Malkit Uppal

Malkit was born in India in1951 and came to the UK in 1962 with her parents when she was 11. Her father had come to the UK in 1953 and worked as a labourer, then returned to India and brought his family back to England with him where they settled in Southampton. Malkit initially worked in a factory making sleeves for coats and then, after getting married in 1972, moved with her husband to Warwick. She found work in a factory soon after this but in 1973, with the help of her sister, was recruited to work in the kitchens at Central Hospital. She worked as a deputy supervisor and when the Central Hospital closed and patients were dispersed into smaller units within the community, she continued to work as a server assistant. She has worked for the NHS for about 37 years, taking time out only to have her children and care for them after she was widowed. She continues to work and enjoy her role.

Being a child in a foreign land

My dad came in 1953 when I was only a year old. Then he came back to India and we all came together here. That was 1962. The weather was so cold!  No central heating, and there was only one fireplace and we couldn’t work it at night time. Everything was second hand. I found it cold and I don’t know if I liked it. But I had a good life, a happy life. We didn’t have many coats but I had a yellow one that cost me half a crown. That was a lot of money in those days but I was happy about it.

India