Date:  2009


In This Issue

  • Vaisakhi 2009
  • The Clash of Steel
  • 200th Anniversary
  • Journeys through History
  • NVQ's for all

Please forward this to your colleagues and friends. If you are reading a copy, CLICK HERE to subscribe directly

Vaisakhi 2009
Sikh martial art display & Bhangra display at The New Art Gallery Walsall
Over 1,700 people, including many families, attended the Vaisakhi (Sikh New Year) celebrations at The New Art Gallery Walsall on Saturday 18 April 2009.

ASHT was one of the many participants in this fantastic free event giving a gallery talk on the background of Vaisakhi and an introduction to the Anglo Sikh relationship.

The day also included an exciting programme of Bhangra and Giddah dance performances (Punjabi dance) as well as a spectacular display of the Sikh martial art, Gatka. There was live music with tabla and sitar players as well as traditional storytelling sessions and family friendly workshops during the day. Visitors also had the opportunity to find out more about the Anglo Sikh relationship, artefacts that form part of the trail and how to get involved with ASHT.

Ioannis Ioannou, Audience Development Curator at the Gallery says, "It had been a fantastic and highly successful event that not only showcased the best of the Sikh heritage and culture but linked beautifully the rich traditions of Sikhism and its long lasting relationship with England, and how the two cultures influenced each other. And that was the great contribution of the Anglo Sikh Heritage Trial on the day."

The Clash of Steel
 Painting of the Battle of Ferozeshah.Courtesy Staffordshire Regimental Museum
As part of the many Vaisakhi celebrations that were taking place nationwide, ASHT gave an illustrated talk at Singh Sabha Gurudwara Hounslow on The Anglo Sikh Wars (1845-1849) 

The lecture, by MDSCT Trustee and Sikh Historian Sarinjit Bahia, was part of a series of events at the Gurudwara to mark both Vaisakhi and 160 Years of Anglo Sikh History following the end of the Anglo Sikh Wars. These included lectures and displays including ‘From Jawans to Generals', a photographic exhibition on the contribution of Sikh soldiers during the two World Wars.

Watch the video of the lecture here!

For further information on the  Anglo Sikh Wars and to see a recommended reading list please visit

200th Anniversary
Maharajah Ranjit Singh being shown a map of India by a European

April 25th 2009 marked 200 years since the signing of the Treaty of Amritsar 1809.  This Treaty between the East India Company and Maharajah Ranjit Singh signed on 25th April 1809, was to have a huge impact on Anglo Sikh relations in the first part of the 19th Century.

In a letter dated 30th August 1847 Maharani Jind Kaur would protest to the then British Resident Sir Henry Lawrence:

"Well has the friendship between the two nations been repaid? I have lost my honour and you your word"

The friendship to which she refers in this incisive and bold letter was enshrined in the 1809 Treaty. Drafted 200 years ago when the Sikh Empire was at its zenith the agreement would set the borders between the two powers. Her husband Maharajah Ranjit Singh would apply his seal.

For him it was a way of avoiding conflict. For the British it was a way of buying time as they consolidated their presence elsewhere before turning to what would be the "jewel" in the Imperial crown.

Read more on the Treaty of Amritsar 1809 here

Journeys through History
Scottish Sikh Heritage Tour Flyer
This July ASHT Tours brings you two unique glimpses of Anglo Sikh and Scottish Sikh Heritage. These guided tours will take you on a Journey through the shared heritage which is present in locations across the British Isles.

The Scottish Sikh Heritage Tour begins on 1st July with the first stop at Kenmore Churchyard the resting place of Maharajah Duleep Singh's infant son. The tour will continue until 7th of July and will include a lecture by a member of the Rattray Clan, a chance to see traditional Scottish Highland Games, visits to Stirling Castle, Edinburgh Castle and many other locations.

Last years highly successful Inaugural Sikh Heritage Tour organised in conjunction with will be repeated this year between 8th-15th of July and will take guests to many of England's landmark monuments & buildings which have often hidden connections to the Sikhs.

'I treasured the visits to all the museums and the special treatment we received. We got to see and touch many rare treasures of the Sikh Kingdom, that most people do not even know exist'.Gurpreet Singh

For further information & to see a short documentary on the Inaugural Sikh Heritage Tour visit

NVQ's for all
V & A Logo

The Victoria and Albert Museum are offering NVQ level training for people interested in learning more about the heritage sector. This Accredited Assessment Centre offers a variety of courses some specifically related to the Heritage sector and others more general such as Business administration.

For further information and to find out how your course could be subsidised call the V & A Training & Development Team on 0207 942 2940 or email

ASHT Contacts
Media Relations:
Telephone: 0845 600 1893
© Copyright 2009. Anglo Sikh Heritage Trail. All Rights Reserved.