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Category Archives: UncategorizedImage
Pictures can jog people’s memories so this week we have some more.
Once again we would love your comments.
On 22nd February 2002, Winnie Cochrane passed away in Stracathro Hospital, at the age of 86 years. Winnie was known as an expert photographer throughout Angus, but particularly so in her home town” of Monifieth.
Affectionately known to the locals as Winnie Flash Bang”, she started off life as Winnie Forbes, daughter of a well-known sports press photographer, J. D. Forbes.
After completing her education at Grove Academy, her professional career started in the family business, catching in pictures, what is a historical record of many local events.
Winnie was commissioned to photograph the baby Princess Margaret at Glamis Castle. Another important assignment being her appointment as “official photographer” for the Caledon shipyard, recording and documenting every stage of the construction of the ships being built in the yard.
Many wedding albums treasured by local families are with school photographs, sports events, organisation “night outs” – a living record of historic events.
Something happening, Winnie was there, her camera, it has been said “not always with a film”.
Golf events were of special interest, as from 1977 until her retirement in 1994 she was also starter at the Ashludie course. It had been known for the start of a match to be delayed by the temporary closure of the box, while Winnie and camera were on another mission.
Bob Cochrane, her husband was also an expert in the use of the camera, being one of the first to pioneer photography from an aircraft.
Winnie was predeceased by her brother Dr Bill Forbes, sister lean, husband Bob Cochrane, and survived by her nephew Alan.
This information was handed in to the House of Memories and has been produced here as it was written. We would welcome any additional information or pictures to make this piece more interesting especially as the kirk is now a family residence.
My Aunt, Miss Cecilia Sim, now resident at Duneaves, Broughty Ferry, passed on to me your account of the “Hillock Kirk: 1843-1979” which I have read with the greatest interest, and I do congratulate you on a very fine piece of local historical research. As one with a very long connection with and affection for The Hillock, I am sending you some reminiscences of events and personalities of yesteryear which may be of some interest.
SCOTTISH CEMETERY AT KOLKATA
The Scottish Cemetery: 159B, Ustad Enayet Khan Ave, Park Circus, Park Street area, Kolkata, West Bengal 700017, India
One of the results of the Act of Union (1707) was the ability of Scots to engage in the opportunities provided by organisations like the East India Company. Henry Dundas (1742-1811) “the uncrowned King of Scotland”, helped to bring the activities of the Company under the direct control of the British government. By 1792 as many as 1 out of 9 civil servants in the Company were Scots, along with a third of all officers in the army in India and 1 in 11 of its soldiers. Scots, including soldiers, missionaries, jute traders and businessmen went on to play a prominent part in the economic development and administration of West Bengal.
Scots were heavily involved in trade. Coal, timber, sugar, indigo, and cotton all had large markets created by the Industrial Revolution in back in Britain, and by the 1880s West Bengal was also the world leader in the production of quality tea. Of local interest, from the 1830s it became possible to mechanically spin jute fibres and much of the raw material jute made its way to the mills of Dundee.
Such were the numbers of Scottish-linked families in India that they formed a regiment in the British Indian Army: the Calcutta Scottish. Their badge featured the Saltire as well as the arms of the city, and they wore Hunting Stewart tartan.
St Andrews Church in Dalhousie Square, built in 1816, is now part of the Church of North India; and the nearby Scottish Cemetery at Calcutta was established in 1820.
Extending to 6 acres (24,000 m2) the cemetery now lies within a dense urban area in the centre of Kolkata. It is enclosed by a high wall; and the entrance, which bears the title “Scottish Cemetery” over an archway, is flanked by a restored gatehouse. The cemetery is roughly square in plan and laid out largely in a grid pattern. It contains over 1600 burial plots, with well over 2000 burials.
All burials were recorded in meticulous detail and are preserved in the original ledgers kept at St Andrews Church and the Cemetery gatehouse. Well over 90% of the names are recognisably ex patriot Scots; most of the others are prominent Christian Bengalis. The memorials are generally of imported Scottish sandstone or granite. Towns of origin mentioned on the various stones include Paisley, Sutherland, Fife, Campbeltown, and many from the Dundee area including Arbirlot, Broughty Ferry, and Monifieth.
Although the cemetery was in use until the 1940s, it was abandoned in the 1950s and almost all the original lead (used in lettering) and cast iron has been removed. By the turn of the twentieth century the cemetery was derelict and overgrown; the monuments and stones were broken and decayed. The cemetery, was a great burden for St Andrew’s church to maintain; and it served no useful purpose for the relatives of the people buried there or, more importantly, for the local population.
However, it is a rare, largely undeveloped area space in a densely populated part of Kolkata; and it has considerable potential not only as a regeneration project but also a revenue generating tourist attraction.
A conservation project, initiated by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), is now led by the Kolkata Scottish Heritage Trust with the following aims:
- To maintain the Scottish Cemetery as a managed green space which can be a ‘lung’ for the surrounding population as inspired by the ideals of Sir Patrick Geddes.
- To research and record of the cemetery and thereby improve the understanding of the site, its history and its genealogical importance. To make this information readily available.
- To restore the cemetery buildings and as many of the monuments as possible.
- To establish a centre for training traditional building skills necessary for the repair and restoration of the monuments as well as of the traditional buildings of Kolkata.
In 2008 the cemetery was cleared of invasive vegetation which had been the principal cause of decay to memorials and headstones. Thereafter, it was possible to conduct a detailed archaeological survey, to assess the condition of surviving monuments and consider the most effective means of repair. Much of the survey work was conducted by RCAHMS (the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic and Monuments of Scotland).
The initial work of clearing the overgrown vegetation was done by Simpson and Brown Architects of Edinburgh with Addyman Archaeology. The boundary wall has been repaired and made secure, lighting has been installed, gardeners have been employed to keep the vegetation under control, the Gatehouse (with toilets) has been conserved for the use as an interpretation centre for the visitors and tourists, and workers quarters has been constructed. Levelling for proper drainage is in progress; and research continues for developing compatible traditional mortar. Planting of flowers, trees, and shrubs has been undertaken to encourage butterflies and nesting birds and so enhance the area as a sustainable natural eco-system within the built up area.
The second phase of the work was started by Neeta Shubhrajit Das Associates in 2012. Dr Das attended a residential training course at the Scottish Lime Centre Trust in Fife, Scotland in 2013 to study the manufacture and application of traditional lime-based building materials including mortars and renders. She will train local craftsmen to ensure that the historic buildings and memorials are appropriately conserved.
In addition to all that, The Kolkata Scottish Heritage Trust is working in partnership with the Presidency University, Kolkata and the University of St Andrews to digitise the cemetery’s burial archives.
The Monifieth Connection: Samuel William Low of Monifieth, Forfarshire
Alexander Johnston Warden, Angus or Forfarshire, the Land and People, Descriptive and Historical Published 1880 (Part XIV) details that Lows had been resident in Monifieth for 300 years. In 1849 James Fairweather Low and his brother, Samuel Miller Low took over what in 1880 was described by Warden as “a large and thriving concern now known as Monifieth Foundry, and about 300 operatives have steady employment at the various departments of the work. The machinery sent out by Mr Low has made him and his work known in all parts of the world where flax or jute is spun.”
Samuel Miller Low had married Grace Margaret Lyell the eldest daughter of Dr Lyell, a physician in Dundee, and they had three sons and four daughters. Charles William Low (1867- 1897 in India). Charles brother, George Carmichael Low (14 October 1872 – 31 July 1952), was a celebrated Scottish parasitologist who in the course of a distinguished career was President of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. He worked with Sir Ronald Ross who in 1902 had received the Nobel Prize for his work, in Calcutta by co-incidence, on the transmission of malaria.
See also MHAIRI PYOTT “J F Low Ironfounders – the Foundry by the Sea. Posted on August 28, 2013 on The Monifieth Local History Society Web Site
Nick Goes to Eden Gardens
The Sherriff of Kolkata
You Tube: Scottish Cemetery in Kolkata is worth a look.
My mum used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread butter on bread on the same cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn’t seem to get food poisoning.
Our school sandwiches were wrapped in wax paper in a brown paper bag, not in ice pack coolers, but I can’t remember getting e. Coli
Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the lake or at the beach instead of a pristine pool (talk about boring), no beach closures then.
We all took PE ….. And risked permanent injury with a pair of Dunlop sandshoes instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors that cost as much as a small car. I can’t recall any injuries but they must have happened because they tell us how much safer we are now.
We got the cane for doing something wrong at school, they used to call it discipline yet we all grew up to accept the rules and to honour & respect those older than us. We had 50 kids in our class and we all learned to read and write, do maths and spell almost all the words needed to write a grammatically correct letter……., FUNNY THAT!!
We all said prayers in school irrespective of our religion, sang the national anthem and no one got upset. Staying in detention after school caught allsorts of negative attention we wish we hadn’t got. I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was allowed to be proud of myself.
I just can’t recall how bored we were without computers, Play Station, Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital TV cable stations. We weren’t!!
Oh yeah …. And where was the antibiotics and sterilisation kit when I got that bee sting? I could have been killed!
We played “King of the Hill” on piles of gravel left on vacant building sites and when we got hurt, mum pulled out the 2/6p bottle of iodine and then we got our backside spanked. Now it’s a trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10 day dose of antibiotics and then mum calls the lawyer to sue the contractor for leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel where it was such a threat.
To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that they were from a dysfunctional family. How could we possibly have known that? We never needed to get into group therapy and/or anger management classes. We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills, that we didn’t even notice that the entire country wasn’t taking Prozac! How did we ever survive?
LOVE TO ALL OF US WHO SHARED THIS ERA. AND TO ALL WHO DIDN’T, SORRY FOR WHAT YOU MISSED.WOULDN’T TRADE IT FOR ANYTHING!
Isn`t a` thing fine and comfy noo?
There`s even carpets in the loo,
Bit sixty `eer ago an mair,
The watteries were sae caul and bare.
Nae fancy coloured toilet roll,
Nae bonny pot – a timmer hole,
Ye`d nae fin ony carpet there,
Some crackit waxcloth on the fleer.
A timmer sheddie sax bi fower,
Leaning like the Eiffel Tower,
An` cracks— far howlin` win` blew in,
The reef a roostie sheet o` tin.
The W.C.— for Water Closet,
Ye spent nae time on your deposit,
For fegs there was nae comfort there,
An caul on bits ye hid tae bare.
Foo Water Closet? That beats me,
For ilka ain wis dry ye see,
The fancy pot a stable pail,
I`ll nae gang in tae mair detail.
Upon the wa` hung up wi threed,
“The Peoples Freen”wis ther tae read,
It had been torn intae squares,
So ye` just sat there — and said your prayers
The seat wis often roch and crackit,
An` files ye`d fin yir hin eyne hackit,
Ye jerkit up yer drawers `n sark,
Five meenits —– ye were back at work.
Bit noo-a-days they sit for ages
Hoastin` an turnin` ower pages,
A cosy place tae sit and smoke,
A saft seat—— easy on the doke.
I dinna wint auld watteries back,
Bit lord be here, the time they tak,
There maun be oors an oors lost noo,
Wi gaein fowk a comfy loo.
HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW THE AULD SCOTS LANGUAGE?
Then come to the
51, High Street.
on Thursday 17th September at 7 pm and prove it.
We are having an evening of Scottish Call My Bluff.
Bring some friends, make up a table of four to six people and see who knows most of our obscure old Scots. There will be lots of tall stories and it’s up to you to get to the truth.
An evening of fact, fiction and fun all for £3 a head with stovies and bannocks included in the price.
Individuals not connected with a formal team can link up so no excuse not to come.
TICKETS AVAILABLE FROM THE HOUSE OF MEMORIES
For a close up map of the area click on the link
Thanks to all who attended – OVER £200 WAS RAISED