This timeline was originally written as part of the ‘Asian Activism in Nottingham’ project in 2018. This project was exhibited at Primary in June 2018. 


1892 : Ujagar Singh Father of Nottingham resident, Pushkar Lail. He was frequently away from home and in prison, due to his involvement in the Satyagreh – Quit India Movement. Later, like many Indians, he became a member of the Communist Part of India. His family reside in Sherwood, Nottingham.






1902: Raleigh advert featuring His Highness the Kumar Rajah of Bobbili used in the 1902 Raleigh catalogue






1918 : Some 1.3 million Indian soldiers who fought in the WW1, of whom 400,000 were Muslim. In World War Two, about 2.5 million Indian soldiers took part, including 600,000 Muslims. Dulmial village in Punjab – then part of British India – sent 460 of its men to fight in WW1, the largest number from any village in South Asia. They included relatives of Nottingham resident, Dr Irfan Malik. The photograph shows his great-grandfathers, Subedar Mohammed Khan and Capt Ghulam Mohammad. You can follow Dr Malik’s journey at @dr_irfanmalik




1931: Gandhi visited Nottingham in 1931 during his tour of Britain. The tour went around the UK raising awareness for Indian independence. He had met the Prime Minister shortly before his visit to Nottingham. His visit to Nottingham included a visit to see his nephew, JV Joshi, a student at University College – forerunner of the University of Nottingham.





1941 :For many men who came to Britain in the 1940s and 1950s, they left an India with a post Independence optimism. The photograph shows Nottingham resident, Mr Bedi skating in Simla, where he attended the local University.






1954: When workers came to the UK, they faced widespread discrimination and “colour bars” which prevented them entering some pubs, clubs and other facilities. They often had to take the dirty jobs, and the night shifts. This is one of many news stories in the Nottingham Post about racism within the workplace.

1958: On 23rdAugust, 1958 tensions between white, Black and Asian erupted. An incident in a pub in the St. Ann’s district acted as the catalyst to previously suppressed brutality. Eyewitness accounts differ in their memory of exact events, but all place a racially mixed relationship at the centre of the evening’s troubles. Violence lasted for many hours and comprised attacks between the white and Asian and Black communities. The Nottingham Evening Post, wrote that “the whole place was like a slaughterhouse.”  One of the main alleged perpetrators of the riots was St Anne’s resident, Boston Din. He had lived in St Anne’s after arriving from Pakistan in 1946. He was arrested, but later released without charge.



1965 : Marriage photograph of Mr and Mrs Mohindra on their wedding day. The family was forced to leave Kenya in 1965. Mrs Mohindra came initially arrived in the UK alone, with her three children, but without her husband, after immigration rules prevented him from travelling with his wife. The late 1960s was a hostile period from Black and Asian people. The 1968 Immigration reclassified people from the Commonwealth countries in two groups. Those from ‘new’ commonwealth, such as Australia and Canada, and those from old’ commonwealth such as India, Pakistan and the Caribbean. The 1971 Immigration Act went further and required all people from the ‘old’ commonwealth to prove they had lived and worked in the UK for at least 5 years. The recent Windrush cases comes after this law from 1971 was implemented in the more recent ‘hostile’ immigration environment.

1961 : Many of the early arrivals shared lodgings around Radford, and St Anne’s. This photograph of Asian pedlars was taken near Derby Road in 1961.





1968: 1968 was a time of change across the UK. In the aftermath of murder of Martin Luther King, Enoch Powell’s speech, and student riots in Paris, the Mayday parade in Nottingham became a place where revolution, racism and radical politics was vocal. Student leader, Tariq Ali spoke in Nottingham in 1968.






1969: Local resident, and IWA member, Chanchal Singh ran a library from his home in West Bridgford. It had one of the largest collection of Urdu, Punjabi and Hindi books spanning politics, art, literature and poetry. The library was rehoused in Birmingham after his death.

1970: The 1970 South African Springbok rugby tour in the UK was disrupted by an anti-Apartheid demonstration across the country. The team was made up entirely of Afrikaners, and became a symbol of the apartheid regime. Once the tour was announced local activists from Nottingham stage a protest at Trent Bridge.

1973 : Headline from ‘Black Peoples Freedom Movement’ weekly in support of the Pakistani Crepe workers in Lenton.






1976 :Following the racist murder of Gurdip Singh Chagger, in Southall 1976, a second generation of Asian activist began to form Asian Youth movements. These sprang up in Southall, East London, Brick Lane, Bradford, Birmingham, Leicester, and Sheffield. The Asian Youth Movement was established in Nottingham by Parbinder Singh.





1980 : In 1979 Anwar Ditta, born in Birmingham and brought up in Rochdale, was told that her three Pakistan-born children would not be allowed to join her and their father in England. After a year of legal battles and campaigns, the family all had blood tests in an attempt to prove the truth.  Faced with what had become a cause célèbre, the immigration service backed down and, in 1981, allowed Anwar to bring her children home to Rochdale. A meeting to support the campaign was held in Nottingham in 1980.





1988 : Apnar Arts, developed from the work of the Nottingham Asian Youth movement. This extract comes from the brochure for the first Mela held August 1988. The was the first Mela ever held in the UK.






2017 : Although there have been many improvements over the past 40 years, the post Brexit and anti Islamic climate has led to a recent surge in racist attacks, both in Nottingham and across the UK. This photograph was taken inside the house of victim of racist attack in West Bridgford, Nottingham 2017.