British Ugandan Asians at 50
Highlighting the experience of British Ugandan Asians in and after 1972, and the many volunteers who helped them.
Click on the links below to view our oral history interviews and films about the different resettlement camps we are focussing on. All our events will be recorded, and can be seen on our YouTube Channel.
British Ugandan Asians at 50 is an oral history project primarily aimed at capturing the recollections of those who volunteered to help with the reception of Asians from Uganda during the crucial early months after their arrival in the UK.
BUA50 is recording, on video, the stories of surviving volunteers and paid staff from three reception camps: Tonfanau in Wales, Stradishall in Suffolk, and Heathfield in Devon. The volunteers formed part of an extraordinary response involving 63 voluntary organisations that, at its peak, staffed sixteen reception and resettlement camps across the UK.
They worked tirelessly with the Government’s specially created Uganda Resettlement Board to welcome and facilitate the arrival of more than 28,000 Asians from Uganda. In addition, BUA50 is interviewing camp residents, key surviving individuals and leaders of the British Ugandan Asian Community.
The programmes titled ‘Ugandan Journeys’ is a three series set of video programmes to document the stories. Followed with this we have an additional series of six programmes ‘Ugandan Diaries’ which highlights certain themes and additional content linked to the Ugandan experience.
This oral history project – British Ugandan Asians at 50 (BUA50.ORG) – is the production of the India Overseas Trust with the support of The National Lottery Heritage Fund. It is an integral part of British volunteering heritage and an extraordinary historical episode that helped shape modern Britain’s diversity.
Click to advance to section
Series 1 (11 Episodes)
UGANDAN JOURNEYS STRADISHALL
Stradishall Resettlement Camp, Suffolk.
PART 1: Stradishall Insight
The Stradishall resettlement camp in Suffolk was used primarily as a holding camp, to which the expellees were brought after arrival at Stansted and before being sent to other camps or found homes in the local area. It was one of the last camps to close. Located on a former RAF base, it is now the site of a prison and a police training centre. Introduced by Warwick Hawkins MBE with a series of insights from Stradishall interviewees.
PART 2: Deborah Sheridan
Deborah Sheridan is the daughter of the headteacher of a school set up at short notice to educate Ugandan Asian children at Stradishall.
PART 3: Professor Akbar Vohra
Professor Akbar Vohra was a child at Stradishall and is now a respected medical professional and academic in Manchester.
PART 4: Sheila Bailey
Sheila Bailey taught arts and crafts to Ugandan Asian children as a volunteer at Stardishall, and forged lifelong friendships with some of her students.
PART 5: Mayur Seta
Mayur Seta was a child at the camp and is now a qualified accountant and a member of the BUA50 team.
PART 6: Penny Bayman
Penny Bayman was a member of the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service, responsible for allocating accommodation at Stradishall.
PART 7: Vanisha Sparks
Vanisha Sparks is a third generation Ugandan Asian; her family were all resident at Stradishall and still live in the Council house which they were given in 1973.
PART 8: Alan Cordy
Alan Cordy is a local resident in Suffolk and remembers the impact that the Ugandan Asians at Stradishall made on the local area.
PART 9: Harish Mandalia
Harish Mandalia was a young man at Stradishall and is now a successful consultant and company director in London.
PART 10: Stephen Poulton
Stephen Poulton is a retired police officer who, as a police cadet at Stradishall, was assigned to staff the telephone switchboard.
Series 2 (10 Episodes)
UGANDAN JOURNEYS TOFANAU
Tonfanau Resettlement Camp, Wales.
PART 1: Tofanau Insight
The Uganda Resettlement Board’s only resettlement centre outside England is located at Tonfanau, a former Army base on the cost of Meirionydd (then Merionethshire) in Mid Wales. Travel by train to this remote spot took as long as 10 hours and the near-derelict camp needed intense effort by Army troops and local volunteers to make it ready for the expellees. Introduced by Warwick Hawkins MBE with a series of insights from Tonfanau interviewees.
PART 2: Sharon Williams
Sharon Williams was a schoolgirl in Tywyn when the Ugandan Asians arrived, she and her family volunteered at Tonfanau camp.
PART 3: Praful Purohit
Praful Purohit was a resident of Tonfanau as a young man and is now retired after a successful career in the aerospace industry in London.
PART 4: Ron Isles
Ron Isles and his wife Angela were members of the Round Table and volunteered to make the Tonfanau camp ready for the expellees.
PART 5: Anna Davies
Anna Davies volunteered to assist the women residents of the Tonfanau with learning English and becoming familiar with British culture.
PART 6: John Raghooba
John Raghoobar, now Mayor of Dolgellau, volunteered as a young man to assist the army in restoring basic services at Tonfanau.
PART 7: Gwen & Gerald Stevens
Gwen Stevens volunteered as a nurse at Tonfanau, her husband Gerald gave Ugandan Asians work experience in their hotel.
Series 4 (6 Episodes)
A series of programmes examining specific themes and content from additional sources.
Part 1: Mihir Patel
An interview with Mihir Patel.
Part 3: Ashak Nathwani
The man who was made stateless until Australia took him. His family was split, with people going to the UK, Canada, India and USA.
Last modified: 10th August 2022