Going Back to Our Routes Ahmed Suleman Atcha 1939 – 2002


Contributed by: Ahmed Suleman Atcha

Photograph of Ahmed Suleman Atcha’s wedding
Photograph of Ahmed Suleman Atcha's wedding.

Ahmed Suleman Atcha left Barbodhan for Burma with fellow Barbodhians Murhoom Haroon Kasim Atcha and Hashim Yusuf Atcha. Ahmed arrived in England in 1962. Everything was prepared for him to come to the United Kingdom by his Uncle Murhoom Dawood Ghulam Nalla. The flight from Rangoon to London was with Pan American Airlines. Once in London the destination was Murhoom Haroon Mehmood Patel’s address in Preston; several Barbodhians were lodging at this property.

Ahmed lived in Preston until 1966 and during this period he worked at several places. Ahmed’s first job was at a carpet warehouse in Preston, followed by a sweet factory in Southport. Ahmed also worked at Joe & Bar in Preston. A typical wage for a week was £10.00 gross and £15.00 with overtime. He was working with fellow Barbodhians at the above places.

It was in 1965 that he got married by telegram. Fellow Barbodhians Murhoom Tahir Hussain Ghanchi and Murhoom Yusuf Hussain Ghanchi also got married about the same time.

In 1966 Ahmed moved to Bolton. By this time his wife had arrived from India. They lived in lodgings with a fellow Barbodhian and his family, who was, Murhoom Suleman Ismail Ghanchi in Bamber Street.

Also in 1966 he gained employment at Laburnum Mill in Atherton. Ahmed’s duties ranged from spinning, doffing and winding. Ahmed worked here until 1974. In 1966 he bought his first property at 5 Robert Stanley Street for £900.00, which was pretty steep for that time. The reason it was expensive was because it had an inside bathroom and a prefab kitchen. Ahmed said he got a corporation mortgage to pay for the property, which worked out cheaper.

The following Barbodhians lived in Robert Stanley Street from 1966-76. They were Murhoom Mohammad Moosa Atcha, Murhoom Ibrahim Eusoof Patel, Murhoom Abubakar Mohammad Adia and Murhoom Yusuf Dawood Kala. (May Allah reward them all with success in the hereafter). Robert Stanley Street was demolished in 1976.

In 1974, Ahmed went to India and stayed there for 18 months. He arrived back in the UK in 1976 just 3 months before his dad passed away. The main reason for him coming back was Murhoom Mohammad Ahmed Atcha informed him that his property at Robert Stanley Street was under notice for compulsory purchase by the council. He received £4000.00 for this property and bought a property for £6000.00 on View Street.

From 1976-92 he was in employment at the following Mills with fellow Barbodhians:
Million Mill in Leigh
Kelly Bright Mill in Tyldesley
Swan Lane Mill in Bolton
At the above places he worked on the nightshift in the winding section.

During this period he moved once more from View Street to Goldsmith Street.