National Launch of the Anglo Sikh Heritage TrailDate: Monday, 05 July, 2004
On July 2nd 2004, Home Office Minister, Fiona MacTaggart MP, 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, Hounslow. Specially invited guests from throughout the UK gathered to hear Indarjit Singh OBE deliver a specially commissioned ‘Thought for the Day'.
A message of support from the office of the Prince of Wales was read out at the commencement of the proceedings.
The launch was specifically held in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea as an ideal example of how Anglo Sikh heritage is represented through 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 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".