Jenny’s talk, based on a book written by her, was both fascinating and inspirational.
She had inherited a book from her grandmother in which were recipes of dishes enjoyed by her ancestors. The recipes contained both British as well as Anglo-Indian dishes. Jenny had been inspired to trace her family’s involvement in India under the British Raj.
Her talk included many old family photos, printed illustrations of life in India, family trees and photos and drawings of many places in India.
Her story begins in Mirfield in West Yorkshire and progresses through Leeds, Bangalore, Madras, Delhi and the North West Frontier of India.
Starting with the Shandley family in Mirfield and the involvement in the woollen trade,
Jenny traces the links made commercially by the family with India. The move there resulted in marriages linked with Indian families and the resulting descendants of Anglo-Indian origin.
Beginning in the 1790s descendants of the Shandley family were employed in the East India Company, the Indian Army, the Royal Navy, the construction of the railways and India’s ‘Silicon Valley’ based in Bangalore. We were also shown how some family members progressed through society and made links with Indian royalty and the resulting changes that way of life entailed.
Jenny’s story took us up to independence of India from British rule in 1947 and the return of her grandmother to England. This meant the end of over five generations of her family with India under the British Raj.
The virtual talk by zoom was certainly enjoyed by the participants in the meeting which resulted in a number of questions put to Jenny and the sharing of experiences of by two who also had family connections with India.
On Saturday 7th December members and visitors were treated to Christmas cake, cheese, mince pies and a hot drink. A surprise was being greeted by a medley of tunes from the Crofton Silver Band. We knew that Roger Hine, chairman and concert secretary, would be there to tell us about the history and progress made by the band since 1873 but the presence of the band was an extra delight. Its first recording was made in 1895 while fully decked out in uniform with John Stead as its first conductor.
Roger then informed us of how by the 1930s the band practiced at the Royal Oak pub, which is still there opposite Crofton Academy.
It disbanded from 1939 to 1945 because of the war. However it was discovered that on starting up again a number of instruments were either missing or damaged. The National Coal Board helped by starting to sponsor the band and by 1955 was renamed the Nostell Priory Colliery Band.
When the pit closed in 1993 the band was renamed the Crofton Silver Band.
An exchange arrangement was created with a German band from Hagen in the Ruhr valley in 1971. Roger would take a break from his talk while the band played a number of carols and Christmas songs in which we were all invited to sing along.
A feature of the composition of the band over the years, was that often members would often come from the same family. This would mean that a father and his son could be playing or siblings from the same family. Some had a fifty-year family link with the band.
Venues varied from local working men’s clubs to the Great Yorkshire Show and from Crofton High to the park bandstand in Filey
The band also entered a number of contests, often winning prizes at a Yorkshire regional level to National ones.
The talk and music provided, proved highly enjoyable, and members had a chance to look at a display of photos and books that covered the band’s history with a variety of photos and books.
The next meeting will be February 1st when John Rumsby will provide a talk called ‘Yours for Eternity.’