Going Back to Our Routes Suleman Dawood Nalla 1939 – 2002

Contributed by: Suleman Dawood Nalla

Photograph taken in Preston. Suleman Dawood Nalla is seated on the far right.
Photograph taken in Preston. Suleman Dawood Nalla is seated on the far right.

Suleman Dawood Nalla left Rangoon on the 21 June 1962. It took him 2 days before he got to London. The reason for this was that the flight from Rangoon was to Bangkok with Thai Airways and then he went from Bangkok to Paris via Calcutta, Bombay and Karachi with Trans World Airlines. It was with Air France that he made his final part of the journey from Paris to London. Once in London he made his way to Euston to catch a train to Preston and arrived at 11 Primrose Hill where he met up with fellow Barbodhians.

Suleman arrived just before visas were introduced for people coming to England from India. They came in to operation from about the 1 July 1962. His first job was at Preston Docks at a general warehouse company and the job was hard as it involved a lot of physical work. He left after a fortnight. He registered with the employment services where he received £3.35 if the landlord showed that he was paying £1.00 rent. If he paid less rent the amount of dole money would have been reduced.

In 1963 he moved to Gloucester to join up with his uncles, Murhoom Haroon Kassim Atcha and Murhoom Ibrahim Kassim Atcha. He worked at a local plastic company specialising in plastic covers. Within a year he came back to Preston and worked at the following places:
AS Orr Mill, Bamber Bridge
Joe & Bar Mill, Preston
Ribble Leather, Preston

He moved back to Gloucester to support his uncle run the grocery/halal butchers shop. It was at this time that he felt that he wanted to come to Bolton where there was a growing Barbodhan community. When he arrived in Bolton, fellow Barbodhian Abdul Hamid Mohammad Atcha got him a job at Sap UK Limited in Farnworth. He also worked at Laburnum Mill, Atherton with other fellow Barbodhians. It was during this period that he was lodging at fellow Barbodhian Yakub Ismail Adia’s house. Suleman went to India to get married, which was in September 1967, and by this time he had become a British Citizen.

When he came back from India in October 1968, he had a wife and child with him. They lived temporarily at Gibbon Street and the property belonged to Suleman Ibrahim Atcha, his father in law. He bought a property in 1969 on Gilbert Street for £450.00. In the same year he got a job at Alder Spinning Company in Leigh in the winding section. He worked there until 1975, then he went to Canada. Also during this period he sold the property at Gilbert Street for £950.00 and bought a property on Maybank Street for £1600.00. This property had an inside bathroom and toilet, which was a luxury in those days. The whole property had an electric line but no gas; fellow Barbodhian Murhoom Isaac Ibrahim Atcha supplied the gas line for him. The family stayed here until 1975. He sold the property to fellow Barbodhian Murhoom Mohammed Jeewa (Maurisia Mota) for £2500.00.

The family moved to Canada in 1975. During this period Canada’s immigration system was relaxed and they were accepting immigrants especially from the commonwealth countries. He made an application to call his brother Iqbal Dawood Nalla from Barbodhan but this did not work out and the family returned back to England after 14 months. It was during this period that several Barbodhians moved to Canada.

When they came back they stayed at Suleman Ibrahim Atcha’s property, his father in law, on Deane Road for some time. He then bought a property on View Street for £3000.00, paid £2000.00 in cash and the balance was paid by monthly instalments. Later on he exchanged this property with his father in law who had a smaller property on Howcroft Street who also paid him cash on top.

From 1976-1990 he worked at the following places with fellow Barbodhians:
1976-78 Howe Bridge Mill, Atherton
1978-89 Kelly Bright Mill, Tyldesley
1989-92 Swan Lane Mill, Bolton

In 1989 the family moved from Howcroft Street, which was under notice for compulsory purchase and ready to be demolished. They then moved to 8 Hopefield Street, Bolton which is their current address.