silk river

Kidderpore & Tilbury


Partner: Jungle Crows

One of the oldest parts of Kolkata, Kidderpore has many legends associated with its name. Some attribute it to Khizr / Khidr being the guardian saint of the seas to the fishing communities of Bengal.

Another theory points out that the port probably got its name from Lord Kyde, a 19th-century engineer who designed and supervised the building of the lock gate that connects the nearby port to the Hoogly River.

Containers of all kinds and ships of various sizes can be seen in and around the docks area.This area is surrounded by many industries and factories including the Garden Reach Shipbuilders, which was founded in 1884 and is one of India’s leading shipyards.

The famed swing bridge and drawbridge here have withstood over a century of turning and opening to allow passage of big ships.

To honour the nearly 35000 Indian indentured workers who had migrated to Suriname, an aluminium statue of a plainly-dressed couple carrying a potli which symbolizes the first Indian man and woman to set foot on Suriname was set up as a memorial at one of the ghats. Walking along the ghats, it is common to see young boys playing cricket or flying kites. Many of them are also being trained in Rugby by Jungle Crows, an NGO that works on youth development through sports


Partner: Riverside Arts Activity Centre

In 1909 Tilbury became part of the newly established Port of London Authority with extensive facilities for handling the importation of paper, cars, grain and other bulk cargoes. Tilbury Fort was completed in 1682 as a vital defense against the river trade route and is identical to the later built Fort William, Kolkata. Tilbury Riverside Project was started in 1992 by a Tilbury man named Peter Hewitt who wanted to help create civic pride for Tilbury. The past twenty years has seen the project grow into a well known and respected charity. The project has a great team of volunteers and a project manager. They all work together to hold events in Tilbury including the switching on of the Christmas lights in the town’s Civic square. The Tilbury and Chadwell memories website which started four years ago, currently has a large audience and ‘hits’ of 500 approx per week. The project also runs a programme of Heritage Guided Walks and is in the fourth year of various walks around the Thurrock area. Every summer the project works with Thurrock Council to hold a Summer Family Fest for the community. Hundreds of people attend this event.

The Tilbury Riverside Project are involved in the Silk River project as it has connections that are important to the people of Tilbury. With the Port of Tilbury and the Bata factory there are many of the community that would be interested in the Silk River and the ‘twinning’ of the towns.

We hope that the project will educate people both here in the UK and India about each other and their cultures. By working together and learning about different ways of life will bring some tolerance and understanding.