CHRIS MANN: It may seem hard to believe, but a Cambridgeshire removals expert says he’s seen a sharp rise in people repatriating to England from warmer sunnier climes. Mel Cohen manages the Ely depot for removal firm Bishops Move, and says there’s been a particularly steep jump in those coming back from France.. (TAPE)
MEL COHEN: At the moment, coming back from France .. I’ve just had a quick look at our figures and the amount coming back from France, up this year, has gone up about 70%. I think there’s a lot of people obviously worked out the sums on their retirement, and will get the pension, etcetera, etcetera, and relying on exchange rates. And then obviously the pound and the euro used to be two euros to the pound, now it’s not. And so many people are finding life quite tough. And having put all your savings into a house, where do you go from there? (LIVE)
CHRIS MANN: So a 70% rise in people coming back to England. It seems unbelievable, with summer weather like today’s, but just how much of a problem is the weather? And is it likely to drive those currently living in Cambridgeshire away? Well our reporter Johnny Dee found out. (TAPE)
JOHN DEVINE: The weather in Huntingdon pretty miserable again today. It’s not really like Summer, is it?
VOX ONE: Not really, no.
JOHN DEVINE: Would you ever contemplate leaving these shores?
VOX ONE: If we won the Lottery, yes.
JOHN DEVINE: Oh, would you?
VOX ONE: Yes. But my pension doesn’t allow it.
JOHN DEVINE: Where would you go?
VOX ONE: I’d like the South of France.
JOHN DEVINE: Is there no place like home.
VOX TWO: No place like home. I’m staying here with my children.
JOHN DEVINE: But if you won the Lottery, say, or come into some money ..
VOX TWO: I’d go into my own business.
JOHN DEVINE: You wouldn’t run from the shores?
VOX TWO: No. I’m staying here, and I’m going to set up my own business.
VOX THREE: I’d get a second home somewhere like Italy.
JOHN DEVINE: But you wouldn’t live there full time?
VOX THREE: No.
JOHN DEVINE: You couldn’t take yourself away from this wonderful Huntingdon area, I suppose. You love it so.
VOX THREE: I could take myself away from Huntingdon, but maybe not England.
VOX FOUR: I’ve thought about it. Yes.
JOHN DEVINE: You’ve thought about leaving?
VOX FOUR: Leaving the country. Yes.
JOHN DEVINE: Where were you going to be going to?
VOX FOUR: Probably Spain.
JOHN DEVINE: Do you still fancy it?
VOX FOUR: If I could earn enough money, yes.
JOHN DEVINE: What would draw you to Spain, do you think? Is it the weather?
VOX FOUR: The weather more than anything.
JOHN DEVINE: The weather gets you down here?
VOX FOUR: Yes. There’s no summer is there here?
JOHN DEVINE: I’ve moved location now. I’m now at St Peters and St Pauls Church in Wisbech, and standing here behind us is a beautiful fountain in the garden here. I’ve got some ladies with me now. If you came into some money say, or won the Lottery, would one of the first things you’d do is sell up and move away from Old Blighty? What do you think?
VOX FIVE: No, I would not move away from Wisbech. I’ve lived here all my life. I’ve got many, many friends. And I think, as you get older, it’s difficult to make more friends when you live abroad. I like going abroad for my holidays, and away f rom Wisbech, but I’m always pleased to come back to Wisbech.
JOHN DEVINE: Home is where your heart is.
VOX FIVE: (LAUGHS) That’s what it is. (LIVE)
CHRIS MANN: Johnny Dee out and about there.