1960 The University of Bristol Trans-Continental Expedition 1960 - 61
arrived in India after six weeks driving across Europe and the Middle East. Six
graduates each with different study tasks were guests for two months in the small
village of Pusegaon on the Deccan plateau about 131 miles [210 kms] in a straight
line south east of Mumbai [then known as Bombay]. The Pusegaon population was
around 2,500 and the team was soon known to the entire village. Malcolm McKernan
wrote newspaper features. Donald Pilton was the medical officer. Don worked alongside
the local doctor. Peter Krinks a geographer had made the first link with the village
via the Ghokale Institute of Politics and Economics in Pune [then known as Poona].
Peter worked with Roger Tutt who had studied economics. Tony Morrison was photographer
and film-maker while Mark Howell was the engineer who kept the vehicles going.
1998 - Almost forty years later Dhananjay Jadhav, who was a schoolboy in 1960
had risen through the ranks of the Indian Police Service to become Commissioner
and Special IG in Mumbai. One day in Pusegaon he was talking with his son Ajay
and trying to describe what life had been like in the village. He recalled earth
roads, intermittent electricity, no running water, just one small school and frequent
problems with the harvests. Dhananjay also remembered the university team and
wondered what had become of their studies, their films and photographs. Dhananjay
decided to write to the Registrar at the university and a letter was published
in the university alumni magazine 'Nonesuch' no direct connection with
Nonesuch Expeditions except by the name 'Nonesuch' usthe
The flower of Bristol. -Dhananjay Jadhav explained..."'I am
very interested in receiving copies of any films or reports that were made. Village
life is now very different from those days"
March 1999 - Miles
Stevenson from the university's development office located Tony Morrison through
the Alumni database. Tony then wrote to Dhananjay Jadhav. An initial exchange
of letters grew to a folder of correspondence, photographs and the plan for a
return to Pusegaon. Dhananjay on behalf of other citizens of Pusegaon sent an
informal invitation to the team . "Come as soon as you can and please bring
your wives". .None had been back to the village
in the forty years and several of the team had retired from their various professions.
Roger and Tony met in London in January 2000 and concluded that November was the
best time for a visit. Of the original six only three could make the 'return'
and on 20th November 2001 Roger and Gwen [also a Bristol graduate] with Tony and
Marion left London for Mumbai. .At midnight in Sahar
International airport they met Peter and Vera who had just arrived from Sydney,
Australia where they live. The six spent one day in Mumbai to rest and enjoy some
gentle sightseeing, before the 'official' Reunion 2000. The folowing day a car
and driver took them on the six hour journey to Satara, the nearest town to Pusegaon
with an hotel.
In 1960 the team had been given lodging in Government
Bungalows in Koregaon and Aundh, small villages close to Pusegaon. The team's
two Austin four wheel drive 'Gipsies' were a familiar sight on the connecting
'routes' - paved roads did not exist. Visits to Koregaon and Aundh were added
to the Return itinerary.