Robert Bristow’s Cochin Harbour – 3 Postcards 1947

Robert Bristow's Cochin Harbour - 3 Postcards 1947

Three old 1940s photo postcards of  Robert Bristow’s Cochin Harbour. Robert Bristow a British Harbour Engineer, based in Madras (now Chennai) was the brain behind the reclamation of Willingdon Island. It was named in honor of the Viceroy Lord Willingdon who commissioned the work in the first place.

Robert Bristow was an engineer’s marvel, his name is still held in awe in Kerala even today. Arriving at Ernakulam (Kochi) in 1920 he plunged into his new job in all earnestness. Set to take up the mighty task of reclaiming an island from the vast backwaters of the Vembanad lake. That took almost 20 years to complete the artificial island.

Infrastructures, of a harbour, railway terminus, airport, port trust offices, naval base, living quarters, etc, were provided. Three connecting bridges were also completed, linking the isle. Venduruthy Bridge, Mattancherry Bridge, and a railway bridge. Before the reclamation ships were generally anchored in the outer sea.

The cargo or passengers were ferried by feeder boats to the Mattancherry Harbour which was actually a port from ancient times. Mattancherry lies just south of Fort Cochin. Both had strong maritime trade ties with ancient Rome, Greece, Phoenicia, China, and so on. The British drove out the Dutch in the 18th century from Fort Cochin.

They took control and added a shipbuilding yard in Mattancherry. This shipbuilding yard became famous worldwide from the 18th century for its finest wooden ship manufacturing. Because of the prevalence of the finest teak, rosewood, and mahogany from the surrounding forests in the periphery of Ernakulam at the time. Combined with the highly skilled local woodworkers and shipbuilders available at the time. Click on the photo for better view.

See my posts- Fort Kochi & City Antique Map Plan Of 1761.

Did you know- Willingdon Island is the largest man-made island in India although the property of the port trust it is a self-contained town in a town. 

From the collection- 1964 M. Suriyamoorthy Charcoal Art Abstract (#7).,   Antique Photo Bangalore Steam Engine Loco Shed 1890.,  Vintage Postcard Madras Fishing Catamaran., Illuminating Bombay In Honor of Queen Victoria – Old Print.

Robert Bristow's Cochin Harbour - 3 Postcards 1947

Robert Bristow's Cochin Harbour - 3 Postcards 1947