English families move to Frinnaryd in Sweden


For many years German people have bought cottages and villas in Småland for use as holiday homes. This practice has increased since the building of the Öresund Bridge. These owners therefore are not permanent residents or even registered as living in Sweden.
In Frinnaryd this trend has changed. Here British citizens have bought houses, immigrated and established homes. Today there are five English people in Frinnaryd.

Marianne and Stuart Saunders from England are just now moving in to a large house at Åbrovägen in Frinnaryd.

The latest arrivals from England are Marianne and Stuart Saunders who are moving into a large house on Åbrovägen in Frinnaryd.
Stuart is a scientist and does research in high temperature corrosion. His work involves a lot of travelling and he is soon off to Brazil where he will lead a research project in Rio de Janeiro.
Marianne was born in Visingsö and has lived abroad since her marriage in 1966. Her father was the Rev Möllerström who was the vicar-in-charge at the time.
The couple told TP that they found their house on the Internet; they searched only for houses in Småland. "It is nice to be back" says Marianne, “although it is a little hard to be away from my son, his wife and a brand new grandson for long periods”.

Dawn and Ian Gitlin moved to Frinnaryd in Januari 2002 and are looking forward to January 2007 when they can apply for Swedish citizenship.

Gitlin arrived in 2002
This couple arrived in Frinnaryd in January 2002 and they told TP as follows:
Our story begins in 1990 when we spent a year living in Stockholm. Ian was working for the data company IBM on the island of Lidingö and it was our first experience of Sweden. Dawn’s son, David, had moved to Norrby near Aneby and we were able to visit him although we had not realised how big a country Sweden was and how far Småland was from Stockholm.
In 2001 David was living with his partner Helena and they had three children, Daniel then 4 years old and the twins Martin and Malin 2 years old. That summer they came to England for 2 weeks and we had a holiday in Yorkshire. We had a wonderful time although the children did not speak any English. It was then we learned our first simple words of Swedish. When David and his family returned to Sweden it was very quiet. We missed seeing them all and began to think about buying a summer house in Småland.
In England our home was in Maldon, a town in the County of Essex. Maldon is known for the Battle of Maldon in the year 991 when the Vikings attacked and defeated the English. Now it is a very quiet, peaceful town famous for Maldon sea salt.

Why not move to Sweden
Ian was commuting from Maldon to his job in London. The journey could take up to 2 hours each morning and evening. Often there were problems with the trains and one day his journey home took 4 hours. We did not want to live in London and began to think about changing our lifestyle. Suddenly the answer seemed obvious. Why not move to Sweden.
We searched the internet and found the website of Hus & Bygg in Aneby. It was winter and there were not many houses for sale. David works for Frinab and we saw that there was a house for sale in Sunhultsvägen. We asked him and Helena to look at it and although it had been empty for 3 or more years and needed a lot of work we decided to buy it.
So we arrived in Frinnaryd in January 2002 and we are still busy today renovating our home. We soon began Swedish lessons at Komvux in Aneby and although it was much more difficult than we expected we both passed the Swedish for Immigrants examination. The next problem was for Ian to find work and eventually he got a job with Systeam Datakonsult AB in Huskvarna.

Swedish citizenship in 2007
What do we like about Sweden? There are so many things. The beautiful countryside, the fresh air and the peace and quiet. Swedish people have a love of nature and the Right of Common Access enables us to go into the countryside to pick berries and mushrooms. Above all the Swedish people have kept their traditions. The Christian festivals of Easter, All Hallows, and Advent are celebrated. Christmas is not as commercial as it is in England and we love the tradition of dancing around the Christmas tree singing songs like ‘Nu är det jul igen’ and watching the children sing and act the words to ‘Små grodorna’. On the 13th December it is Lucia Day, a festival new to us, and it is wonderful to watch the procession of young people.

We are pleased that we chose to move to Frinnaryd. Everyone is friendly and helpful. Frinnaryds Community Association is very active and everyone is doing a great job to make the village an attractive place to live. We are looking forward to January 2007 when we can apply for Swedish citizenship.

Joan Aston moved in on 19 December 2002 and she tells Tranås-Posten that her house from the beginning was a café, konditori and bakery and there is a feeling of history and unique character that she is trying to keep.

Joan Aston moved in on 19 December same year
Joan Aston moved in on 19 December the same year and she tells her Story for Tranås-Posten:
I came to live in Frinnaryd on the 19th December 2002. I had visited quite frequently as my son had lived here for a few years, and I loved it. I wanted to come more often and decided to look for a small holiday home. I had always thought Charlottendals was a pretty house and then I was told it was for sale. It was too big for a holiday home and I knew if I bought it I would have to make it my home. I had lived in the same house in England for 36 years and wanted a change, I had not intended such a drastic change, but after much thought I was ready for an adventure.

Six days before Xmas was not the best timing, and when I arrived late in the evening the piles of boxes were daunting. By chance an artificial Xmas tree was near the top of the pile, so one of my first jobs was to create a space for it, add lights and start to feel at home amid the chaos.

Frinnaryd to me is a quiet and relaxing place, with fresh air, no bumper to bumper traffic, open spaces and every season has it’s own beauty. The people are friendly and helpful, and I thank them for accepting my slow progress at learning Swedish

My house was originally a Café, Konditori and Bakeri and has a feeling of history and a unique character. I have always enjoyed decorating and loved old buildings, so it was a perfect canvas for me to work on. I brought my English furniture, but have tried to combine it with older Swedish style, and not lose too much of the character.

Text and photo: Bevan Berthelsen

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Frinnaryd in the north of Småland

The silver exhibition of Vivianna Bulow-Hube attracted more than 3000 visitors