have dabbled in water colours, pastels and acrylics, not bad, but not brilliant. Then I took up writing. I have had one or two small wins in competitions and a few things published. 

This year, to celebrate turning eighty, I published a book of short stories set on this island, and to my surprise this book has been successful. I bought a computer in 1996 and love access to the net. 

My philosophy is, you are never too old to learn. What I miss is places like Skipton, Richmond etc., those small market towns that still look medieval and  have a market in the centre and of course the Dales.


Kath O'Sullivan nee Margerison

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I grew up in Newton Hill.

We came to Australia on 23rd Feb 1969. I remember the date well because it was my Dad's birthday. 

After living in Adelaide for 5 years, my husband and I separated and I went to live in Melbourne, I worked for 20 years with Telecom retiring at the end of 1996. I have two children both born in UK and coming over here when they were very young, my son Steven still lives in Adelaide and is a Detective Inspector with the police. 

My daughter Carol lives in Melbourne and has three sons, she is a Charge Sister (Nurse) at a Private Hospital very close to where she lives. I share the house with a friend, 

Where I live is very convenient to the local shopping area also a short tram ride into Melbourne. 

Since retiring I now do Voluntary Work at the local hospital for four and a half hours every Monday, and the same for Vision Australia in the Radio Area every Wednesday for three hours.

I enjoy both of the jobs and it does get you out and about. My hobby is doing Crosswords. As my sight is less than perfect the Low Vision Clinic at Vision Australia provide a Crossword Book each month (for people with low vision) completely free of charge, that, along with the Crosswords in a couple of magazines, keep me fairly well occupied 

I also like using my Computer for varying reasons, keeping in touch with friends who live a good distance away, plus a couple of overseas friends. I also love looking at newspapers i.e. The Wakefield Express, the Sun Online, along with some other newspapers.

Sportswise I love watching the English Premier League, no particular team because Leeds United went so low down they don't even get a mention on TV. Liverpool would be my favourite team followed closely by Arsenal. Also enjoy watching Tennis and Golf although I have never played either of the games.

My home is now in Prahran a suburb of Melbourne

Barbara Atkinson  nee  Lockwood

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