National Launch of the Anglo Sikh Heritage Trail
2/7/2004 to 2/7/2004
On 2 July 2004, Home Office Minister Fiona MacTaggart launched the UK's first national heritage trail celebrating Anglo-Sikh history and culture. Hundreds of balloons were released from the Chillianwallah Memorial by children from St.Mary's School in North Kensington and Springwell Junior School in Hounslow while special guests invited from across the UK gathered to hear Indarjit Singh OBE deliver a special thought for the day. A message of support from the Prince of Wales was also read out at the commencement of the proceedings, held at the grounds of the Royal Hospital in Chelsea, which itself is an example of how Anglo Sikh heritage is being enhanced and represented through a variety of locations throughout the UK.
Dr Simon Thurley and Clara Arokiasamy, representing English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund, funding partners for the project, addressed the gathering. The British Library, British Museum, V&A and Wallace Collection were amongst the major national and regional organisations also represented at the event.
Harbinder Singh, Director of the project, added:
"Despite Sikhs' high visibility, what remains unknown about the community is the long and remarkable history which connects Sikhs to Britain. This website is a significant milestone in the promotion and preservation of Sikh Heritage in the UK".