Gurcharan Jagdev, 71 came to England from India aged six.

He lived in a back-to-back house in Manchester Rd with no electricity, before his family moved to Wrose. He later moved to Lidget Green and now lives in Idle.

Gurcharan has written about his dual Identity – a Sikh Yorkshireman

My first experience of England came on August 8, 1956, at the age of six, when my mother, sister and I landed at Tilbury, where my father was waiting.

We set off for Bradford in a train. My striking memory of that journey was greenhouses in gardens. Not knowing what a greenhouse was, I remember asking my father if people in England lived in small glass houses. I have a greenhouse in my own garden now and the amount of time I spend in there and in my garden, I am told, is more than that I spend in the house.

My first experience of the Yorkshire Dales came the following year on a school trip to Malham Cove. That trip is still clear in my mind.

Once I got my first car, Malham, Bolton Abbey, Knaresborough and other areas became favourite visiting places for my family and relatives who came to visit us. I am sure that after Covid restrictions are lifted we will again make those trips.

Dual identity almost became a single Yorkshire identity for me, as three years later, my father moved our family to an area of Bradford where we were the only family of Indian origin, and my sister and I were the only Indian origin children in the school. I was fortunate to make some very close friends - their families treated me as one of their own.

My friends went to Sunday school and one day asked me to ask my parents if I could go with them. My parents were open-minded and agreed that I could. My Sunday school days, along with church attendances, lasted several years until Gurdwaras opened in Bradford.

It was at that time that I realised that both religions had more similarities than differences and I was comfortable with both. Attending Gurdwara services gave me an urge to improve my first language and knowledge of Sikhism and later to learn other Indian languages too. This led to a realisation that I was equally comfortable and at home with both identities.

My favourite, and perhaps most visited place in the Dales, is Bolton Abbey. As well as a place of open spaces, flowing water and fresh air, the priory is a place where I can find peace and tranquillity and also offer a quiet prayer in another place that is as important to me as a Gurdwara.

Both Easter and the Sikh Festival of Vaisakhi occur very close to each other and both have to be celebrated with equal enthusiasm. My three grown-up children are just as eager as my six grandchildren to fill their houses with Easter eggs as well as gifting them to each other and to close friends.

Not many days later after Easter, Vaisakhi arrives. A time to adorn new clothes and overindulge in eating sweet delicacies. It’s beyond me why they are called Indian sweetmeats as there is no meat in any of them.

Yes, I firmly believe that there is only one God that I can pray to in both a Gurdwara and a church (in this case an abbey). I don’t think of this myself as having a split personality, but as an example of my genuine dual identity and nationality.