Archive / Papers / Blackwell Papers


Given by Mrs Leila Phillips (nee Blackwell).

Small Collections Box 4

  1. Memoir: ‘A Year in the Gilgit Agency’. 130pp, typescript, with xerox reproductions of photographs.
    Miss Blackwell spent a year in the Gilgit Agency between September 1929 and August 1930 when she stayed with Captain Arthur Lloyd and his wife Lucy. Captain Lloyd, evidently an Army Officer, had been posted to Gilgit.
    Miss Blackwell provides a vivid and detailed account of the outward journey through the mountains from Bandipur to Gilgit. This took two weeks and was fraught with a considerable number of physical hazards. On arrival she was impressed with the size of Gilgit and she found there were many social activities, particularly riding and polo. She describes a durbar held for neighbouring rajas which involved various formal ceremonies including a parade of the Frontier Scouts.
    Undoubtedly the highlight of Miss Blackwell’s visit was the trek she made in April 1930 to Hunza and Nagar. Again the journey is described thoroughly and again it was hazardous – at one point the party had to be helped through a road blocked by a sudden avalanche. In Hunza she met the Mir who turned out to be a most affable man with many stories to tell. She was also introduced to his wife, the Rana, whom she taught fairisle knitting. The chapters in Miss Blackwell’s memoir are as follows:

    1. The trek from Srinagar to Gilgit.
    2. Life in the Agency.
    3. Trek from Hunza and Nagar.
    4. Back in Gilgit.
    5. Off to camp.
    6. In camp at Ramah and return to Srinagar.