Remembering the British Raj - Penned by Radegund Gilbert-Carter

Radegund Gilbert-Carter

My early memories of Darjeeling were my mother saying "Oh to get to Darjeeling was so wonderful". It was not only how she said it but her completer relaxation as if 'now, everything will be alright'.

My father, Humphrey Gilbert-Carter, came to Calcutta Botanic Garden to work on the Botanical Survey of India before the First World War. I can’t remember his impression of the work, but I do know that when things got unbearable in Calcutta, they made the tortuous journey to Darjeeling. His greatest love was wild flowers and trees and he and my mother would have been blissfully happy wandering the hills. After the war he was given the Directorship of the Cambridge Botanic Garden and they never returned to India. His name in the botanical world became very well known.

Their love of India and Indian people never left them. For a long time now I have been intrigued to find out just what this lovely place was like. Now, at last, at the age of 71, I am here, and there really is a magic about it, and now there is The Windamere.

Radegund Mason née Gilbert-Carter