Jimmie Bain


Jimmie Bain's page

Jimmie has sent in quite a few stories which have found their way to this web site. 
Now he has his own page and we hope he will find the time to send us more memories

March 27 2016

Jimmie Bain tells us of yesteryear:

As I said to Peter Bartlett when on the North Bank Tezpur was where we went for
our tractor spares and we made it an outing by taking the ferry across to
Cocklamuckh to visit the steamer agent, either Arther Buttler or David Lees,
have a beer with them and get the ferry back with curry lunch on board. Of
course nothing like the luxury one on the Video, but it made for a nice change,
we were easily pleased !!! . Perhaps some of our Koi Hai's  may recall those
times when paddle steamers were our lifeline


Here is todays version please click below to see the film of the river cruiser of Today


MV Mahabaahu, Brahmaputra River Cruise
MV Mahabaahu, Brahmaputra River Cruise in Assam, Northern India



March 20, 2016

Tea Documentary - The Bitter Sweet Truth About Tea Drinks - National TV

Published on Aug 24, 2015

Tea is an acromatic beverage typically prepared by putting very hot or boiling water over healed fallen leaves of the Camellia sinensis, an evergreen hedger belonging to Asia.  After water, it is the most commonly consumed drink in the globe.  Some teas, like Darjeeling as was as Chinese eco-friendlies, have a cooling, a little bitter, and astringent flavour, while others have greatly different profiles that consist of wonderful, nutty, flower, or grassy notes.

Click here to see the YouTube video.


February `5 2016

A great message from Jimmie

For those who may remember us, I thought you could include on the website, that Muriel and I celebrated our 60th Diamond wedding anniversary on 4th February.  I have attached a photo with our congratulatory card from Her Majesty The Queen.


November 5 2015

Below is a piece from a Newspaper showing the growing of Tea in UK  The item came from a newspaper cutting of the  Aberdeen Press and Journal newspaper in the Dingwall Highland area dated Sat October 24 2015. and the Editor has attempted to put it in readable form An enjoyable read and we thank Jimmie

"Exotic new crop in Scotland is Susie's cup of tea"







March 19 2015


Rugger Buggers

Jimmie Bain tells the Editor when I joined in 1960 there  were several rugby teams in Calcutta, Gremlins. Boffins and the senior team. the Ditchers  (the one I joined),  which, by tradition were raised from those living or working within the boundaries of the original Maharatta ditch.

As there were a few former planters in Calcutta playing for the Ditchers at that time I wonder if through the Koi-Hai columns,  we could trace if any of us old Ditcher's are   left 

For those who remember please let the Editor know


 March 23 2015

This article was from the Times Newspaper



March 13 2015


For Tam O’Braan, founder of the Wee Tea Plantation, it is the vindication of a dream 

Eat your heart out, Earl Grey. A tea grown amid the splendour of the Scottish Highlands will today be crowned the finest in the world.

Dalreoch Estate Smoked White tea, grown in Amulree, Perthshire, has won the Gold Award of the Salon du Thé in Paris, an achievement as impressive as it is improbable.

 Fending off famous names from China, India and Sri Lanka, the Wee Tea Company triumphed only four years after the plantation put down roots. Its high-end product — available from Fortnum & Mason at £35 for 15g — has been a commercial proposition for only a year.

For Tam O’Braan, 45, founder of the Wee Tea Plantation, it is the vindication of a dream, one he celebrated yesterday with a cup of Smoked White in an Edinburgh hotel.

The award ceremony takes place this afternoon, but Mr O’Braan and his wife, Grace, are unable to attend because she is due to give birth to twin girls. Instead Jamie Russell, the estate’s “tea master”, or taster, will collect the prize.


By the end of this year 13 tea gardens will have been established in Scotland, all owing some debt to Mr O’Braan. He said that Scotland was on the brink of an agricultural revolution.

“If you were to say this is on a par with the foundation of the whisky industry, people would say you were unhinged,” he said.

“But, to be clear, what we are doing here is on a par with the foundation of the whisky industry."

Known to locals as “Tetley Tam”, Mr O’Braan, from Northern Ireland, financed his plantation with money he raised from the sale of an international agronomy business he operated with Grace, 29.
“We were doing re-afforestation work in the Amazon basin when we got an offer to buy the business. They offered three times what we had valued it at,” he said.
His first sight of the estate at Amulree was on Google Earth. In 2011, with his wife, he decided to turn a struggling upland sheep farm into a place of pilgrimage in the billion-dollar world of tea. They began with three plants from China, convinced that Scotland had the climate and conditions to build a business. Their hunch seemed correct when they quickly propogated 2,000 cuttings.

Then came the snows of 2012. Mr O’Braan said: “It was the worst winter for 200 years. Every leaf fell off, and I thought, I am going to turn out to be the most stupid person since Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.”
The failure of the tea business had been unthinkable. “I would never have been able to face my wife’s family again — or my neighbours.”

Then on Valentine’s Day last year the plants produced shoots. “We knew right then that we were going to produce a Darjeeling-standard flavour,” Mr O’Braan said. “It wasn’t till the following year that we found the bravery to tell people what we were doing.”

At Christmas, by mail order, the plantation was selling its tea at £2,300 a kilo, or £230 for 100g. He sold out, all of it going abroad, most to China, to feed the appetite of the burgeoning middle class. Although it can also be found at Fortnum & Mason in London.

Talk about coals to Newcastle.



January 19 2015



I’ve joined the Army once again, I’ve joined up in the forces,

I’m getting very muddled up with spurs and bits and horses;

I’m used to gravel crushing, and dishing out the soup,

But I’m blest if I know what to do when I’m mixed up with the troop.

Oh it’s head left, and head right, and threes about and trot,

Form half-sections left or right; or some such other rot.

But it’s nice to be a soldier man in a very famous force,

So I’m now a full blown trooper in the Assam Valley Light Horse.


I went to camp at Dibrugarh, the Adjutant said “Hi !

You’ve got to be a Sergeant and drill your men thereby.”

I called the troop a company and made them all form fours,

While mounted on their horses amidst a great applause.

Oh it’s wheel left, and whel about, and change direction right,

My horse, he galloped off with me, I had to hold on tight.

He took me to a water trough and gently bucked me off,

And the Sergeant-Major laughed and said, “I was a blinking toff!”


But I’m grad-u-ally learning the whys and wherefores now,

And I’ll soon be quite efficient in my drilling anyhow.

Then I’ll take a – er -  commission if they offer it to me,

And I’ll mix up drills and horses in the making of the tea.

‘Twill be head left, and head right, and roll the leaf quite hard,

That horse has got a snip and blaze, oh well! the blighter’s starred.

You’ve got to keep the temperature at eighty-two at least,

Now look here Trooper Brown, you’ll have to take care of that beast.


But I’m only joking with you, and I think that every man,

Should join the A.V.L.H., and drill too – if he can,

Remember what their motto is and try to do your best,

And old “Semper Paratus” will surely do the rest;

So come along you youngsters and do your little bit,

You’ve a duty to your country; you’ve a target there to hit.

There’s nothing like good soldiering, so do all that you can,

A keen efficient soldier is a keen efficient man!

January 19 2015


The ladies in tea they are charming 

They make our dull lives full of cheer; 

Even though their chief topic is scandal, 

And they squabble and fight half the year. 

That, they tell us, is woman’s first privilege, 

They can pull every fellow to bits,

And they’re jealous of each other’s dresses, 

Till their husbands are out of their wits!


Just watch them at the club in the evening 

They sit in a circle and chat, 

They’re discussing some fellow in private

As to why he does this and does that; 

They know all about his shortcomings, 

They have Ayahs to tell them you see, 

But with all their big faults, I must tell you,

                                                   We LOVE the dear Ladies in tea.
January 19 2015





 The Factory starts at 4 a.m., I’m as fed up as can be,

 Oh Lord! Why ever did I come to this wretched job in tea.

 I’ve got to see it started and stay there all day

 And all I get is two-hundred chips as monthly pay.


 The garden man is lucky; his work is done by four,

 And the plucking and the hoeing they worry him no more.

 But I’ve just got to carry on and work right up to ten,

 And start the morning after, at 3 a.m. again.


 Last week we had a thousand maunds, I had some work to do

 To wither and to roll it and to make tea of it too,

 Then the damned old engine broke, and the manager went mad,

 And I got the biggest telling off that I ever had.


  Still, I don’t mind the Manager’s telling’s off; he’s not too bad a chap,

 One starts to get excited when Calcutta starts to rap.

 And he always says he’s sorry, when he finds he’s gone too far,

 And makes it up in many ways when he buys a man a jar.


  So, things are not so bad you know, in their own peculiar way,

 We’ve got our job, and do it, though we don’t get too much pay.

 But someday I’ll be a Manager and get commission too,

 And have my car and horses on a very decent screw.


So, cheerio you teahouse blokes, and make your Crossley’s run,

 Though Factory life is boring, still there’s always lots of fun

To be had with your machinery, and if late the hours be,

 There’s always Kudos to be had in the making of good tea.