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TITLE
What is your family background? - Eric Richards
EXTERNAL ID
AB_SGI_05_ERIC_RICHARDS_Q_01
PLACENAME
Inverness
OLD COUNTY/PARISH
INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona
DATE OF RECORDING
2009
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Eric Richards
SOURCE
Am Baile
ASSET ID
41035
KEYWORDS
conferences
emigration
lecturers
audio
audios
familybackground

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As part of Homecoming Scotland 2009, a three-day international conference - Scotland's Global Impact - was held at Eden Court theatre, Inverness from 22-24 October. Prominent academics, historians and other experts came together to provoke healthy discussion on the history of migration and the influence of Scots abroad.

Am Baile interviewed several of the speakers during the conference. In this audio extract, Professor Eric Richards answers the question:

'What is your family background?'

'Well, I was born in North Wales, in the Second World War, and my parents were rural people, and I was born in a rural cottage, actually. So, they are people from the early part of the twentieth century - rural folk in North Wales - who had, had pretty difficult times, actually, through the 1920s and '30s. On my father's side they were, went bankrupt effectively, because they had to buy the farm and times were bad during the depression, and on my mother's side was an agricultural labourer, so this was a pretty, pretty difficult background in some ways. So we were there- And then my father was in the war and then I didn't see him for many years, because of the war. And after that we moved to Wrexham and become part of the urban drift, in effect, and I go to school in Wrexham.

And then at the age of about twelve or thirteen we moved to Shropshire but I had been taught various things, including Welsh, at that stage. So I have a Welsh background; moved to Shropshire, just over the border and from there I go to university - the first in our family to go to university, like many of that generation, that was a critical time - go to university in England at Nottingham and study history, economic history and economics, and at the age of about, must be twenty-three, twenty-two, twenty-three, I emigrate to Australia. And there I have a job in a university - the University of Adelaide - for four years, but then I come back to Scotland and I have a job at the University of Stirling in its first four years, which was very exciting. And after that I re-migrate to Australia again, to Adelaide, to my present university. And so I've been going back and forth, a bit like a yo-yo, ever since, so I'm one of those modern migrants myself, and that's where I locate myself, amongst that mobile population of the modern times.

Interviewer: Right.'


BIOGRAPHY

Eric Richards is Professor of History at Flinders University, Adelaide, having previously taught at Stirling and Adelaide Universities. His specialist subject is the Highland Clearances and his acclaimed biography of Patrick Sellar was awarded the prize for Scottish History Book of the Year (1999). His most recent books are 'Britiannia's Children. Emigration from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland since 1600', (London and New York, Hambledon and London, 2004); 'Debating the Highland Clearances' (Edinburgh University Press 2007) and 'Destination Australia: Migration since 1901' (Sydney: University of New South Wales Press 2008).

Image copyright: Susy Macaulay

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What is your family background? - Eric Richards

INVERNESS: Inverness and Bona

2000s

conferences; emigration; lecturers; audio; audios; familybackground;

Am Baile

Scotland's Global Impact

As part of Homecoming Scotland 2009, a three-day international conference - Scotland's Global Impact - was held at Eden Court theatre, Inverness from 22-24 October. Prominent academics, historians and other experts came together to provoke healthy discussion on the history of migration and the influence of Scots abroad. <br /> <br /> Am Baile interviewed several of the speakers during the conference. In this audio extract, Professor Eric Richards answers the question:<br /> <br /> 'What is your family background?'<br /> <br /> 'Well, I was born in North Wales, in the Second World War, and my parents were rural people, and I was born in a rural cottage, actually. So, they are people from the early part of the twentieth century - rural folk in North Wales - who had, had pretty difficult times, actually, through the 1920s and '30s. On my father's side they were, went bankrupt effectively, because they had to buy the farm and times were bad during the depression, and on my mother's side was an agricultural labourer, so this was a pretty, pretty difficult background in some ways. So we were there- And then my father was in the war and then I didn't see him for many years, because of the war. And after that we moved to Wrexham and become part of the urban drift, in effect, and I go to school in Wrexham. <br /> <br /> And then at the age of about twelve or thirteen we moved to Shropshire but I had been taught various things, including Welsh, at that stage. So I have a Welsh background; moved to Shropshire, just over the border and from there I go to university - the first in our family to go to university, like many of that generation, that was a critical time - go to university in England at Nottingham and study history, economic history and economics, and at the age of about, must be twenty-three, twenty-two, twenty-three, I emigrate to Australia. And there I have a job in a university - the University of Adelaide - for four years, but then I come back to Scotland and I have a job at the University of Stirling in its first four years, which was very exciting. And after that I re-migrate to Australia again, to Adelaide, to my present university. And so I've been going back and forth, a bit like a yo-yo, ever since, so I'm one of those modern migrants myself, and that's where I locate myself, amongst that mobile population of the modern times.<br /> <br /> Interviewer: Right.'<br /> <br /> <br /> BIOGRAPHY<br /> <br /> Eric Richards is Professor of History at Flinders University, Adelaide, having previously taught at Stirling and Adelaide Universities. His specialist subject is the Highland Clearances and his acclaimed biography of Patrick Sellar was awarded the prize for Scottish History Book of the Year (1999). His most recent books are 'Britiannia's Children. Emigration from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland since 1600', (London and New York, Hambledon and London, 2004); 'Debating the Highland Clearances' (Edinburgh University Press 2007) and 'Destination Australia: Migration since 1901' (Sydney: University of New South Wales Press 2008).<br /> <br /> Image copyright: Susy Macaulay