The information on the following page will develop as we constantly embark upon new work or progress existing projects.
Kolkata Initiative of the Asia Scotland Trust
Through our initial focus on the city of Calcutta/Kolkata, we have developed our aims to develop new bilateral cultural relations by identifying various sites and buildings of shared cultural heritage in consultation with national and international partners, international and local experts, the people of Calcutta/Kolkata and key stakeholders and institutions in Kolkata, West Bengal and India.
1. A report and preliminary planning for the repair of St Andrew’s Church in Dalhousie Square: undoubtedly the most prominent and obviously Scottish building in the city.
2. Measured surveys of the William Roxburgh House and the Library and Herbarium Building in the AJC Bose Indian Botanic Garden. Also engagement with the Botanical Survey of India and the University of Sussex in preparation for the re-use of these buildings as a Centre for the Study of the History of Botany and Meteorology in the Indian Ocean Region.
3. The identification of other buildings of Scottish interest, including the Scottish Church College and Collegiate School, Duff College, the bungalow of Sir Daniel Hamilton in the Sunderbans, the Birkmyre Hostel, the Katherine Graham Memorial Chapel and other buildings of Dr Graham’s Homes at Kalimpong.
4. The Scottish Kolkata Heritage Trust was the forerunner to the AST. Established initially by James Simpson, with Lord Charles Bruce as Chair, it began life as an exemplar of some of the AST aspirations. The AST is proud to be associated with the KSHT who continue to do good work in restoring the Scottish Cemetery in Calcutta moving it “ from a place of the dead to a much-needed open green space for the living, where the past is also remembered” (CB). The KSHT has developed projects to bring the surrounding community into the cemetery. It is hoped to further train local people as gardeners, stonemasons and guides hosting visitors from around the world - and particularly Scotland. See KSHT website.
5. Engagement with local organisations including the West Bengal Heritage Commission, the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation, the Indian National Trust for Art & Cultural Heritage (INTACH), Calcutta’s Architectural Legacies (CAL), the University of Jadavpur, Amity University, the Centre for the Built Environment (CBE) etc.
6. Meetings with relevant authorities at state and municipal and levels, as well as with key non-governmental agencies and private individuals involved in urban historical documentation and preservation work.
7. Preliminary studies of other heritage sites, areas and buildings of high cultural interest: for example, The Burra Bazaar, an area studied by Patrick Geddes, which looked into ways to develop this particularly rich area of market trade and residences in North Calcutta through the principles of “conservative surgery”; and other areas not necessarily with a direct Scottish connection, e.g. Victoria Memorial, Bourne and Shepherd Photography studios, Barnagar Jute Mill, The National Library (The Belvedere), The Royal (Silver) Mint, Kidderpore Market, the English and North Park Road Cemeteries, the Currency Building, residences in South Calcutta (Sadananda Road Area), residences North Calcutta (3 Peary Row) and the Hogg Market.
The Asia Scotland Trust is a registered Scottish charity. Scottish Charity No. SCO45273. Companies House No. SC464144
© Asia Scotland Trust 2019