A grandmother’s legacy: the early days
How Benjamin Hardy in 1798, a seventh generation weaver ancestor of Jenny Mallin from Mirfield in Yorkshire, sails to Madras with his British Army unit, fights for the next 22 years in India and decides to settle his family there for the next five generations. Through new research I have been able to offer more on the three ancestors that has an ancestry going back to the 17th century. They were all in the British Army and came from different backgrounds. This is a more indepth look at the start of the ancestors with a storyline which brings together the reasons for my family being linked to the British Raj.
A grandmother’s legacy: the 170 year old recipe book
A large leather bound book, which was started off by my great great great grandmother, Wilhelmina Hardy in 1844 containing her Portuguese / German / English family recipes was then handed down to her daughter who did the same, and that book kept on getting handed down from generation to generation (my talk centres on the recipes, the history of those recipes and how that book evolves with each generation reflecting where the grandmothers were living at that time (i.e. we come across an early version of the coroma curry which great great grandma Maud wrote in 1900).
A grandmother’s legacy: my ancestors professions in the British Raj
A detailed talk with fascinating sepia photographs provide the audience with interesting facts about the history of the infrastructure of India and the various professions of her grandfathers on the Indian railways, telegraph, founder of one of the first English medium schools in India and the military involvement of two of her great grandfathers who fought in the third Anglo Mysore war. all seen through the eyes of their granddaughter (Jenny Mallin).
A grandmother’s legacy: the memsahibs and their servants
We discover the very first memsahibs to set foot into India in 1617, and how a fair amount of hoodwinking by these ladies who travelled out to the East Indies at a time when the East India Company expressly forbade women to do this. We learn of the fishing fleet ladies, those English young women of marriagable age who soon found themselves faced with the social stigma of spinsterhood that were now looked upon as objects of pity as fate had dealt them an unlucky hand and their only way to gain a hand in marriage was to go in search of a husband, and quickly… We learn of the challenges that lay ahead for them in running a household and the considerations that they would need to bear in mind when hiring their servants.
A grandmother’s legacy: my great aunt Constance
My great aunt Constance was a woman of high social status and a wife of a British official, born in 1898 with a good social standing. as a burrah memsahib with a husband working for the Indian civil service in Burma during 1942 just as the Japanese attacked Rangoon and their only choice was to walk 1,000 miles to India, arrived barefoot at my grandmother’s doorstep in Calcutta in the middle of the night having taken four months to walk across treacherous terrain, monsoon climatic rivers and no other choice but to face the Naga community (who were headhunters) but found them to be extremely helpful in carrying the lame, sick, tired and weary across the border into India.
A grandmother's legacy: Full steam ahead
With ancestors who were in India at the very beginning of the steam trains starting up in the Indian subcontinent, as well as those whose professions on the railway were held in high esteem by the railway companies themselves, we learn how life was for my grandfather who grew up on a railway colony, the first of its kind in India which proved to be an exemplar and one in which set a precedent for future ones to be established. Kipling remarked how that particular railway colony was "a paragon of European enterprise in the heart of India, laid out with military precision; each house with its share of garden, its red-brick path, its growth of trees and its neat little wicket gate." With a highly visual presentation of steam trains, we learn how obstacles were overcome with civil engineering achievements to provide a suitable way for trains to travel along a series of mountains with 1:37 gradients all with the aim of trading commodities for the East India Company. This talk details the opening up of a country which up until the railway was only possible by bullock cart due to the varied landscape, climate and conditions of the roads. We end with a light hearted look at the difficulties faced by the author thirty years ago when trying to buy a train ticket in India.
A grandmother's legacy: my family history
A more detailed look into the records/certificates and this would appeal to genealogists or those with an interest in family trees. I start from my earliest ancestor dating back to 1732 in Yorkshire and detail the ancestors right through to the end of the British Raj days. Please note this talk will be for just over one hour in length due to the amount of family sepia images shown and detail of content.
A grandmother’s legacy: my journey
Through a short and fascinating glimpse into the lives of my ancestors, we learn more about my own journey in the realisation that with both parents now elderly and frail, that the passing of their lives would mark the end of an era of those generations which went before me who were part of a chapter of British Indian history. This talk is truly inspiring for anyone who recognises the importance of preserving a family heritage, it's also an entertaining presentation in which we discover the ambitious lengths one would go in order to achieve the impossible and the outcome of one's efforts in a positive and delightful way. Serendipitious stories which reflect the journey from start to finish enhances this charming illustrative talk.
A grandmother's legacy: my travels around India
An intriguing and entertaining vignette of some of my travels around India (of which there have been over twenty five trips during the past thirty years). This talk is filled with amusing anecdotes from the arduous task of just purchasing a train ticket to stories which have demonstrated the kindness of a stranger, the superstitious side to a nation and an insight into how much India has changed since 1990 with the progression of technology.
Walking into Grandmother's kitchen at Christmas - a British Raj lifestyle
This talk centres around my family's traditions at Christmas, how the festive season was enjoyed by those who were living in a country which was part of the British Raj. We explore and discover how enticed they were by those exotic ingredients found in India, which with the help and careful consideration of their native cook, produced a different kind of cuisine. Through the pages of the old cookery book dating back to 1844, we uncover family recipes which were so loved and enjoyed over five generations, which provide a fascinating insight into those unusual recipe names which are alliterative with titles such as Ding Ding Fry and Rumble Tumble! We also get a good idea as to how they entertained, and how their social calendars were filled with tea dances, balls and social evenings which started on Christmas Eve and went right through to twelfth night.