Alliance Jute Mills

Jagatdal - 24 Parganas

West Bengal

28 September 2001
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Helma and I right in the middle of the Weaving Department, the area that my father worked. There was a large opening in the roof and the sun was pouring through. It looks as if we are over-exposed, but in reality the place was not very light once we stepped out of the sunlight. Near my belly you can see the device that moves the shuttles back and forth.

This is the site of the jetty, where the "Elizabeth" and the "Alliance" used to be moored when they not in use. Sorry about the lack of focus. I didn't take the photo.

The river Hoogly is in the back-ground with Chandernagore on the other side.

This is the block of flats closest to the river. Another block was over to the right in this picture. The Kiernanders lived in this other block. There were four flats for married folk. The centre "bow" section contained four bachelor flats. My parents lived in the top flat at the other end of the building. Above the centre bow is a flag pole. One morning I looked over our balcony and noticed a Kite sitting on the flag pole 'button'. I got my air-rifle out and got a shot in. The bird flopped down to the ground. This scared the living daylights of me because killing a kite carried a monetary penalty. I got rid of the bird as fast as I could.
The steps leading up to the bottom and top flats. Ours was the top flat. You can see me standing on this step when I was a boy. Have a look.
Same place........still out of focus!
The President of Alliance Jute Mills, Col. Ray, Helma - my wife, and the Magistrate standing in front of the flats. Clearly visible are the three tennis courts, where my mother and I used to play 'Ladies' tennis on Wednesday afternoons. Tennis was also played at weekends. The courts are overgrown now but the net posts are quite clear.
This is the circular staircase that Jagire, our bearer, used to bring all the food up from the kitchen at the back of the flats. All the servants used these stairs. The door on the left leads to the Khansama (pantry), while the right hand door leads into my goozulkhana, (bathroom).
The rear of our flat. The first window is the goozulkhana, the next my bedroom, the next, my parents and then my parents goozulkhana. I used to kneel down and poke my air-rifle through the louvres and fire at the kites that were trying to take my mother's chickens, What a state of disrepair they are in. A good coat of paint would work wonders.
The steps of the Alliance Club House. What good times were had in that club. Dances, table tennis, badminton, snooker and billiards It had an excellent library which had new books being bought fortnightly.
The interior of the club where movies were shown, and are still being shown. The floor is sprung with huge coil springs making it ideal for dancing or for playing badminton.
This is the original snooker table. It has seen better days. It is the table where I once managed to 'go in off the red' from the 'D', when the red was sitting on it's spot. I have never done it since.
How this brings back memories. The bar at the rear of the clubhouse where the 'burra sahibs' would gather after work, before going to their homes for 'khana'. It was a great place to go to on Sunday mornings, before going home for a curry 'tiffin'. It was here that I would go to before going back to school. The men would always put their hands in their pockets and give me a 'ten chip' note. Norrie Mills, the manager of Alexander Jute Mills was always generous to me. He was a man who used to wake up in the middle of the night for a cigarette and after smoking it he'd go back to sleep.