Going Back to Our Routes Ebrahim Ayoob Nalla 1943 – 2002

Contributed by: Ebrahim Ayoob Nalla

Photograph taken in Preston. Ebrahim Ayoob Nalla is the second man seated on the left.
Photograph taken in Preston. Ebrahim Ayoob Nalla is the second man seated on the left.

Ebrahim Nalla was born in Barbodhan. He came to England on 25 December 1962 on a Pan-American Airlines flight to London Heathrow via Rangoon, Burma. The ticket price was about £82 and was paid for by his father, who had his own aluminium pots/pans business.

Ebrahim was accompanied by an Abu Amirat, who settled in Preston. Their first week was spent in London at the home of an Abbas Tai and thereafter they travelled to Preston. Ebrahim’s first address was 12 Almond Street, Preston. A few months later he moved to 11 Prim Rose Hill, off London Road, a property owned by a Barbodhian, Mohammed Ali Ghanchi. Rent and lodgings at this place was £2 and 63 pence.

His first job was with Atkinson’s Bedding Furniture and he was the only Asian person at the firm. He worked there for about two and half years. His wages were £3 and 70 pence.

He then moved to Preston Docks working with metal shifting labour and stuck with this for about 1 year. The wages were £4.50 pence.

In 1967 he moved to Bolton. He lived at an address in Prim Rose Street, off Manchester Road. He worked for FA Shorrocks in a “drying machine” job. His wages were £5 per week with rent being paid at about £1 per week.

In 1968 he moved to Nottingham to look for other jobs as he and others were struggling to find suitable work in Bolton. Five months later he moved on to Walsall, as he had no luck in Bolton either. In Walsall he worked at a place called Metro Leyland (Darleston). His job title was universal grinder and pitter. His wages here was £11.32 and he only paid rent of about £1.25. He worked here until 1971 when the company went bust. As a result he was forced to return to Preston at a cotton factory where he was involved in winding. His wags were only £7 per week. He lived at 11 Prim Rose Hill.

Between 1972 and 1974 he worked at John Barnes Knitting factory where he earned at one time £34 per week during the miners strike. In 1973 he bought his first home in Preston at 40 Grafton Street.

In 1974 he went to India, and then moved to Bolton in 1976. His first job was in the Tootal Mills at Sunnyside. He lived at the address of Murhoom Tahir Hussain Ghanchi at Parliament Street. He lived here rent-free. In the same year in 1976 he bought his first property at 37 Gibbon Street, Bolton. This cost him £300 and consisted largely of his own savings. He lived here with his three children.

In 1978 he moved to 15 Howcroft Street, Bolton. He bought this house for £3,700. The family are still living at this address.

Generally speaking, Ebrahim thought that early days were hard work, the neighbours were very friendly where they looked out for each other and the doors were left unlocked at night.

Over the years he has been heavily involved in voluntary work and helped many families in their time of need, whether that be at funerals, weddings or other functions. Ebrahim was and still is one of the main cooks who spends countless hours preparing and cooking food for the many hundreds of people who attend community functions.