Black and white digital photograph showing the display window of the Special 'O' Drapery store in Lalor, circa 1967. The store was opened on 8 July 1966 by John and Barbara Woods nine years after they migrated to Australia from England under the assisted passage scheme. John had been previously employed by Foy and Gibsons as a door-to-door salesman and he continued to spend much of his time on the road selling goods while Barbara managed the store.

Barbara and John Woods married in 1955 and were living in commission housing with extended family in Buckinghamshire, England when they decided to apply for the assisted passage scheme and migrate to Australia. They sailed on the Sitmar Line MV 'Fairsea' from Southampton in 1957 and eventually built their house in Lalor [also referred to in some items in the collection asThomastown] in 1960. They had a variety of jobs before they opened their own drapery store in Lalor and had four children.

Description of Content

Shop window displaying manchester items and clothing

Physical Description

Digital scan of photograph.


The Woods family collection documents through objects, documents and photographs the experiences of an English family who migrated to Australia under the 'Ten Pound Pom' assisted passage scheme. The material enables the exploration of their entire migration narrative, from the decision to emigrate, planning and departure, the ship voyage, arrival and early settlement, including employment, building a house and family life. More than one million people from Great Britain migrated to Australia under this scheme between the 1940s and 1970s.

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