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"I had been invited to stay on a plantation while staying at the Lake Inn in Kandy. There, I had been told by the proprietor, that his brother was manager of a plantation where they also took the odd paying guest. As I had expressed my interest at seeing how a plantation worked, he had phoned his brother and arranged for me to make a visit. Reaching the plantation involved taking another bus from Hatton to the small town of Upcot, which though it looked close on the map, seemed to take hours due to the narrow road and hilly terrain. By the time I had arrived the rain had started again, and I found myself having to walk the last two miles upto the plantation in a real downpour, arriving like a drowned rat, only to be told the manager, Mr Chandra De Silva, was away on business and would not be back 'till the next afternoon. Fortunately, on explaining the situation to the housekeeper, I was shown a room where I was told I could stay. A real relief.

 

I spent two nights staying at the Plantation House (with its attractive and well kept gardens), which gave me a full easy day to see round the estate and enjoy watching the tea pluckers at work, a time I felt wasn’t spoilt too much by the frequent showers, especially as I did at least manage the painting above. On Mr De Silva's return in the late afternoon I was made very welcome, and at the evening meal had the opportunity to have a good chat with him and learn more about the estate. That night he made arrangements for me to be given a tour of the factory where the tea was processed. It meant I had to get up at 2am as most of the main work was done at night, due to the cooler temperature, but it was well worth the effort. The tour, given to me by the factory manager, started on the ground floor where the fresh leaves were dried, then crushed. Later, on the upper floors I was able to watch the tea being graded and packed, the finest going for export, while the poorer grades were kept back for locals and staff.

 

The above painting was made between the showers and shows the factory and some of the tea workers' houses. Most of the plantation workers were Tamils from the north of the island." - MH

Fairlawn Tea Plantation near Hatton, 1979

£2.99Price
  • All items are produced from original paintings by Martyn Hanks.

    Prints: Size is A4 (8.27" x 11.69"/210 x 297mm). Printed onto high quality 245gsm fine art watercolour paper to give the print an authentic look and feel. Supplied in a textured off white mount size 12" x 16" (305 x 406mm), backed and sealed in a clear cellophane wrap and delivered in a protective carton to ensure it reaches you in perfect condition.

    Cards: Size 7" X 5"/178 x 127mm. Packaged in a clear cellophane wrap with a top quality 150gsm self-seal white envelope.

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