Dr Graham's School
Celebrating its centenary in 2000, this school still looks after the mixed-race descendants of British colonists and Indian locals, in the foothills of the Himalayas, in West Bengal.
I looked at the plight of the Anglo-Indian community - frequently despised as privileged, but much more often dirt-poor....
These photographs appear with kind permission of Dr Graham's Homes.
Making Dr Graham's School - but only just...
Just before setting off for Calcutta for my first BBC Radio Four assignment, I decided to clean my windows at home. Unnecessary really. And dangerous if you fail to brace your ladder correctly, and carry on working in the middle of a rainstorm.
The resulting tumble put me in hospital for the best part of a week, with a slightly compressed vertebrae, and having to wear a kind of corset for the foreseeable. A damned uncomfortable corset to suffer in the humidity of a West Bengal monsoon. Especially during the many hours it took for the tiny Nissan minibus to whine its way up the tortuous mountain tracks alongside the swollen Hooghly River.
Another minibus in front of us had fallen in to the roiling brown ravine. So had part of a bridge.
There is, in some corner of a Indian field, a discarded corset which is forever Wales.
The effort was worth it. I thoroughly enjoyed producing and mixing this feature - and meeting the terrific people I met along the way.
My delivery here is still the old-fashioned and sedate voice that I’ve weaned myself off now - you’ll have to forgive it.
In the event the feature was repeated, then used on the World Service too - and chosen for the “Pick of the Week” review show.
I was even praised in the Financial Times...
A real feeling for history - that is, a knowledge of how it fits seamlessly into the present - was evinced in Radio 4’s Dr Graham’s School...
...This was a fascinating item about a little-known remnant of the Raj.
Radio Choice, Martin Hoyle, 9-1-99