Why This Englishman Is Moving Back To England

by Neil Bamforth

We have decided that, while we live in England already geographically, we are moving back there. That sounds weird, doesn’t it? Well, let me explain. If you ever fancy moving to England – or Scotland or Wales come to that – then you do need to look quite carefully these days or you might not move to an England you expected to move to.

I have been looking at properties in villages in Suffolk, although, the wife has now advised me that Devon will be our new home. I was looking vaguely north east of London when I should have been looking somewhat south west of London. Typical. I never did have any sense of direction – which made being a driving instructor infinitely more of an adventure.

Our plans are not unusual of course. People often move when they retire. They move away from the hustle and bustle of city life for a more tranquil rural existence. Our reasons for moving comply with that theory but, given that we love our current house, something else had to push us to the decision.

The thing that pushed us is something that, invariably, causes debate, discussion, accusation and often outright anger.


Or, to be more accurate, uncontrolled immigration that has completely changed the demographics of where we live and turned it into a place that, frankly, has very little left for us.

I did suggest that we moved north towards my birthplace. Not my hometown of Oldham as that is just as bad as here. Somewhere on the Pennines. There are some lovely villages up there. Sadly that isn’t an option. The wife is London born and bred and, like many Londoners, she might get a nosebleed if we go too far north.

So, it appears that Devon awaits.

I strongly suspect that we will both shed a tear or three when the time comes to close our front door for the last time. So many happy memories. Our daughter was born here for one thing. We have been extraordinarily happy here. Arguments have been virtually none existent over our 35 years together – primarily due to two little words I am most proficient in uttering. “Yes dear”.

It does sadden me that our primary reason for ‘upping sticks’ is that, at least indirectly, we are being driven out.

The only English shop left on our towns main road is the undertakers – and I would rather not spend any time in there thank you very much. All the rest are Asian food shops, halal meat shops and African clothes and food shops. Not exactly the kinds of places we would do our weekly shopping then.

Our adopted hometown can no longer cater for us. It caters for Africans, Asians, and Eastern Europeans. It caters for Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs. It caters for every Singh, Khan, Kowalski, and Mohammed around but, it no longer caters for us.

Well, not unless you count McDonald’s, which we hate, a couple of charity shops that seem to have an inordinate amount of second-hand saris or the undertakers – should one of us shuffle off before we have got the hell away from here.

So, do you see? Do you begin to grasp my views on immigration at all?

I’m certainly not against it. Indeed, The UK couldn’t survive without it. Doctors, nurses, skilled workers in so many fields. We would be screwed without immigration. Unfortunately, for decades, the word ‘controlled’ has never been placed ahead of the word ‘immigration’.

As a result, many towns and parts of cities are now no more England than they are Mars. As this happens, the ‘English’ move out. Not because they are racist nor xenophobic but because their areas no longer cater to them. Indirectly as it may be, they are driven out as we have been.

So Devon here we come then! The rest of my life eating clotted cream with scones and drinking myself silly in a village pub with a thatched roof. Bliss.

It is an absolute scandal that consecutive governments, regardless of political persuasion, have for decades and decades allowed this to happen. Why they have is a mystery to me. Certainly, there are politicians on the left who have publicly stated in the past that ‘we should allow uncontrolled immigration to rub the right wings noses in it’ but, surely, no sane person would really believe in such nonsense? Even less, actually allow such a thing?

Well, somehow it was allowed. It may well have ‘rubbed the noses of the right’ in it – whatever ‘it’ is – but, as a consequence, ordinary people who just wanted to live the best life they could have been driven away from the place they were quite happy living.

Well done consecutive governments. Jolly good show what?

I’ve found a cottage. Exposed beams, an open log fire, a stable door from the country cottage kitchen to a glorious garden. Built in 1820. I wonder if it’s haunted? Anyway, fully modernized, rewired, replumbed and brought up to date for the 21st Century but with all the character you could dream of.

Even better, it’s a five-minute walk to the nearest village pub – and a fifteen-minute stagger home again.

A village store and post office, a village doctor surgery and a village duck pond.

My idea of the England I now want to live in.

No halal meat shops, no Asian food stores, no Eastern European shops (albeit I like Polish sausage), no African clothes and food shops, no mosques and, yes, I suppose, no immigrants – well, apart from the Indian restaurant and even there, the front of house staff are local villagers.

We will miss our neighbors. The Mahmoods, Ravinder and Anita, the Poles two doors down, the Sikhs across the road. They are lovely people and very good friends as well as neighbors. You know the odd thing? They want to move too. They love the village pictures I showed them. You know why? They are not just British but English. Most of them were born here into families that had embraced Britain and so do they. They aren’t immigrants – well, they couldn’t be if they were born here – but they are just like us.

You don’t have to be white English to be driven out. Just ask the Mahmoods, Ravi, and Anita.

You don’t have to believe a word I’ve written of course. By all means, dismiss me as a ‘little Englander’. That’s what our far left call people like me. I’m uncertain what they would call Ravinder or our Polish neighbors on discovering they agree with me.

I don’t care to be honest. We’re moving back to England.

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Posted by on December 2, 2018. Filed under COMMENTARY/OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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27 Responses to Why This Englishman Is Moving Back To England

  1. Rockync Reply

    December 2, 2018 at 11:17 am

    I find myself surprisingly sympathetic to your circumstances. England is a small country in relation to other countries like the US so absorbing large groups of immigrants can be daunting. And London sounds like it is experiencing the ethnic concentrations seen in large metropolises in the US for generations. New York City for example. There has been a Chinatown, Little Italy, etc for ages. Large immgration waves usually brought on by war or famine brought to these shores at various times, Asians, Italians, Irish, Eastern Europeans and more. They sometimes followed friends and families and so it makes sense they live in close proximity to each other and “take over”. But as they assimilate and become “Americanized” the spread out, move to other places, become absorbed into the mass of humanity. But interestingly, now that they have been here for generations, they have the same complaints you do. Their neighborhoods are changing as a new wave of immigrants arrive and move in. Little Italy is unrecognizable from the neighborhood of the 50s. People get old and die and new folks move in, young people leave the city and new people take their place. Old stores get new owners, new menus and before you realize it Little Italy or Irishtown is no more. My Mom’s neighborhood is recycling too. (My Mom is an Eastern European immigrant btw). The people behind us were Greek immigrants, there were Italians on the street only a couple of generations American. Then most of us young people moved away, old people died and the neighborhood has mostly South Americans. No doubt one day they will be complaining by some other influx of immigrants not like them.
    I agree immigration should be coordinated and controlled, priority given to those who are in peril in their own countries and a vetting standard. But also a sponsorship to help them assimilate, a welcome party to incorporate them into the community, because, no matter what, the cycle will continue and one day your new immigrants will be complaining about how the neighborhood has changed. So go to Devon, make new friends, invite old friends to visit. Stagger home from the pub, plant a garden. Enjoy retirement and realize everything changes, nothing stays the same so go with the flow instead of continually trying to swim upstream.

  2. Michael John Scott Reply

    December 2, 2018 at 11:30 am

    Like Rocky I find myself agreeing with you as well Neil. Perhaps I spend too much time watching British TV, but from what I can gather there are certain parts of the country where the immigrant population has virtually pushed out the “natives” so to speak, and have changed the very landscape. I’m not against immigration, but I am against uncontrolled immigration, which is what we’re seeing all over the world, particularly in Europe, and the United States in some circumstances, despite Trump’s best efforts. So, old bean, as Rocky says enjoy your retirement, and have a beer on me.

  3. Neil Bamforth Reply

    December 2, 2018 at 11:50 am

    Thanks Rocky n Mike. I will do just that! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿบ๐Ÿบ๐Ÿบ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Holte Ender Reply

    December 2, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    One must hope that the current inhabitants, of what ever idyllic Devonshire village you choose to live, do not feel about you, the way you feel about your current neighborhood residents.

    My experience of Dorset, Devon and Cornwall, is that they like you to visit, but they like you to go home.

    • jess Reply

      December 2, 2018 at 12:47 pm

      I find myself agreeing with Holte.

  5. Neil Bamforth Reply

    December 2, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    Perhaps Holte….but at least I’ll embrace their ways and not expect them to adapt to me….I’ll try to fit in – like all migrants should.

  6. Neil Bamforth Reply

    December 2, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    Jess – what would you suggest I do then? I believe immigrants have to adapt to us. It’s a one way street. Not only do so many not adapt but their ways drive us out, as I’ve evidenced.

    What alternative have I got but to move?

    Start eating halal food and convert to Islam? Start speaking Punjabi and wearing a turban? Stop being English?

    You tell me.

    • jess Reply

      December 2, 2018 at 5:15 pm

      I cannot tell you what to do, only you can do that. Move don’t move, it’s all up to you. I’m in the bay area of Cal and we have all types of ethnicities here. Hey now, don’t knock the Indians dude, remember you are talking to a half breed and half of that breeding is Indian (dot not feather) who is actually taking Punjabi language classes and totally sucking at it.

      • Neil Bamforth Reply

        December 3, 2018 at 3:01 am

        I’m not knocking Indians – some of my neighbor pals are Indian by birth or ancestory. I’m knocking those who allow their ‘ways’ to be intrusive, particularly when they are in such numbers that an entire town shopping street becomes dominated by shops that only cater for cultures other than British.

        Give me half a dozen shops I can use and it would be cool. Problem is, everybody like me has left so I’d be the only customer!!!

  7. Bill Formby Reply

    December 2, 2018 at 1:45 pm

    It is really interesting the way “Americans” are responding to immigrants. I was watching a program on the History Channel just the other night called The Gangs of New York. I had watch it before but in light of the present circumstances it seemed more interesting this time. It was about the 1840’s and 50’s when the Irish and Jews were the immigrants were pouring into New York and were being violently resisted by the Real Americans, The real Americans then were first or second generations from England or Holland.The ferocity and violent nature of the Americans was every bit as nasty as that of the so called real Americans today. The Irish, catholic and the Jews were determined to be a part of this new dream land. It is interesting to think that only a few hundred miles inland the only true Native Americans were so they did not being slaughtered by various groups of Europeans with their advanced weapons and diseases in order to take over their land. Of course, these real Americans did not consider them human after all any more that the Native Americans who were denied the right to vote in North Dakota during the this past election because the live on a reservation with no street addresses,

  8. Rockync Reply

    December 2, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Let me add that I don’t believe immigrants should give up their ethnic heritage and traditions and we should all try to celebrate our cultural differences so I don’t agree it should be a one way street. By taking an interest in their lives, immigrants feel more comfortable branching out. Here in the US we would be a sad bland country indeed if we kept close communities. No Valentines Day or St Patricks Day, no pizza or enchildas, no baklava, no Christmas trees! As the host population we have the obligation to be good hosts, inviting immigrants into our world. When they feel welcomed they are much more likely to become good citizens and good neighbors. There may be a few bad apples in the basket but you can’t let that spoil the whole bunch. I don’t disagree with your decision to move since you are unhappy with the changes in your neighborhood but I know from personal experience the difference being embraced and supported by a community makes. How many Brits have retired to Spain, Greece, Italy or Portugal? For all practical purposes, that makes them immigrants. Immigration is a complex issue that has no one solution.

  9. Rockync Reply

    December 2, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    Bill, unfortunately, how soon people forget where THEY came from. America is a big country. The notion that we cannot absorb many of these people south of the border is complete rubbish. We are a nation of immigrants fighting immigration. Insanity how warped people become by hate and fear.

  10. Holte Ender Reply

    December 2, 2018 at 2:29 pm

    Enjoy your retirement, even if your London suburb was not overrun with undesirables, Devon would be a great place to spend your golden years.

    • jess Reply

      December 2, 2018 at 5:19 pm

      Cornwall, CORNWALL looks lovely from all I have seen on Poldark on PBS. Same thing with some parts of Scotland watching Outlander. I’m going there next year for a wedding of one of the soldiers I hosted a little while ago to Scotland. She invited me to her wedding in Aberdeen and I accepted. CANNOT WAIT.

      • Michael John Scott Reply

        December 3, 2018 at 8:04 am

        Scotland! I’ve family in Scotland, on the Isle of Mull to be exact. I need to visit them. You’ve reminded me of that, and you’ve also made me envious. I hope you have a marvelous time, and somehow I know you will.

        • jess Reply

          December 3, 2018 at 10:21 am

          I know you do because I was going to use one of them as a get the hell out of here back up plan when dolt45 won remember ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Neil Bamforth Reply

    December 2, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    Rocky : I take your point. If I lived in Spain I would still cheer England on – although I’d probably have more joy cheering Spain on most of the time.

    What I mean is that cultures alien to the indigenous people should modify themselves so as not to be intrusive. We have gained in the UK from many cultures but, also, we have suffered when those too alien take over.

    Anyway…I guess I’ll stop swimming against the stream now eh? ๐Ÿ˜œ

  12. Holte Ender Reply

    December 2, 2018 at 6:03 pm

    Jess, I hope you get time to see some sights as well as partying. Itโ€™s gorgeous up there. If you go in summer the days never end. Well they do but not for long.

    • jess Reply

      December 2, 2018 at 8:46 pm

      February 9th is her wedding so I’m leaving on the 5th to allow for some jet lag and coming home on the 14th. Some days to go do touristy things. Couple of the guys that were here with her training are in her wedding party and have taken a few days off surrounding it, so they can ferry me around the way I did them while they were here. I know Edinburgh castle was mentioned in one of the emails.

  13. Holte Ender Reply

    December 2, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    Whoa. Youโ€™re going in February. If itโ€™s a cloudy day, itโ€™ll barely get light. If itโ€™s a sunny day, the low sun will blast your eyes out. Take your shades. Edinburgh is a nice old city and if youโ€™re lucky you might get to see the northern lights of old Aberdeen.

  14. Glenn Geist Reply

    December 3, 2018 at 9:25 am

    Not much to add. There’s nothing wrong with loving where you are and it’s natural to hope that what you like will endure. Yes, it’s about the speed of change.

    Maybe all that immigration has helped make the US a place where people move around a lot. It’s rare to have many generations remain in one town and in the cities neighborhoods constantly change. Fortunately we have a lot of room.

    But if that house falls through – give me a call.

  15. Bill Formby Reply

    December 3, 2018 at 11:05 am

    Change, at times, seem horrible for some people. It is like loving old time rock and roll while the radio plays nothing electronic disco music. Wait … disco is out now before I even got used to it, What the hell.

  16. Cherries Reply

    December 4, 2018 at 8:46 am

    Very misleading picture trying to give the impression that that’s what London is like – it’s not! My American friends have been to London twice in 3 years and absolutely loved it.

    Why not put a picture of your rose covered cottage eh?

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      December 4, 2018 at 11:08 am

      Hey Neil Cherries makes a good point. How about a pictue?

      • Neil Bamforth Reply

        December 5, 2018 at 5:23 am

        We haven’t moved yet! Come to that, we haven’t even decided definitely where we are moving. The Management now favors a village in Essex so, we’ve gone Suffolk, Devon and Essex in about two weeks (womans prerogative eh?) ๐Ÿ˜‰

        I suspect it will be a village in Essex ultimately as that will keep us closer to our daughter.

        Fine by me.

    • Neil Bamforth Reply

      December 5, 2018 at 5:21 am

      The picture is the Editors choice. Of course all of London isn’t like it, who said it was? A lot of greater London is though. Especially around Heathrow and East London.

      We haven’t got our rose covered cottage yet. Soon as we are back in England in the New Year a picture will be forthcoming.

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