June – October 2018

Continuing with our series of visits to Buckingham Palace. A princes Tour of India 1875-6 and four centuries of paintings and manuscripts.

We departed Wolverhampton station at 7.23 navigated by my 4 year old grandson. He somehow knew we were going on a long train journey and was equally excited to come along. After bidding Ethan (grandson) and my wife Christine farewell, off we went.

A busy schedule ahead. West Midland to London train exceptionally busy this morning. We have a nice hot cup of coffee to comfort us.

2 hours and 50 mins later we arrive at Euston station. Then making a dash for the bus to Victoria. This time we’re prepared with our 2 separate contactless cards for the bus tickets. Still can’t fathom why we can’t book 2 tickets on the single card.

We prefer catching the bus than the underground as it takes us via the famous Oxford Street, Marble Arch, on to park lane, past the Dorchester, and Hilton Hotels. And of course Harrods. Still no time to stop and pop in for a morning coffee. Heading straight to Victoria.

With my upgraded my mobile phone charger, to a more heavy duty one, allowing us to continuously have a supply of charge , don’t won’t to lose power whilst using google maps, in London of all places…

So, welcomed with a rainy morning and dashing for the number 390 bus (at stand H) on the Euston Road. As we can see the 390 to Victoria in the distance.

We’re able to text back to our group in Wolverhampton as they follow us throughout the day.

We’re traveling along Oxford Street approaching Tottenham Court Road. Passing the Dominion Theatre currently showing Bat out of Hell. Oxford Street less busy than usual (rain) approaching Oxford Circus. And Regent Street by John Lewis. Reassuring us with familiar landmarks-

On the corner of Marble Arch.

Leading to Selfridges feeling quite parched would love to pop in for a good old fashioned cuppa. But we must press on.

Arriving at the queens Gallery, we were chuffed that Lucy Ann Gray (Services Manager, Buckingham Palace,  recognises us in the queue, then came over to have a chat. After been greeted by ”Good morning, Gurmeet – We have a special treat for you today, Emily Hannan the Exhibition Curator is waiting to meet you! So when you’ve checked in I’ll introduce you to her.”

Interviewing Emily Hannan senior Curator and specialist in rare and exotic paintings from India since 1603 was indeed fascinating. These paintings have never been on public display and never will be again. So yes, a rare opportunity.

We exchanged emails for any future consultations about the splendours of the Indian exhibition.

As we exited the building still raining we sheltered under a bus shelter (raining) and had a quick sandwich waiting for the 390 back towards Euston station, then a little further onto the British Library.

We’re in the St Johns Ritblat Gallery.

The treasures Gallery

Art of the Book

Discover the stories that shape the World. A glorious collection of ancient manuscripts. Will have to revisit as were short of time.

On the 3rd floor Asian and African Studies

Ext 7866 from reference enquiries.

Persian and Urdu Manuscripts

Dr Saqib Baburi


A wonderful gentleman from Birmingham and he commutes every day

Please take time to listen to the audio clip below:

So, arriving at Sohas. 3 talks. About the Sikh Empire.

A audio clip of 2 unfortunately we now have to leave for our train, with 20 minutes to spare!


What an amazing find. Mr Toor is a private collector of All things related to Sikh Art, paintings artefacts and objects.Mr Toor has featured on the BBC Sikh Empire documentary. And has purchased and saved our Cultural heritage from disappearing into private collections for ever. He has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds securing our Sikh heritage. I was browsing the many books on display from Sikh authors. Davinder Toors book Empire of the Sikhs was also on display. Enquiringly as to the author the celebrated Davindwr Toor is one and the same. I couldn’t believe I was actually meeting this gentleman. He had on display a limited edition (500} magnificently displayed ornamental in appearance. I was introduced to him just before the talk and lecture by Neil Carlton specialist in Sikh artillery- from the V&A

Upon enquiry about the purchase price. £150. Fully appreciating the value of this magnificent boo, boy really able to afford it. Mr Toor enquires about our interest in the Sikh Empire. After showing him our website and the projects funded by the National lottery and the Heritage Lottery Fund, European Social Fund, and the community work in tackling and reducing isolation. With the Ethnic minority groups. Connecting stories and celebrating Cultural Arts and festivals. in Wolverhampton. He gifted us 2 books both signed by him. Please see the photographs.

We were literally blown away. Left speechless.

We quickly sent the photographs back to our group back in w-Ton. They all suggested that we have a lecture/Talk celebrating this beautiful gift to Cultural Arts CIC.

What a beautiful end to the day. We now head back to Euston station left in awe of this fantastic experience of generosity from an amazing human being.