Early last evening I took a call from Arthur Jones (L 43-48) who lives in Cambridge to say watch BBC2 at 8 pm & follow Michael Portillo – Indian Railways journey – Amritsar to Shimla.
Very nostalgic as both Arthur & I used to make the journey from Lahore (now Pakistan) along the same route.
Rehearsing through the programme starting at the Golden Temple at once brings to mind, on a visit to Indiaaah, how kindly obliging OC Santosh Singh in Amritsar arranged for Napinder Singh (C 43-50) & I to visit the beautiful Temple & later to watch the Tamasha at the Border Gates at Wahga Wahga.
Then a day or so later to be joined with Nappy’s late wife Parvesh spending the afternoon & lunch with Sukinder Singh’s Sister in Amritsar – onto Ludianah stopping to have lunch at a well known Dubba (restaurant).
That Railway line from Kalka to Simla rests in each BCS schoolboy’s memory forever – through Barog tunnel and for me the Ghurka band playing when the Sesquicentennial Special pulled in and stopped for a puri-tac lunch & on to Simla.
Finally, Portillo talking with OC Rajah Bashin who’s legendary knowledge of the town’s history filled me with proud pleasure. Reminded me once again of Old Cottonian hospitality when Rajah invited Maggie & me to a late reception for the wedding of his niece in the basement banqueting hall of the famous Gaiety Theatre.
Memories – memories how can any Ole boy forget?
Peter Stringer (Lefroy 43-47)
(click for larger view)
I made the journey from Bombay to Simla from 1936 to 1945. My father was with the G I P railway and I would travel up from Bombay to Delhi in his allotted carriage, then to Kalka ,finally in the little steam train up to Simla.I will never forget those woxnderful days….Dick DAbreu
I made the journey many times, going to the Prep School at Bishop Cotton.
My father worked in the railways and we used to commute, like many others, from Delhi to Simla, every year. As he was fairly senior we usually had a railcar to ourselves but I believe these have now been ‘retired’. For three years we spent the winter in Simla too and in 1942/3 winter Simla station col-
lapsed with the weight of snow! I believe the distance from Kalka to Simla is only about 11 miles but over 50 by rail!
David Wood-Robinson BCS 1940/44