Signage: Medows Street, Fort
(presently Nagindas Master Road)
Medows Street holds the dubious distinction of the most corrupted street name in the city. Named after General Sir William Medows, Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Bombay from 1788-90, the street was locally referred to as the Ingrez or Angrezi Bazaar since it housed a profusion of European shops. By the 1860s ‘Medows’ had been distorted to ‘Medow’ and subsequently ‘Meadow’ and ‘Meadows’.
The correct address can be found on the signboard of the Commercial Watch Company.
Town Hall (1833)
Fort (presently Asiatic Society of Mumbai).
The temperament of the gargoyles in Bombay is determined by the style of the structures from which they protrude. This benign creature belongs to the solid, calm façade of the Town Hall, a landmark city structure, in neo-classical style.
Bombaywalla’s coverage of gargoyles will range from the benign to the spectacularly grotesque.
St. Thomas’ Cathedral (1718)
Church Gate Street, Fort (presently Veer Nariman Road)
St. Thomas’ Cathedral, initially called Bombay Church, was located at the heart of the Fort, the walled settlement within which the city’s early inhabitants lived. Church Gate, one of the three gates of the Fort, was named after this church, consecrated into a cathedral in 1837.
The Fort walls were demolished in 1864.
Statue: Sir Hormusjee Cowasjee Dinshaw
(1857- 1939, Statue 1949), Church Gate Street (presently Veer Nariman Road)
Often, to Hormusjee’s full name was added another surname ‘Adenwalla’. In the 1800s individuals chose to fashion their identity with surnames that usually reflected an occupation or a native or contemporary place of residence. Hormusjee made a more convincing Adenwalla in Bombay than in the port city of Aden in Yemen, where everyone was technically an Adenwalla.
A small ceremony to garland the statue is held every year on April 4th, Hormusjee’s birthday.
Royal Alfred Sailors’ Home (1876)
Junction of Apollo Bunder Road and Apollo Street (presently Maharashtra Police Headquarters, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Marg, Colaba, entry prohibited).
The construction of the Sailors’ Home was a significant step towards containing and domesticating the population of seamen in the city, long considered drunk, disorderly and prone to recreate at taverns, boarding houses, grog shops and brothels.
Notice the three nautical motifs.