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Lichfield leaves a lasting impression on Canadian visitor

Lichfield has left a lasting impression on one Canadian visitor – so much so that he has decided to move to the city permanently.

Artist and illustrator Robert Denton travelled to the UK to see friends in October 2012.

But the trip with his wife Stephanie had a bigger impact than either of them could have imagined.

Robert Denton

Robert Denton

“By the end of our visit, we did not want to go home,” he said.

“My wife and I came and visited Lichfield for six weeks and we literally fell in love with the area and the city.

“This year, we have obtained permanent resident visas and we are moving to Lichfield to live.”

Robert, who has muscular dystrophy, admitted he was impressed by the welcome he was given following his visit from his home in Canada.

“On our first trip into Lichfield to do some shopping, I was completely impressed with the fact that the city supplied me with a power wheelchair,” he said. “This kind of service does not exist anywhere in Nova Scotia.

“In addition, as we made our way through the streets, into the shops and the pubs, my wife and I were impressed with the friendliness, openness and hospitality of the people we met.

“We were also surprised at how wheelchair accessible everything was, considering the age and the history of this wonderful English city.

“It is a clean and very friendly city – we are looking forward to coming and living here.”

The couple’s initial visit was fuelled by Robert’s wife’s attempt to trace her living relatives.

They eventually found a cousin living in Lichfield and spent six weeks staying with them.

One of Robert's cartoons, inspired by Lichfield, featuring Michael Fabricant taking a stand against HS2

One of Robert’s cartoons, inspired by Lichfield, featuring Michael Fabricant taking a stand against HS2

And they are now looking forward to making a permanent return, with Stephanie qualifying through dual citizenship and Robert keen to gain citizenship as soon as possible.

“We thought wholeheartedly and discussed the possibilities with Stephanie’s cousins of trying to emigrate to the UK and settle in Lichfield,” Robert explained.

“Upon returning home to Canada, we immediately started investigating what it would take to move to England. Here we are one year later, we have obtained permanent residence visas and we will be arriving in England on October 25.

“As part of living in England, my wife and I need to contribute to the community and the economy. Therefore, we will be seeking employment.

“I am an artist and an accomplished editorial cartoonist. Also, I am an animator, illustrator and graphic designer. My wife, Stephanie, has over ten years of experience in providing care to people with special needs and the elderly.

“Our hope is that we can obtain gainful employment and thereby participate fully in the community.”

A volunteer wrote this. Say thanks with a coffee.

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Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

26 Comments

  1. Michelle

    23rd October, 2013 at 11:07 am

    Welcome to Lichfield Robert! Although I wouldn’t mind swapping ;)

  2. Freeman

    23rd October, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    “Michelle” If you are young and WILLING to work – you will enjoy it and get to keep more of your hard earned money – BUT England is a better place for those that are not so keen on work.

  3. Robert Denton

    23rd October, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Actually… In Canada you are taxed on EVERYTHING! Plus, you lose 55% of your hard earned money to the Canadian Government for income tax. There are NO jobs in Canada… it is not the land of opportunity everyone thinks it is. In addition, as a person who is VERY KEEN to work, I have been denied that privilege in Canada because of my disability. Our health care system is horrible, our doctors are not as well trained as they are in the UK, and the cost of living is enormous!

  4. Darryl

    23rd October, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Hmmm I take it you’ve never heard of ATOS?

    Best of luck to you.

  5. Freeman

    23rd October, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    “In Canada you are taxed on EVERYTHING! Plus, you lose 55% of your hard earned money to the Canadian Government for income tax. ”

    Would you like to provide a cite for your above comment. I seem to recall you can lodge all sorts of things as expenses reducing your income and therefore tax amount .

    I think you will find people have found jobs in the last year BUT you do have to be WILLING to work at anything to start with.
    Compared to our houses/land – the Canada property is giveaway price and most of our wages for people on basic go on rent/mortgage/council tax.

  6. Freeman

    23rd October, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    “Hmmm I take it you’ve never heard of ATOS?”

    Have they not finally reduced the false claims ?
    Are Disability claims one of the most abused?

  7. Asellus aquaticus

    23rd October, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Crikey. Are we trying to convince Robert to go back or something?

    PS – Welcome Robert, glad you like it here! :)

  8. Robert Denton

    23rd October, 2013 at 6:09 pm

    @Freeman… point well taken. ;)

  9. Freeman

    23rd October, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    “Crikey. Are we trying to convince Robert to go back or something? ”

    I was hoping he was reading this site and told us what he likes in preference to Canada.

  10. Robert Denton

    23rd October, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    In preference to Canada… I love the English people, I prefer the English weather, I prefer the atmosphere, the pubs, the beer, the Scotch, the landscape,the architecture… Specifically to Lichfield, all the above, plus the history, the smell of the air, the open street market every Friday, Speakers corner, the quality of the clothing, the food, etc, etc… Politically we have the same problems, but I remain neutral when it comes to lodging an opinion. I have one opinion and it is the same globally, ALL human politics fails miserably.

  11. Darryl

    23rd October, 2013 at 8:21 pm

    Robert we agree on that.

    If I see you on the street I’ll say hi, if it’s in a pub, I’ll enjoy a single malt with you.

    Good luck with your move.

  12. Freeman

    23rd October, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    “the landscape, the architecture”

    We have a wealth of scenery but nothing compared with Canada.
    History we do have – I have socks older that most of your building!
    The pubs – IMO have generally had their day – spoilt by the drunken thugs on the week end.
    “I love the English people” The way things are going there will be more in Canada than in UK!

  13. JCJ

    24th October, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Welcome Robert. I think you will be very happy here. Nice to see your comments too. It is always clean here, the pubs are great, I feel safe walking round at night and the 1709 restaurant is well worth a visit. Not forgetting we are surrounded by open countryside. People are friendly but can get a bit grumpy at times on the roads but thats just human nature.

  14. Freeman

    24th October, 2013 at 11:05 am

    “1709 restaurant is well worth a visit.”

    Agreed – BUT can he get in with the wheelchair?

  15. Mike Hogan

    25th October, 2013 at 3:53 am

    I would correct Rob by saying that he meant that there are more jobs in the UK compared to Atlantic Canada. In western Canada, the job market is solid. Concerning the two countries unemployment rates, they are virtually the same: Canada 7.2. vs UK 7.7. Concerning taxes, Canada is pretty low among industialized nations. The UK is better in regards to personal tax rates, but it’s close (check Wikipedia and it’s links). Owning land and homes is not even close- Canada is cheeper by a huge margin- check MLS.ca.

  16. Mike Hogan

    25th October, 2013 at 3:55 am

    Ps- I hope to visit you soon… I also love the UK

  17. Freeman

    25th October, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Hi Mike and welcome .Our tax’s overall are very high because we give away so many freebies. This year they are saying the old people will have to decide – heat or eat because so many die from cold each year.
    However this shortage of money does not seem to apply to all sections so we find that too often some unemployed have a better standard of living than those that have worked for fifty years.
    Some examples of our freebies – unemployment pay/disabled pay /carers allowance/free car for disabled/free car tax/free parking/free wheel chair (one for inside & one for outside)/free health/ free home/ the list goes on to such an extent that it is said being unemployed is now a career choice with some families two and three generations of no one working .
    There are very few opportunities to work in Lichfield and if a vacancy arises it will almost defiantly be at the lowest pay rate. Just like Canada we have places (Lichfield) very bad for employment but some other areas plenty of work but few English will move to where the work is.We have a lot of stores closed and a new one recently opened does not seem busy. We do see some of the existing stores playing chess – moving from one site to another .

    I would be interested in learning which pubs JCJ think are great – we do have some nice village pubs but over a thousand a year are closing – due IMO safety/cost of travel and the price per unit. Also it is so easy to have a film on a large screen at home cheap drink no parking or drink driving .

  18. BrownhillsBob

    25th October, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Hello Robert.

    Meet Freeman, or to give him his more usual identity, Cynic.

    He’s one of a very tragic minority in this city who are torn apart by the thought that someone might be getting something they’re not.

    On behalf of the rest of us, my apologies.

    Bob

  19. Freeman

    25th October, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    BrownhillsBob Please indicate which part of my comment is incorrect .

  20. BrownhillsBob

    25th October, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Cynic

    You’re so wrong about everything, it’d be easier to point out where you’re right – I’ll scan your output for an instance and get back to you.

    Bob

  21. Jozef Nakielski

    25th October, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Bob he can’t possibly be wrong on everything because he’s contradicted himself !
    You make out

    “Some examples of our freebies – unemployment pay/disabled pay /carers allowance/free car for disabled/free car tax/free parking/free wheel chair (one for inside & one for outside)/free health/ free home/ the list goes on to such an extent that it is said being unemployed is now a career choice with some families two and three generations of no one working .”

    They’re hardly freebies if you’ve worked 50 years
    They’re hardly freebies if someone 18 is on the dole for a year and gets a job for the next 50.
    Its not easy being on the dole, I was and i never got a single interview in 8 months from hundreds of applications. I got one phone call offering a night time weekend petrol station job but i’d already committed to becoming my 84 yr old mums carer. Carers allowance is a bit more than dole but I still can’t afford to heat my flat. I’ll do it though because there’s no one else to look after mum and hopefully i can re train and get my electrical qualifications updated and re start my business one day.

    Canada is a lovely place. But the best way to see it is to watch Buster Keatons’ The Railrodder. (railroader, 1965) a classic, rather like the two ‘the plank’ films. It takes us from one side of Canada to the other.

  22. Rob

    26th October, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    “On behalf of the rest of us………………”
    Great.
    We have a self-appointed spokesman, who doesn’t even live here.

    Wait.
    “You’re so wrong about everything……….”
    He adjudicates too!

    At moments like these you just have to pause in orde to appreciate how fortunate you are.

  23. BrownhillsBob

    26th October, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    And here’s Rob, proving that even the Cynic needs love too.

    You’re so fortunate, you don’t even know it

    Bob

  24. Rob

    26th October, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    And there’s the voice of the authoritarian, choice-hating left, dictating how complete strangers, of whom they know nothing, should be thinking and feeling, as usual.

  25. Jozef Nakielski

    26th October, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    I don’t really get that last comment. I see it that cynic is telling us that people on benefits are free loaders and then tells us that there’s no jobs (but that’s okay you become a free loader). which seems a strange combination of statements and opinions to put in one post.
    It also negative on a positive post. The guy loves it here, it is a great country, and Lichfield is a great City and I do welcome him.

  26. Asellus aquaticus

    28th October, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Is there not a touch of irony that Rob appears to be telling B Bob how to think and feel?