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Old Kenilworth Hotel The Bank of Bengal Building
Sailor Home, Calcutta - Legend of The Lost
2131    Dibyendu Banerjee    14/05/2019

During the 19th and 20th centuries, most of the major seaports around the world were equipped with provisions for temporary lodging arrangements for the tired seamen. An Institution named, ‘The Sailor's Home’ made these arrangements for the officers and the ordinary crew members, specifically for the benefit of the British Mercantile Marine or British Merchant Marine.

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Those poor mariners had to sail months after months on the wide, wide sea, leaving their loving families ashore and travel around the world, while facing the uncertain adversities of the turbulent ocean. They did it for their livelihood and for the benefit of their country. Undoubtedly, they played a significant role and contributed a lot to the increase of commerce of the British Empire. In general, they carried tea from China and various spices from different parts of the Orient to their country.

Sailor's Home - Late 1870s
Sailor's Home - Late 1870s

The Sailor's Home in Calcutta, an asylum for the destitute seamen, was initially situated at 12 Strand Road, the site of the present Metcalfe Hall, facing the River Hoogly.

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After some time, probably after 1839, the home was shifted to another building, located at the crossing of Strand Road and Hare Street. Unfortunately, due to negligence and lack of maintenance, the building became dilapidated in the late 19th century, when it was pulled down and replaced by the Magistrate’s Court. There ends the story of the Sailor’s Home in Calcutta and soon it became a forgotten chapter in the history of the city.

Sailor's Home, Strand Road - Probably 1970
Sailor's Home, Strand Road - Probably 1970
Old Kenilworth Hotel The Bank of Bengal Building
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Author Details
Dibyendu Banerjee
Ex student of Scottish Church College. Served a Nationalised Bank for nearly 35 years. Authored novels in Bengali. Translated into Bengali novels/short stories of Leo Tolstoy, Eric Maria Remarque, D.H.Lawrence, Harold Robbins, Guy de Maupassant, Somerset Maugham and others. Also compiled collections of short stories from Africa and Third World. Interested in literature, history, music, sports and international films.
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