`

From Hartlepool to Oz - but he still watches Match of the Day on a Saturday night!

The Brougham Primary School 1947 footbal team with Joe Richmond pictured, front left.
The Brougham Primary School 1947 footbal team with Joe Richmond pictured, front left.

Former Hartlepool man Joe Richmond is living the dream in Australia.

He has also reflected on his life back in his place of birth.

Joe Richmond at work.

Joe Richmond at work.

Today, in the latest of his tales from Down Under, he tells of the stark difference between his former life and the one he lives now.

“I have been here now for 30 years,” said Joe from his Perth residence, on an Autumn night with 25 degree warmth to it.

“I have never regretted it,” he added.

He’s not against his birthplace - it’s just that he loves his life.

I now live with my son, in his own house with swimming pool. We live like Royalty. And best of all, on Saturday night we get Match of the Day free on our television

Joe Richmond

“I have been back to Hartlepool about five times in the last 30 years,” he said. “I still have a sister there and she is coming to Oz.”

But much of the family is in Australia.

“They all came here for holidays. I put them up, took them round, showed them a bit of Oz and both families - within weeks of getting back home - applied to leave.”

But what are the differences between the Tees valley and Perth.

Western Australia is “bigger than the whole of Europe,” said Joe.

And when he was working, it took him five hours to fly from Perth to a diamond mine in the north of Western Australia.

But not all of his cherished memories relate to Oz.

As mentioned earlier, Joe also loves his birthplace and still remembers his formative days.

He was part of the 1947 Brougham School football team and is pictured right at the front, sitting.

He remembers teammates such as Colin Shingles, Billy Dodd, Alfie Harker, Dennis Lutz.

And there’s Chucky Denim and players who he only remembers as Short and Roberts.

Joe is now retired and enjoying his free time.

“I now live with my son, in his own house with swimming pool.

“We live like Royalty. And best of all, on Saturday night we get Match of the Day free on our television.

“So every Saturday night, it’s a few tots of single malt while watching Liverpool show the world how to play football.”

Our thanks go to Joe – now in his 80s and long retired from his job as a welding instructor – for some wonderfully descriptive tales of life in Australia.

We also thank him for his memories of Hartlepool life, including being whisked in the middle of the night into an Anderson air raid shelter as German bombers approached.

He remembers Dyke House School and going potato picking (five bob a day for nine hours of hard graft but still good money for a 13-year-old).

He recalled the time when he served an apprenticeship as a welder on 25 bob a week in a shipyard at 15 years of age.

We want to hear from more expats who swapped life in town for a future elsewhere.

What are your memories of the place where you were born? And tell us about your current life as well.

Get in touch and tell us more. Email chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk