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Whose Town? Bachan Kharbanda

Whose Town? Bachan Kharbanda
Whose Town? Bachan Kharbanda
Whose Town? was an educational resource built on the heritage collections of the City of Edinburgh. It was developed by Edinburgh City Libraries in partnership with Edinburgh Museums and Galleries and Edinburgh City Archives. The resource was launched in 2011 and unfortunately is no longer available in its original format, however, we have created exhibitions here on Capital Collections to provide schools with access to even more material and to allow a wider audience access to the fascinating stories told in Whose Town?

We are also working on recreating the life stories as digital trails on Our Town Stories.

Whose Town? looks at Edinburgh from 1850 - 1959 to discover the city's past through the lives of the people who lived there. We have used people who lived in Victorian times, at the beginning of the twentieth century, during the Second World War and in the Fifties. There are fourteen lives to discover as well as exhibitions about each of the four eras.

Bachan was born in Rawalpindi and claims to have started the first Indian boutique in the UK. He came to Scotland on the recommendation of his father, and went to study in Glasgow. He ran out of money and so started his own business. His business developed from the import of Indian handicrafts and he opened his first shop in Glasgow. An opportunity came to lease premises in the newly developed Canongate area of Edinburgh and Bachan's shop "Eastern Crafts" opened in 1959. This was immediately a success and hit the newspaper headlines.

Bachan's exhibition includes images of the Canongate before and after its redevelopment and architectural drawings of the new housing plans. There are also business stationery, images of the advertising car and examples of the types of handicrafts found at Eastern Crafts.

Find out more about life in Edinburgh in the 1950s.

Whose town? was supported by funding from The Heritage Lottery Fund.