Outside Laurel Road.
From left to right: Baij Majitha, Unkown, Dutt Prassad Vij, Krishan
Dev Vij, Chaman Hal Khama, Laijpat Raj Vij.
Members of the Khan family on tour with the Pakistani
Theatre in the Isle of Man, 1951. They performed sword dance, snake
charms and other magic tricks.
From left to right: Raymond, Doreen, Rasool and Derek.
In the early 1900s, a distinct group
of young males came to Liverpool from Jalandhar, Hoshiapur and Ludhiana
in the Panjab (a region of north west India). It is their families
and descendants that make up the city’s present day Indian
Indian Presence brought together a collection of photographs and
personal histories that tell the story of these early settlers.
It recorded their motives for coming to Liverpool, the places they
settled, the work they undertook and the community they built together.
During the First World War, many people came to Liverpool to look
for work, settling in and around the docks area. Others left India
in 1947 when the country gained Independence from Britain. Some
came to Liverpool to escape the civil unrest that followed when
the country was partitioned into two countries, India and Pakistan.
Discrimination made it difficult for Indians in Liverpool to find
work. Many became pedlars and established small businesses. Others
worked in factories and supplemented their incomes as entertainers
Those moving to Liverpool relied on fellow Indians while they looked
for work, accommodation and adjusted to life in a new country. The
Seamen’s Club and Indian Association became popular meeting
places, where people shared their common experiences and supported
Bachan Singh Burman left Calcutta for Liverpool in 1954. He wanted
to ensure that the Indian families he met in Liverpool would be
remembered. Together with his son Ashok he collected and recorded
the histories that make up Indian Presence. Sadly, Bachan passed
away in 2002.
View the individual biographies and images on the biographies page.
Ashan Burman, Bachan's younger son, made an award-winning debut
film about Indian settlers in Liverpool. Video extracts from ‘Vilayat’
(the Hindi word for England) can be viewed on the videos page.
Ashok has also published a book in conjunction with Museum of Liverpool
Life, entitled, Indian Presence in Liverpool.