Exhibits are Batley’s jewel in the crown

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A new exhibition about Britain’s historical relationship with India opens in Batley this weekend.

The Bagshaw Museum will host India’s Gateway, which charts the centuries-old trade and migration links with the state of Gujurat and the metropolis of Mumbai.

British ships first landed in Gujurat in 1608, and their arrival would go on to strongly influence the fabric of modern Britain.

The displays include photography and film by Tim Smith, which present a vivid portrait of modern India and the city of Mumbai, together with historical objects and images from the colonial era supplied from Kirklees museum collections and the local British Indian community.

The exhibition has been organised in conjunction with Oriental Arts, based in Bradford, and has been funded by Arts Council England. A programme of special events at the museum will accompany it until September 23.

Children can try Indian block printing, Gujurati puppet making and storytelling on August 16 and 23. Both activities are suitable for ages 5-12 and cost just £1 per child.

On September 3 there will be a Carrom tournament, when all ages can play a traditional Indian table game similar to billiards. Experts will be on hand to teach people the rules.

There will also be a Bollywood Film Weekend, with sing-along screenings of classic Indian cinema, including Piku and Chillar Party. Discussions follow the films. Showings are free but places must be pre-booked.

Budding writers can also enter a poetry competition for both children and adults on the theme ‘Ships and Sailing’. Entries should be about the links between the UK and India, and the Batley Gujurati Poets will judge alongside local writer Adam Strickson.

Poems should be emailed to bagshaw.museum@kirklees.gov.uk or posted to Bagshaw Museum, Wilton Park, Batley, WF17 0AS before August 19.