Praful Thakkar Collection

Royal Calcutta Turf Club

Royal Calcutta Turf Club
Calcutta, now Kolkata, located on the west bank of the Hooghly River, is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Prior to Calcutta becoming the important city it is today, in the late 17th century it was just three small villages ruled by the Nawab of Bengal. However, in 1690 the Nawab granted a trading licence to the East India Company and the area developed rapidly. It took almost a century before the East India Trading Company became sufficiently strong enough to assume control of trading throughout a wider region, so that in 1911, under the British Raj, Calcutta became the acknowledged capital of the British held territories of India. There is strong evidence to suggest that racing first took place in the region around Calcutta as early as 1794. The first site for races was at Akra Farm, although facilities and track layout were severely limited.

1912-13 Lady Member 1915-16 Lady Member 1916-17 Gents Member 1917-18 Gents Member 1918-19 Gents Member
1920-21 Gents Member 1922-23 Gents Member 1923-24 Gents Member 1924-25 Gents Member 1925-26 Gents Member

Although there was a period, between 1798 and the early years of the 19th century, when no racing took place due to a ban on wagering, by 1803 the Bengal Jockey Club was formed. It was some six years after this, in 1809, that the venue shifted to Maidan and facilities started to improve throughout the next 11 years, with a grandstand being built in 1820. In England at this time, in order to boost finances, subscriber's tokens could be purchased which gave the subscriber access to the course, normally for life. Such a scheme was run at the Calcutta course when subscribers could purchase a Silver Medallion which gave him and his family access to the stands.

1926-27 Gents Member 1927-28 Gents Member 1929-30 Gents Member 1930-31 Gents Member 1930-31 Stand Member
1931-32 Gents Member 1932-33 Gents Member 1933-34 Gents Member 1933-34 Lady Member 1934-35 Gents Member

By 1847 all groundwork had been completed for the formation of Calcutta Turf Club under the directorship of Mr J P McKillingaan. A year later the club had a visiting dignitary in the form of the Prince of Wales. The club could rightly call itself the Royal Calcutta Turf Club because the Prince eventually became King Edward VII. Gradually the English course Chairmen and Directors were replaced with Indian citizens, notably in 1908 when Sir Bejoy Mehtab of Burdwan was elected as a member of the Club. Today the Club is as strong as ever and is housed in the former home of the Apcar family. The racecourse boasts wonderful viewing facilities in its 3 grandstands, where the main pavilion has three tiers, while across the road from the grandstand is the Victoria Memorial monument celebrating the life of Queen Victoria.

1935-36 Gents Member 1935-36 Lady Member 1936-37 Gents Member 1936-37 Stand Member 1938-39 Gents Member
1939-40 Gents Member 1940-41 Gents Member 1941-42 Gents Member 1946-47 Gents Member 1947-48 Gents Member
1947-48 Stand Member 1949-50 Gents Member 1950-51 Gents Member 1950-51 Lady Member 1951-52 Gents Member
1952-53 Gents Member 1953-54 Gents Member 1954-55 Gents Member 1954-55 Lady Member 1958-59 Lady Member
1958-59 Gents Member 1959-60 Gents Member 1960-61 Lady Member 1961-62 Lady Member 1962-63 Gents Member
1963-64 Lady Member 1964-65 Gents Member 1965-66 Gents Member 1966-67 Gents Member 1967-68 Gents Member
1968-69 Gents Member 1969-70 Gents Member 1969-70 Lady Member 1970-71 Lady Member 1970-71 Lady Member
1970-71 Gents Member 1971-72 Lady Member 1972-73 Gents Member 1972-73 Lady Member 1974-75 Lady Member
1975-76 Gents Member 1975-76 Lady Member 1976-77 Lady Member 1977-78 Lady Member 1978-79 Gents Member
1978-79 Lady Member 1979-80 Lady Member 1980-81 Lady Member 1981-82 Gents Member 1981-82 Lady Member
1982-83 Gents Member 1982-83 Lady Member 1983-84 Gents Member 1983-84 Lady Member 1984-85 Gents Member
1984-85 Lady Member 1985-86 Invitation 1985-86 Lady Member 1985-86 Gents Member 1986-87 Gents Member
1986-87 Lady Member 1987-88 Gents Member 1987-88 Lady Member 1988-89 Lady Member 1989-90 Gents Member
1989-90 Lady Member 1990-91 Gents Member 1990-91 Lady Member 1991-92 Gents Member 1991-92 Lady Member
1992-93 Gents Member 1992-93 Lady Member 1993-94 Gents Member 1993-94 Lady Member 1994-95 Gents Member
1994-95 Lady Member 1995-96 Gents Member 1995-96 Lady Member 1996-97 Gents Member 1996-97 Lady Member
1997-98 Gents Member 1997-98 Lady Member 1998-99 Gents Member 1998-99 Lady Member 1999-2000 Gents Member
1999-2000 Lady Member 2000-01 Gents Member 2000-01 Lady Member 2001-02 Gents Member 2001-02 Lady Member
2002-03 Gents Member 2002-03 Lady Member 2003-04 Gents Member 2003-04 Lady Member Permanent Invitee