Jim & Nora Hall


The Memories of Jim and Nora Hall

   This is a joint effort by Derek Perry and Larry Brown

Derek did the interview and Larry did the translating it all from audio to paper
and then to e-mail

Larry said: Derek recorded this interview with Jim and Nora Hall  Jim was from
English stock and Nora from Scottish. They were a delightful couple and although
Jim's recollections were a bit hazy at times-Nora kept him right. It has been difficult
to pinpoint some of the places mentioned but I suppose names and spellings
change and maybe even disappear  over time. I enjoyed transcribing and reading
their story which portrayed times past well and had the added touch of humour


          Derek Perry records a chat with Jim and Nora Hall at their residence
at the
 Glasshouse Mountains, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, on 24th July 2006.   


Derek:    I'm introducing Jim and Nora Hall from the Glasshouse Mountains of Queensland.

         Jim is a product of the tea plantations of South India where his grandfather put out a
Garden in the 1800's.                             

His son inherited the estate. Jim worked on it for a time but left India just before or  during
Jim was born........

 In the High Range of South India, in Munnar where there is a large collection of 
James Finlay
tea estates. Dad was manager of Parbotiya Tea Estate. I was there
 until..my mother 
unfortunately died in the epidemic of, I think it was Asian Flu, and 
after that Dad went back to
  Kotangade and took over from Grandpa, who was getting a
bit ancient!

Derek:       Can you tell me about Grandpa and his experiences in putting out that tea estate
 was the name of the plantation?

Jim:           Kotangade-Kotangade is really a partly Tamil name-Kotan-Gadu is a  'Stormy
and, of  course, it catches the wind as it pushes through the gorge-the gap between
  Nilgiris and the Niliapalais. It's a broad gap about 30 miles wide and it catches all the  
wind  and sort of tunnels it....

Derek:       What motivated your grandfather to go out to India and to select that part of India

Jim:           Cheap land! I think it was 5 pounds an acre for 30 years or something....

Derek.:       So he took up an offer and......

Jim.:          Yes, yes, and the Maharajah of Kollingode was the landlord and it was only jungle.
 forget what  he  paid for it-it was some small sum-something like 2 shillings an acre for
100 years or whatever  it was......

Derek.       How many acres did he acquire?

Jim.           Grandpa had about.....of land...I think it was about 2000 acres but he had opened
about 400 or 500 in coffee, which was a mistake.

Derek.       Oh-he started with coffee!

Jim.           Tea came later because what happened was that Dad had gone off to grow tea
for James
 Finlay as an employee and the he decided when Grandpa died to start planting it
up with
 tea and so we   had....he underplanted the coffee with tea and eventually, when the
 bushes established, he cut   the coffee out. So when I was there it was a mixed coffee 
and tea estate. The tea factory didn't   work because Dad sold the rights to manufacture
a very profitable figure-saved a lot of work!

Derek.       Now, I asked you before , how did Grandpa get on with the labour? How did he

Jim.           What happened in the early days, when they had a fistful of money-they went
and sort of  
 bribed people to come and work. The wages, of course, were considerably more
  they could get in their own villages.

Derek.       This would be about the 1880's?

Jim.           Thereabouts. The biggest problem with  was Malaria-it was a very malarious

Derek.       You mentioned that term Nilli.......

Jim.           Niliam... Nilgiris, Nellyampathi-Neliampathies means Blue Hills. There's a gap
in the
  Western Ghats and the Nilgiris is in the North side and the Niliampatis and
Annamalais is
on the South side.                             

Derek.        Was the area that your grandpa selected specifically for his tea, or rather
 plantations -were there any other tea or coffee plantations in the adjoining area?

Jim:          Oh yes, yes-eventually it became one of the biggest districts in South India but 
Malaria was the biggest problem until tea came along and of course, coffee had
in prices-the other profitable crop was Cardamoms.......

Nora:        and Lemon Grass too.

Jim:          It was very easy to start because you underbrushed it in virgin jungle and it
 took root in the jungle itself and we used to go around and pick the little seed pods.

Derek:      Tell me about your Grandpa-what are your best memories of him?

Nora:        Well, I'll tell you what granny told me about him! There was trouble down in Polghat.
 They were out riding one day, and she was horrified when Horace responded  some shouts
of-like 'Down with the British' or something,
    and Grandpa called out in a loud voice
'God Save the Queen'                                                            
   (Granny nearly killed him with her umbrella!) (Laughs) -because he said: 'God     Save
Queen Victoria' and everybody stopped and went  Ha!

  They used to go out shooting together and (laughs-I can just see it happening!)

                 Granny goes round one side of the bushes and Horace goes round the other...
  they're ready to shoot each other when they come out the other side of the jungle!!

Jim:         Granny had a beautiful little shotgun-a 16 bore-very small-she used to shoot
  with it!

Nora:       I remember being with her in the cabbage patch where Nandan, the cook, had
kept us 
  some fresh vegetables. Granny saw a Golden Eagle-"get my rifle quick, Nandan."
  Granny wasn't a very tall woman and the gun was bigger than she was. She goes into 
the cabbage patch and 'Boom' and hit the eagle!

 I rushed out from the bungalow to see what was happening and all I could see was her 
two feet in the middle of the cabbage patch!!

Jim:         Granny was there in 1915 and was in the same place in 1941.

Nora:       There she is with the eagle and I had the plumage for a long, long time-till the
  got it. I couldn't believe that she would take a shot at it!!

Derek:     So Grandpa is quite vivid in your memory-you can see him more or less?

Jim &   Nora    Oh yes, yes.

Derek:    How did he come to India and from where?

Nora:      He came from Guernsey-Betty wrote and told us because she went to the UK and 
she discovered that they.....

Jim:        Grandpa was coming to Australia-they saw this cheap land - a shilling and sixpence
  an acre for 100 years or something.

Derek:    But he came from Guernsey, is that right?

J&N:      Yes.

Derek:    and Grandma? Which part of the UK did she come from?

J&N:      She was born in India-her father was a Sea Captain-he had a shipping line.

Derek:    So your Grandpa met your Grandma in India?

J&N:      That's right.

Derek:    and they fell in love and that's how it all started?

J&N:      Yes, that's right. Yes, Yes.

Derek:     and that's why you're here!!

J&N:      Yes indeed! (laughter)

Derek:    How many children did they have?

J&N:      They had three sons.

 Derek:    and one of those is your father?

 Jim:       Yes, that's right. The others died.       

 Nora:       One died from Malaria and the other...(turns to Jim) wasn't he killed by a horse
 an elephant or something-in Mundakaran?

Jim:          Yes, that's right.

Derek:      What age would he have been when he confronted the elephant?

Jim:         Can't recollect-difficult to say.

Derek:      What happened to the other brother?

Nora:        (muses) 3 brothers-he had 3 brothers---Mmmmm...

Derek:      What was Grandpa's name?

J&N:        Horace-Horatio Molyneaux.

Derek:      What was your father's name?

Jim:         Arthur.

Nora:       James Arthur.

Jim:         He was just Arthur.

Derek:     When was he born?

Nora:        Oh dear-we would have to get the papers out.

Jim:         I don't know where the papers are.

Derek:     So coming back to your childhood, Jim, you were born......

Jim:        In the High Range-that was a James Finlay place-Kanan Devan Hills Produce

Derek:    Were you born on the Estate.

Jim:       Yes-at home-my birth certificate states that.

Derek:    and what year was that.

J&N:     1914, that's right-the year the war broke out.

Derek:   What can you remember of your early days as a child?

Jim:        As a child? Running about without any shoes on!!  I remember being trodden on
-I was 
 given a donkey. ‘Poloni' was Dad's servant and he took me down there and the
donkey got 
  really obstreperous and threw me off and I remember, trod on my stomach!
And I had this
 sort of horse shoe mark. I was given lots of Jamun- just to keep my mouth
shut! I thought

              I could be trodden on many times if I got treats like this!

Derek:    Did you wear a solar topee?

Jim:       When I was older, yes, but it wasn't very....I bought the usual things for out East.
  I got to Madras Dad threw it away and got the good Hawkes's Topee-but I went
back to
  the  cheap things because they were easier to replace and wear.

Derek:    Did you have any schooling in India-in that part of India?

Jim:       I don't remember much detail but I remember being taken to the UK when I was
  six or so.

Derek:   That was after your mother died in 1919?

Jim:       That's right-we were on the first boat from Bombay-it was perhaps -special as
there were a
  lot of kids on board.

Derek:   and when you got back to England, where did you live?

Jim:      I was first sent to my Grannys but was very obstreperous and so I was given to
my Aunt
   Mary and Auntie Fanny, my Godmother, and they took me to Bristol and I lived
 They were very, very good to me because I lived there and they taught me, you know, a
'Beast', and academics-they taught me quite a lot of reading and writing.

Derek:  So it was almost home tuition, was it?

Nora:   Yes it was. The brothers-Cecil and Fred-one went to Canada and settled in Manitoba
 before arriving in the Niliapallais, the brother had a stint in Argentina where they tried 
 run sheep on cattle country.                        

Jim:     That's right. I remember they went to Argentina.                 


Nora:        They were on their way to New South Wales when they heard of the coffee
  and the very cheap land in Cochin State in South India.

Jim:          Yes. That was right.

Nora:        The three brothers took up over 300 acres at a rent of 1s 6p for 100 years. I reckon
  was about 1870. Grandpa would have been about 21 and was born in Chandramulla*
 1886-Chandramulla-the old bungalow at Chandramulla.

Jim;         Chandramulla...chandramulla....now where......

Nora:       When coffee went down in price, Fred, that was Dad's cousin, went off to Calcutta.

Jim:          That's right.

Nora:        He became a stockbroker in Calcutta.

Jim:          Yes, I remember that.

Nora:        The grandfather-he floated the Lilley Group and you had Kotangadi, Kadapara.

Jim:          Kadapara was over 1000 acres of bush with 600 open.

Nora:        and had tea, coffee and cardamoms. Grandpa, Horatio, your Grandpa-Jim-lived
Kotagiri after he retired and then it comes to your Dad, Arthur.

Jim:         I don't remember much of old Grandad. I do remember hearing through the thin

                "Horace-I've told you that you are not to hang your trousers at end of the bed"

Nora:       (they fell out about that)

Jim:         (continues) Horace replied "I thought you'd be tired of telling me by now!"

J&N:        (Laughing)

Derek:     I bet you have plenty of similar memories!

Jim:         Well...they just pop up!

Derek:      So, after your grandfather retired your Dad took over....

Jim:         Kotangadi..Granny owned Kotangadi....Dad had Uttakuri, which was in British India 
Kotangadi was in the Native States-Cochin State.

Derek:     Did you go to school after you were tutored by your Aunts?

Jim:         I was sent to Grannys place in Birmingham after my mother died and I think we
were on 
   the 1st ship after the war-after the Armistice-to go to the UK-there were a lot of
kids on
   the ship I seem to remember. I was sent to Granny's in Birmingham but apparently 
I was uncontrollable so I was then sent to my Aunt and Godmother in Bristol.

Derek:     And where did you progress to from there?

Jim:        Then of course, after.....

Nora:      You went to Bob Dawkes, didn't you?

Jim:        No, no-I went to the Emersons of Cloveley Water, which was 30 miles from
  and I went to the High School there, which was a girls school, until I was
old enough
   to go to Boarding School.

Derek:    and  which Boarding School did you go to-can you recall?

Jim:       A place called Wolverley-it's Seivwright School now, I'm told.

Derek:   Where was that?

Jim:       Just outside Kidderminster.

Derek:   I know Kidderminster-that's Worcestershire.

Jim:       Worcestershire-that's right.

Derek:   and then, when you finished School, what happened?

Jim:       I went to Bristol and was with an uncle-not quite an uncle-who tried to teach me
  sell carbon paper and typewriter ribbons-which was not exactly my cup of tea!

Nora:    He was Lord Mayor of Bristol.                                                                                                         



Jim:      That's right-he ended up as Lord Mayor of Bristol. He did very well actually.

Derek:   So you became disenchanted with selling typewriter ribbons!                                                            

Jim:        Oh yes! It wasn't my cup of tea!

Derek:    So what happened then?

Jim:        Well, Dad got me out to India then and I never seemed to look....I was on the 
estate for about 4 years before I got myself a job and then....

Derek:    Did you ever work at the estate?

Jim:        Yes-3 years-or pretended to!  I learnt the trade, shall we put it that way.

               Then I went to Tekoi which was a rubber estate. It doesn't really matter

               what you grow-if you're able to run and organize labour-that's the key.

Derek:    So you had a knack for that?

Jim:        Well, I could speak the language and that helps a lot and I understood

               the customs of what could be done and what couldn't be done but my boss 
was a pretty hard fellow. I had to go out in the very early morning and
  muster every day
regardless. Usually young planters were excused from 
  going down to muster after
about 6 months-but not me-I went-right to the end!

              But at least, when he went on leave to England, he recommended me and I took
 and then the 2nd World War broke out.

Derek:    You came out about 1934/35 and worked for 4 years until......

Jim:       Well, I found myself suited to the type of job-I fitted in.

Derek:   As a supervisor, overseer?

Jim:       Yes, and eventually a manager. I was on this Tekoi for about...well to begin with
 my manager-I was there for about 3 months, and one day, he flung the keys on the  
table and said-there, you can look after it for 3 weeks. I said, "where are you off
 to Sir?"
He said  "I'm off to get married!" So, then, he was very satisfied with what I
 did so when
he went to the UK I got the job of looking after the place.
Derek:   Did you work on the family property?

Nora:     Yes, you did-you worked on Kotangadi.

Jim:       Oh yes, yes, I'm getting 'Muxed' up and muddled up! Before I got this job as a 
 rubber planter and went down to Travancore-Dad went to the UK and left granny with
  me for advice.

Derek:   So, with Granny, you ran the plantations

Jim:       Oh yes-granny spoke the language so very well and was a great help.

Derek:   Of course, she was born there so the languages was second nature.

Jim:       That's right-but I struggled!

Derek:   So your Dad went back to the UK for some leave-you'd lost your Mother. I'm 
sure that losing his wife must have affected him a great deal. He would have 
a sad man.

Jim:       Oh yes, yes-it happened at a bad time.

Derek:   So he popped off to the UK and you and granny ran the show.

Jim:       Tried to!

Nora:     You worked on the estate and in rubber until 1939.

Jim:       That's right-I was conscripted and I spent the war with an infantry regiment  
most of the time. I was appointed as a Carrier Officer to begin with and we were
Abadan, which was a big oil refinery with lovely sealed roads and I was Carrier
and destroyed all the roads with my carrier!!

Derek:   So you were posted to Abadan, Persia. So you went from Bombay?

Jim:       That's right. With a battalion. To begin with I was Signals Officer-eventually 
I became Carrier Officer and from Carrier Officer I became Quartermaster.




              I was well received there and I liked the job, partly because you were never on
parade and 
  always on parade.

Derek:  So you enjoyed being on parade-marching up and down?                                                                

Jim:     Well you know, you had to be at the office, sign lots of documents but being 
Quartermaster you didn't have to be on parade at all. I liked the freedom, you could
come and go as you liked.

Derek:  So how did you get back to India and what happened then?

Jim:      After the war?

Derek:  No, No, during the war-you went to Abadan-so you must have come back to Ind
  before you went up to Burma.

Jim:      Oh yes. I was with a battalion for three years as a Carrier Officer then most of the
  as Quartermaster. Because I could speak Tamil and some Malayali I was posted
to the 
 Travancore State Labour Unit. What happened-I went down to Trivandurum-and
  gave me 1000 savages and said take them up to North Burma!!!     I remember
starting off with about 1600 no 1100. When I got to Calcutta I could only
 find  about 900.
I said to the chap there-I've lost some. He said you've got 900, you've done 
 very well
indeed, the last chap lost the lot!!

Derek:  So from Calcutta where did you go?

Jim:      Eventually we went up the Brahmaputra to a place called Gauhati, I think it's called.

Derek:  By river steamer?

Jim:      Yes. That was quite a nice easy job because they were stuck on the boat and
couldn't get
  off anywhere! Eventually when we got to Gauhati we were taken by truck to
a camp and
  we had to supply labour for roadbuilding and so on but I didn't work then
at all.
  They were drafted out everywhere all I had to do was to see that they were fed
  watered and properly camped. I was called the Commanding Officer but it didn't 
mean very much!

Derek:  As they built roads and pushed the Japanese back, did you follow them?

Jim:      Oh yes. We first went up into the hills around Dimapur-no! not Dimapur-Kohima,
that's it.

             It was a bit troublesome when we got to Kohima because we were allocated to
 Ammunition Depot. The conditions of work that these chaps had been given were
that they 
  hadn't got to be involved in any hostilities and it was a bit difficult because the
  were all coming back  having been used for casualties.

             After that, when it became quiet at Kohima we went to Imphal on

roadbuilding but I didn't have much to do as the engineers took over.

Derek:  When the war ended, where were you?

Jim:      I was in a place called Kalewa on the banks of a big river.......

Derek:  Irrawaddy?

Jim:      No.....it was near a place called Tamu.....yes, yes it was the Chindwin river!

Derek:  When the war with Japan was all over what did you do?

Jim:      I went back to rubber planting-and tea-in South India. I had a good job but I
 that I could do better in other places and eventually I got a job in Malaya-a
job in
  Boh Tea Plantation as an assistant manager. The plantation was fairly high up.

Derek: Jim, India was on the point of getting Independence-what did you think about
were your feelings at that time?

Jim:     Well....It was the end of an era! I didn't particularly like what I saw or felt-Oh
I could have 
 gone on- no worries about that but I didn't like the atmosphere that was


Derek: Did you have any personal experience of.........

Jim:     No, not really-except everyone seemed to want more pay and less work!                                                     

Derek: The people in India and the people down South-how did they treat you-did you
see any

Jim:     No, not really. You were treated with good respect. I think partly because you
  in a position and they accepted that.                                                                 
Derek:       So there wasn't a great deal of agitation?               

Jim:           Only with the AGP-the ordinary people were just the same.

Derek:        But you heard rumblings about how the future would be?

Jim:           Yes I did. You weren't quite sure what your position might be and to me
I thought
  we were being underpaid before the war so decided I could get better pay

Derek:       Then, what happened to your father?

Jim:           He had sold Kotangadi during the war but what didn't realize-he should
have asked 
  for about twice as much. Dad didn't seem to realize how quick things
were changing.

Derek:       So, after the war when you went back to work in Cochin, you didn't go
back to the 
 family estate......your father had sold it by then....

Jim:           It was bought by Indians and it went on. I thought it was better to work
for a British
  firm as you may be treated better.

Derek:      So, you made a decision to leave and go to greener pastures-what happened
 your father?

Jim:          Dad went to England-I beg your pardon-Dad didn't go to England-he got a job
in the
 Nilgiris for a time-for he had friends at court, you see, with the Agencies and he got 
 this very nice place called ‘Nonsuch', which is a small estate in the Nilgiris and a 
very healthy climate.

Derek:     What was the name of the estate again?

Jim:         Nonsuch-but then what really was....my mother..she didn't really like India.
She was
 my Stepmother really.

Derek:    Oh-your father married again?

Jim:        Yes-and she hated India!

Derek:    She was from England?

Jim:        She was a small town lady. My mother was a B.A B.Sc. or something- but my
 stepmother was very ordinary. I don't think she had much upstairs!

Derek:    When did you father marry again?

Jim:       My mother died in 1918-about 1920 I suppose.

Derek:   A couple of years later-I take it you didn't quite get on with your stepmother? 

Jim:       I'll just say that she didn't get on with me!

Derek:   Jim. What did you feel when you could see the India was about to gain Independence?

Jim:       I'm afraid it had to be done because I think there would have been eruptions.
You see
  in Queen Victoria's days the British Empire was a very powerful organization
but it began
  to unravel a bit and of course, Independence became a sort of catchword.
Well, it's
 understandable, I suppose. Dad used to say "if we're not man enough to hold
  lose it"

Derek:   Were you concerned about Independence and how it could affect you?

Jim:      Once Dad sold Kotangadi I wasn't interested. I think that was a bad move but then, 
my mother in law-my stepmother I mean. She hated it so it was sold.

Nora:    We all loved it but all she could talk about was let's make a home for the girls. 
Even in those days Peggy had been a Major in the Army and she wasn't even interested.
She got married when she went to England and the younger one was o


Derek:   I take it these girls were your stepsisters?

Nora:     That's right. The second marriage had one daughter and she was utterly spoilt!

Derek:   Is the sister still alive?                                                              

Nora:    No, she died. Muriel-yes, Muriel, she died suddenly-I think she did have a heart

Jim:      I think so too.

Nora:    I think she had it for a long time before it was discovered.

Derek:  In India or in England?

Nora:    Oh no-she had her fling in India and died at home-in England-and she married the
   the stupidest man on earth!!

Jim:      She did!

Nora:    Ken MacKenzie!

Jim:      He was a fellow officer in my regiment-he was stupid!

Nora:    An absolute nitwit!

Jim:      We used to say "he was a good chap"

Nora:    A good chap-holding up the bar!!!

Jim:      That's right-holding up the bar at the club!

Nora:    We all knew him-whether it was in a bar at Alogochi-in the Nilgiris-he always had
 biggest club bill in the area!

Jim:       He was in the Hyderabad regiment.

Derek:   This is your brother in law?

Jim/       That's right.


Nora:     He was an absolute nit. He left a very good Ceylon Tea Company  and he went
home and 
 he only got a job through my stepmother. I went home for a bit and was living
with them
  and the person next door was-what was it-'NoNails' that was when cardboard
boxes were 
  coming in and the firm was called 'NoNails'  It was a very big firm in
the Midlands and
  they had representatives in Europe and through the woman next door
-the old man had
  been an Ambassador in Egypt in his time and they had a daughter
who was married to a
   man who was high up in 'NoNails'

              So Ken gets a job in ‘NoNails' in Luxembourg if you please!-couldn't speak a
word of 
 French-or German-but anyway he got the job and as far as what's got back to
the family-he 
  was mad on golf-knew nothing about it but he played because everyone
else played.

              On a particular weekend he decided he would play somewhere outside
 -and he did-and he stayed away-and when he came back, he got the sack
because the man 
  next to him-his young assistant. He was German but he could
speak the language -
so naturally he got the boss out! The boss was an idiot!!  
And then they went back to England-and then he never really had another job!

Derek:   How did you and Jim meet?

Nora:     Through a relative of mine in the UK.

Derek:    Not in India?

Nora:     No. In the UK.

Derek:   But you spent a long time in India.

Nora:     I spent a long time in India and I loved it and when I went to Malaya...
I was always
  interested in people.

Derek:   What were your views on India, Nora-How did you fit in? Did you like it?

Nora:     Oh yes. I got on very well with the people because I was nursing for a
time in India.

Derek:    When did you come out to India?

Jim:        (to Nora)  You were in the Navy.

Nora:     Yes. I was waiting to go into the Navy.

Derek:    When did you come to India?                                                                                                       


Nora:     Late 1940. I travelled on the 'Narkunda' and she was bombed when she went
back to 
  the UK.

Derek:   On the return journey?                                                                                                                                                              Nora  Yes. The return journey she was bombed. I think she was due to sail. I remember
 out to help the men on the deck because we were in convoy.

    I was in Bombay and Delhi...I was in Bombay when the riots started and they destroyed

  the Paper, the English newspaper. I remembered that...and I was leaving for Delhi that 
night and they decided that as I was a European woman alone..I was an Officer then..
 they locked me in a Coupe!!

Jim:        (to Nora)  Wherever you went the riots started!!

Nora:      The riots started in Bombay and they had this terrible two or three days-
it was awful-
 and then I left that night for Madras. I was posted.......

Derek:     But you were in the Navy-which year was that 43? This would be the 'Quit India'?

Nora:      Yes ,that's right because when I got to Madras, the riots started that day.

Derek:     So the riots were following you!

Nora:       (Laughs)  Yes!

Jim:        They were funny times.


                                                    (Side two of the tape)


Jim:          The Officer said, Look, we're off to Bombay-we've got to Quit India-I said

                 that's all we want to do!-but we couldn't find a seat on the train!

Derek:      So, Nora, looking back in retrospect, I mean, you experienced.....

Nora:        I would have been quite happy if Jim had carried on at Kotangadi

                 and mother hadn't persuaded Dad (to sell) which I thought was very foolish

                 but being just a daughter in law I couldn't say too much in their affairs-

                 it had nothing to do with me.

Derek:      So you two met in the UK? After you'd been to Malaya?

Nora:        Yes.

Derek:      And you were on leave from Malaya, and there you are, you met!

Nora:        That's right.

Derek:      And that's the happy story!

Nora:        (Laughing) Yes!

Derek:       I'll just go back to your views, your personal views, on the Indian  

                 Independence Movement.

Nora:        Well-wasn't Nehru in charge-and he split India in two, didn't he!-which

                 was the last thing in the world that was wanted because I think that basically

                 the people were happy just as they were.

Jim:          In fact many didn't want Independence!

Nora:       They didn't want to be pushed around by bureaucracy and I felt near to the

                 natives - I could see how they lived-you should have seen them on Kotangadi
and even

                 in Malaya. They were out there before six at sunrise with a can of rice water

                and the Cumberleys on their head, singing away as if they didn't have the slightest

                trouble in the world.

Derek:     So Kotangadi-so you have been to Kotangadi?

Nora:       Yes, yes, I lived at Kotangadi.

Derek:     I don't quite follow that because you were in Malaya?

Nora:       Yes but we didn't go to Malaya until after Kotangadi.

Derek:     So you met....

Nora:       Kotangadi was still in the family-it was still in the family and we weren't there

                Jim was away and I was living there when Dad and Mother went off for leave

                that's when Granny shot the eagle-I remember that very clearly-and you were
(to Jim)

                 where were you Jim?

Jim:         I can't quite remember.

Nora:       You were away somewhere.

Derek:     He must have been working...

Nora:       In India somewhere....

Derek:     So you both left India to go to Malaya?

Jim &      That's right.


Nora:       We went to Malaya together.

Jim:         That was after Independence.

Nora:       But I was sorry.......

Derek:     So may I ask, where were you married, which year?

Nora:       Mmmm....

Jim:         There was a war on!

Nora:       40...the middle of 1940.

Derek:     1940?

Nora:       Yes,yes..

Jim:          A long time ago.....

Derek:     You said you met in England....

Nora:       Yes but that was when we were young-young-when we met.

Derek:      Before the war?

Nora:        Yes, that's right-we were young silly teenagers!!

Derek:      So your marriage-where did you marry-in England or in India?

Nora:        In India.

Derek:      So you came out?

Nora:        Yes-in a convoy.

Jim:         That's right-in a convoy!

Jim &      We got married in Bombay Cathedral!


Derek:     That would be 1940?

Nora:       Yes.

Derek:     But you'd already met.

Nora:       That's right.

Derek:      in peacetime.

Nora:        That's right.

Derek:     You corresponded?

Nora:       That's right.

Derek:      Fell madly in love.....

Nora:        Laughs.....

Jim:          Yes!

Derek:      I see-you felt lonely...

Nora:        Laughs....

Derek:      and you wrote to Nora to say please come to......

Nora         well, eventually, over a time....

Derek:      so you spent....when, when...up to Burma?

Nora:        When Jim was away.

Derek:      Assam and Burma...where were you?

Nora:        I was nursing in the Nilgiris, at the British Hospital there... -course, I had
put in for the Navy.  
  But having been at home in the UK long before war broke
out we were 
  all keyed up doing Gas D.A.Deeing-you know-that sort of thing...

Derek:      So when you made your decision to leave India, you were both in India
you both made the decision. You felt you could have stayed on if they hadn't 
sold the estate.

Nora:       Yes! Yes! I loved the country!

Derek:      You loved the country, you liked the people........

Nora:         I liked and I got on well with the people...

Derek:      You had an empathy with them.....

Nora:        Yes, Yes.

Derek:      You managed to speak the language?

Nora:        Yes indeed. And even after we left India I kept  in contact.....

Derek:      Were you sad?

Nora:        In a way -yes. I was sad because I didn't think that the southern parts of India

                 realized how deep the parting -partition- of Northern India was, I don't think

                 they realized that-and when we went to Malabar-a lovely spot in the Cameron

                 Highlands-we went to  Boh  Estate and we used to have an Anthropologist.....

Derek:     Jim, will you please tell of your encounter with that which is on the wall!


Jim:         That fellow-(points to leopard skin)

Derek:      Yes

Jim:         Now let me get this one straight....Yes it killed a...  (phone rings) Oh Dear!

Derek:     Go ahead Jim.

Jim:         The leopard on the wall....Well, he was enticed into the trap because Dad
 a goat and we used to tie it up at night in a place where we knew these anima 
were about-and lo and behold we were very lucky.
    The first night we pegged it out ...
we went out the next day and it was half 
  eaten so Dad put a few sticks up a tree
some distance away but from where
   we could see the kill. I went up there about
dusk and I was up there for about 
  30 minutes and along comes the leopard for a
feast, don't you see, so I immediately

                shot him because he was very close by. I had a torch which shone on the
end of
 the rifle and I switched on, and there he was, shot him and then went home 
Next, a chap, just one of the chaps we called a 'Shikari who knew these things.

 Said there was another leopard there and he had been eating the kill too-so Dad sa 
   "you go out and shoot that one too!" So I had to go out the next night - and I shot
 another one-so I had shot two-and that is one of.......

Derek:     What age were you?

Jim:         I'd have been about 24 or so. Dad had given me a Mauser, this German,
Mauser Rifle,
 for my 21st Birthday. He used to say that the ammunition was very

Derek:     Was that the only wild life you shot?

Jim:         Oh No-I've been, I suppose a bit of a Butcherer; Bison-Wild Gaur, Stags
 all sorts of little things.

                During the war I got myself a shotgun-there was a lot of fowl around-
but I never
got very interested.

                I used to go out with the Captain of the other battalion on drives-we got
ducks and
other things...


                (Nothing more on tape)


Some notes:


Sadly, Jim is no more. He died peacefully at his home in 2010. He was 96 years old.


*Some place names may be mis-spelt and ‘Kotangadi' may now be under a different
 of a religious Tamil writing of the mid 1800's

"Nonsuch" plantation later was a Harrison, Crosfield property.

Parbotiya plantation must also be under another name as it is not in S.Indian
garden listings. The name "Parbotiya" is very common as a North Indian word
and even in Tinsukia there is a ‘Parbotiya New Colony'

At ‘Nellyampathy'there is a 30 mile wide gap in the Nilgiris and may be the
place described by Jim as where the winds are ‘tunneled' It is known as the
Palghat Gap and more correctly named ‘Palakkad'  The gap isolates Kerala
and Tamil Nadu.The cool breeze coming through this gap cooled the area
and it was known as "The poor man's Ooty"


In 1895: Chandra Mulla Coffee Estate-P.O.Palghaut-Neliampathies-acreage 60-
Proprietors H & C. Hall-Managing Partner H. Hall.


(The Hall's and Horatio Molyneaux may have had connections with the Railways.
At one time a Horatio Molyneaux was in charge of ‘Tichi' railway station which
was the main hub for the British-in 1895. C.Hall was for some time the
Stationmaster at ‘Podanur' of the Madras Railways.)----Unless-Molyneaux may
have been the middle name of H. Hall of Chandra Mulla Coffee Estate...
more enquiries needed!