Message from Patrick Taylor, UK

From: Patrick Taylor To: Bridget kumar Sent: Thursday, November 10, 2011 10:43 PM
Subject: KGF

Dear Bridget
Heather and I are now home again. We have had a great flight home; no hitches and we are well although a bit weary. We have absolutely loved our holiday in India, and in particular yesterday which really was the crescendo to a most wonderful 2 weeks.

I am so grateful to you for all that you have done to help so many people remember their time at the KGF. Your book is a wonderful statement of a lifestyle that sadly no longer exists but we can remember with great fondness. Over the past few weeks since we first made contact, you have been so kind to guide me and help us with our prospective visit; and yesterday, it all came to reality.

I very much appreciated meeting Richard, Nicky and Philip. It seems so wonderful that they are really the John Taylors of the current day. I shall definitely be buying some shares in their company, and thereby maintaining an active interest in their progress. I was so interested to learn what they are doing. It was great.

Then, our visit to KGF was a mixture of sadness and joy. I was sad to see the state of the old hospital and of so many of the old houses. Such a shame that it has all been allowed to go to ruin. As Heather said to me on the plane: would it not make a wonderful week-end retreat for the people of Bangalore. Some property developer should take up the challenge to revive that wonderful area with its gracious houses, golf course and with so much potential. I shall keep dreaming!

I loved going to the convent and seeing my old home. Although the house had seen better times, it was lovely to see the wonderful job the nuns are doing there with the children. There was so much love in that place that made me happy to see the house being used in that way. The children were so full of joy; lovely smiles. I am glad that I have captured some of them on film. I will send some to you for onward posting in due course.

Of course, it was sad to see the other house that I lived in. Seeing that man working in that grim room, and the decay of the rest of the house with those awful guards gave a feeling of almost evil in the air. That was the bad part of the day but one that was so worthwhile to see. If India is to progress as a world economic power and a great democracy, that sort of inefficiency and corruption must one day be eradicated.

Then of course the KGF Club! How sad to see it in such a sad state but the smiles on the faces of the men there will stay with me for the rest of my life. I was so touched that they came there to see me. I shall be hugely grateful if you would let me have the name of the old boy who knew my father. He was so loving and great. I would love to write to him to say a big thank you. Is there any chance that one d ay you could tell me how I could send him a letter?

Altogether yesterday will go down for me as one of the most important days of my life and I have you to thank for that, Bridget. Heather loved it all too. You were so kind to give us a copy of your cookery books and to make those sandwiches. You are a star, and I am so grateful.

I can’t see myself staying away for another 55 years! It may be 55 weeks, or slightly more but I shall definitely try to get back before too long. We must try to develop a UK based KGF community. One thought I have had is to see if we could set up a UK based charity to provide funding and support for St Joseph’s Convent School. It would be a lovely thing to do if we could help to make a difference.

Anyway, Bridget, I have rambled on enough for now. Heather and I loved meeting you and Ashok. I am sorry the hotel let us down somewhat but we loved meeting him, and I look forward to meeting again before too long.

Thank you also for spending your wedding anniversary with us. There are so many things to thank you for.
Oh what a memorable day. I will be back. I have only just started!

With love and God bless you


  1. Hi Bridget,
    What a great article on nostalgia, from a bygone period of history and personal account, which has been truly justified by the complimentary responses.Ilived in Robertsonpet, in the 50's after moving from Nagpur. I went to the KGF school, at which time the Principal was a C.P.N Rowland, which is confirmed on a Certificate of Merit, which I received in 1950, and still retain.
    I first lived in Sigamoney Buildings, in a block of four houses. Oposite was the Vogt-family and flanking us were two related families of Fernandez's. On
    moving to the A.I. colony-Andersonpet I became great friends with Anthony O'Hara(Tony-aka Skipper), and his older sister Hilary(Hilly), who frequently covered for us when we found ourselves in boy like situations. During this time I also attended a British Military boarding school, The Lawrence Memorial school in Lovedale, Ootacamund. I still vividly remember the Cyanide tips along the road from Robertsonpet railway station to the town area, and the the casual, sleepy ride in a tonga, which probably does not function any more.1957 I moved to Bombay, and in 1958 moved to the U.K. where I still residing. Sadly I eventualy lost contact with the O'Hara's Tony, and Hilary's Dad worked in the mines and sadly suffered with asthma. Mum was a teacher, I think in music as she tutored the piano and the violin, a discipline Tony had to practise
    rigidly, before any social activity.
    Bridget, if you can assist with any information, or if any readers
    have any knowledge, I will be most
    gratefull. Tony and Hilary, should
    you be aware of this request, please respond
    I am currently organising a second visit to India,during February and
    March 2013, dates to be finalised, and intend yo allow two days to visit KGF and Robinsonpet.
    Those days, spent in the 50's were truly my halcian days, never to be forgoton.
    Goodluck with the books Bridget, and congratulations on a splendid
    effort, which I am sure you will continue with.
    Sincere regards
    Michael. F.W.Shepherd-UK

  2. We are visiting KGF in November with Bridget. I was Nancy Ffrench aged 2-5 when I lived in Kolar with my parents Dr Geoffrey Ffrench & his wife Marjory. Though young I still remember an earthquake, snakes, our donkey etc & have no doubt other memories will return to me after visiting! If anyone would like photos etc plse let me know Nancy


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