If you can get your hands on a copy of John Lane’s video “Fairbridge – A Vision Splendid” (2002 – STW9 Postcards), it’s certainly worth a viewing!

The video (which runs for 59 minutes) opens with old (1920’s?) footage from around the Farm then launches into some current Farm photos. John Lane, (complete with his Primary School tie) eloquently tells the story of Kingsley and Ruby Fairbridge including the origins of the Child Emigration Society in London; through to John’s own experiences of emigrating in the 1930’s and his early days at Fairbridge.

Barbara Rowley (first daughter of Kingsley & Ruby) is interviewed by John on camera. Her memories of the old Farm School, her Farm anecdotes and memories of early Mandurah Camps etc present a fascinating insight into her life at Fairbridge in the 1910’s and 1920’s.

Many times during John’s discourse, the video interposes old footage including video taken in early England, of early Fairbridge, Pinjarra station and a train arriving, black and white film of kids playing sport, kids in the old swimming pool in the South Dandalup River, together with close up’s of old stills. John’s personal recollections include his placement in homes in England from a very early age, his memories of his arrival in 1933 and recollections of staff such as Colonel Heath (Principal), provide a direct link with our important history.

The video (on VHS or DVD) can be purchased from Fairbridge – it’s for sale in the shop in Exeter. If you can’t get there and would like a copy I’m sure the staff on the Farm can help. Visit their website http://www.fairbridge.asn.au Click on “About Us”, then “Our Contact Details” and drop them a line.