“Kenya achieved independence and there was excitement all round that if people didn’t accept Kenya’s citizenship, then they would have to move out. And and because I had British citizenship, I I had to make choices. And the choice was that I either go to India, or come over here to the UK. And my father didn’t encourage me to come to India because there wasn’t much that I could do there… Because I was alien to India myself, I hadn’t visited, the better prospect for me was to come over here.”
Uttambhai came to Bolton in 1967, from Kenya and started his career in the textile industry.
In this interview from 2001, he tells us about his early years in Kenya, how he arrived at Heathrow with no one to meet him, made his own way to Bolton, struggled with the cold, and found work, starting initially as a labourer at a mill in Pendlebury.
He made friends through his colleagues in the cotton mills and the Asian community, whilst fighting to find a job suitable to his qualifications, eventually joining Inland Revenue and rising through the levels.
He also speaks about his extensive voluntary work within different communities in Bolton.
The North West Sound Archive have kindly made this interview available from the One Hundred Years in Worktown collection.