Patel first arrived in Coventry in 1955 and came to Cheltenham a
was a skilled man and quickly found employment at Dowty Rotol. He
lived in a hostel during the week and at the weekend he would travel
to Coventry to stay with some friends.
he knew that he had found a suitable job and was settled, he then
sent for his family.
travelled from India to England with her two children. Naran aged
10, and Savitaben aged six years old. They
all travelled on an END Liner, steamer boat.
recalls that it took 15 days to travel to England and that there
were a lot of families travelling on the boat. They were well looked
after while they were on the boat, being provided with Indian food
which was nice to have.
remembers that there was a lot of ice in the water. The weather
was also very cold - something she was not used to.
arrived in London with her children on the 28th February 1961. She
found it overwhelming to travel alone with her children. Her husband
met them and brought them back to Cheltenham - and she was believed
to be the very first Indian lady to come to the town.
and her son Naran - he was 10 when she travelled by boat to
school in Cheltenham their eldest daughter Naranbhai got an apprenticeship
in Dowty for four years and then went to university and managed
to gain a degree.
younger daughter Savitaben gained her nursing qualification and
pursued a career in midwifery, she is now a manager.
couple had two other children - one born in the Victoria Hospital
and the other in St Paul's Hospital.
remembers that people were very welcoming and nice when she was
trying to settle in Cheltenham. She would often get lost in town
but people would escort her back home even though she could not
were always police walking in the street which would also help as
well. She bought Indian groceries from a man who used to come from
See 'The Hindu Community'