Stan on Leave in Nainital & Talital, Uttarakhand, India
Stan Sharrad’s photographs of Nainital and Talital in Uttar Pradesh, India, are by far the most numerous collection in his flight bag. Taken when on leave from RAF squadron 159 based as Digri in West Bengal, they are a mixture of street scenes, landscapes and informal portraits. The photographs are very small (less than 10cm on the longest side) but they scan very well and, in contrast to some of the other photographs in the collection, are generally in good condition. Stan was on leave in the Himalayan hill towns of Nainital and Talital from August 31st to September 9th, 1945. He appears to have paid 30 rupees to stay at the ‘Tali Tal Leave Hostel’. Was this money well spent? We can only speculate.
There is no easy way for me to identify many of the scenes shown here. If you are familiar with the area, I’d be very interested to hear from you, especially if you can pinpoint any of the locations (or people!) shown. It’s worth noting that I may have incorrectly tagged some of the photographs – please do let me know if that’s the case. I have assumed that the shots of Stan and his friends on a lake are taken here, but it is hard to ascertain this for certain. None of the pictures in the Nainital/ Talital collection have captions on the back.
Also included in Stan’s flight bag are some receipts, which help plot his movements on leave. I’ll be adding these in due course.