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'A daughter of the Empire': Beryl White In India 1901-03

The Residency

The Residency exteriorThe Residency exteriorIn his published account of his service in Sikkim, John Claude White describes the difficulties he faced with the building of his home, the British Residency in Gangtok, the capital of Sikkim.

Like most British residents in India at the time, the Whites sought to recreate a piece of England in their home environment and built their house in the style of a Victorian cottage.

Beryl White's bedroom at the ResidencyBeryl White's bedroom at the ResidencyAs the photos of the interior of the Residency which Beryl has pasted in her album demonstrate, the interior decoration is as thoroughly Victorian as the exterior of the building.

Perceval Landon, special correspondent of The Times describes its appearance:

Raj Bhavan nowRaj Bhavan nowThe Residency brings a whiff of England into this far distant country. It is a substantial and handsome little building of stone, roofed in red of such a well-remembered tint, that it is some time before one realises that tiles are impossible in Gangtok.

Hitherto it has been the end of all northern travel in India, and it must have been curious for the rare travellers who made demands on Claude White’s famous hospitality, to find this dainty gem of a house, furnished from Oxford Street within, and without encircled with the tree ferns and orchids of this exquisite valley.’

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