The first manager of the company was Mr. Maples, but, as far as I recollect, he did not stay very long and retired to England. He was succeeded by my friend, Martyn Wells, who was a persona grata with all sections of the Calcutta community. He was a man of most genial, bright and happy temperament, an earnest and enthusiastic mason, the possessor of a magnificent voice, which was at all times at the service of the public for any charitable object, and was invaluable at the smoking concerts at the New Club and other social functions; he was truly, in the words of Shakespeare, “a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy.” He died very suddenly after only a few days’ illness at the early age of 48 I well recollect the grief and concern expressed on the occasion which was both deep and widespread, and it was not confined to his co-workers and the employees in the tramway service, but was shared alike by the innumerable circle of friends, whom he had gathered round about him, and the public generally.
Street and General Structural Improvements.
I think what must strike the observer of the present day more forcibly than anything else, after contemplating the wondrous transformation of Clive Street and its surroundings, is the great advance that has been made in the direction of the many and varied structural improvements and additions that we see on every side, several of which have been developed in the time of the present generation. It might not be amiss, with the view of ascertaining by a personal visit their nature and extent, to invite my Calcutta readers to accompany me on a short tour, say, from Scott Thomson’s corner along Esplanade Row, East, then branching off into Chowringhee, as far as Circular Road, looking in en passant at the various streets on our way.
The extensive pile of buildings that confronts us at the outset was, as we know, erected by Mr. Ezra on the space formerly occupied by Scott Thomson’s shop and the two adjoining houses, the one nearest being the residence of the manager of the firm, and the other for a considerable time by Morrison & Cottle, the saddlers.
[Illustration: Photo. by Bourne & Shepherd Old view of Esplanade, East, showing Dharamtala Tank]
[Illustration: Photo. by Johnston & Hoffmann Esplanade, East, showing tank now filled in.]