The Punjab to Coventry

Sathnam Singh Gill was born in 1944 in the Punjab and moved to Coventry in 1962.

Hilary: Okay. When, can you remember your journey? How did you travel from India to England?

Sathnam: Well, flew aeroplane, from Punjab I catch train to Delhi, from Delhi I was, had a ticket in Air Italia, Italy’s airline and I went to Delhi to Pakistan on PAA, from Karachi to here on Air Italia airline. From London unfortunately nobody here to take me there. Somebody gone early was a strike post office strike or some sort of problem was down there or the aeroplane was late eight hours so my brother-in-law sent somebody to fetch me from airport and he waited and come back. When I come in the airport I was shocked, nobody there to receive me so I didn’t know what to do. But I could speak English then I asked people outside, “I want to go to Coventry and I want to go to station.” They were asking the question, “What station?” Said I, “I don’t know what station”, because you know there were so many stations in London. And then unfortunately I seen one of the [inaudible] he said, “You come from India?” I said, “Yes I come from India,” I said, “I want to go to Coventry, could you help me and tell me where I can go to?” Then he guide me to catch the bus from Heathrow airport to Victoria. I come to Victoria station from there I catch a taxi to Euston. Couldn’t believe it, I had three pound fifty in my pocket, this is Sterling [interviewer intimates yes] I catch a bus from there plus a taxi, the taxi to there then I come to Coventry station and I catch a taxi when I come home I was going to pay the money, my brother-in-law’s older brother he come out, he says, “Leave it, you ain’t got that much I’ll pay it.” I said, “No I have enough” because it was still on the meter. I still got ten shillings left in my pocket when I paid him [both laugh].

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