Emigrating to Canada 1925

During the early 1900s Clifford and Arnold White left Diggle for work and a new life in North America.

Diggle News was recently contacted by by Eleanor Diane White who tells this amazing story.

Dear Editor,

I will start at the beginning of my story which you may or may not find interesting.

I was born Eleanor Vera Harris on July 4th,1937 in the Women’s College Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  I was the 5th child of a not so wealthy family who already had 4 boys to feed and now me!  A year later my sister was born making us 6 children and two adults.

It was a poor time, with no money, during the ‘Dirty Thirties’ in Toronto.  My birth Mother was ill and she was coaxed to give up her children. The boys were sent to the True Blue and Orange Home in Toronto and my sister and I, I was only two and my sister a baby, were placed in the care of Childrens Aid. They looked out for children whose family could not afford to look after them.

Fast forward…..a few months, a couple with no children decided they were going to adopt a child.  They decided on me and I forever thereafter became Eleanor Diane White (my true adopted name). I was lucky and became part of a wonderful family. My adopted mother was from a large family that came from Wigan, England sometime around 1912. After emigrating to Canada she settled in a little town named Mimico just outside of Toronto. There the family grew, married, had children and spread throughout the town.

My adoptive Mother met my father Clifford White in Mimico. He had emigrated from Diggle to start a new life in Canada. Work wasn’t easy to find but my mother secured a job at Eaton’s, a large clothing store in Toronto, as a seamstress and Clifford found work with the CN Railway.

Now about the time my Father left England, his cousin Arnold White, also from Diggle, came to visit his cousin in Mimico. Whilst there he met my mother’s sister, Jane Telford, they fell and love and married and they moved to Detroit to work in the steel mills.

I didn’t find out I was adopted until I was 35 or so and my world shook. I found out about my adoption when a lady visiting from Diggle came to see my mother about my father’s family history (he was deceased by then).

Post shock I was amazed and excited to find I was a Telford and my family history was so extensive. My love for England has always been with me, Sherwood Forest, Diggle, the Woollen Mills and my Grandmother’s name Alice remain magical.

I was in England when I was 30 and if I had known then what I know now I would have stayed to find out so much more, sadly it was not to be.

I hope you find my story interesting.

Kind regards,


Feel free to contact Diggle News if you can add to Eleanor’s story or you have your own story to tell.



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