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With the onset of summer Bremner was shifted to Naini Tal, in the Himalayas, a 'a charming spot -- a lake in the centre surrounded by lofty mountains . . .. After a short residence I was shifted with my usual paraphernalia to military stations some 30 miles beyond, and the journey through the heart of the mountains was done on a hill pony and the luggage carred by a party of coolies, the roadways being too narrow for vehicular traffic' (pp.17-18).

The first stop was Ranikhet, and after a few weeks there he moved to Almorah which had 'two native Infantry Regiments'. While there, he met a Scot known as M'Master. He had a plantation some five miles from Almorah, and invited Bremner to stay with him for a week to take photographs.
5th Bombay Cavalry (Sind Horse)
Bremner was glad to discover that 'apart from the process of tea production the scenery around was of special beauty, and quite a number of hill tribes, including women cutting grass, lent themselves to my obtaining an interesting set of photographs' (p. 18).

Soon after, M'Master introduced Bremner to another Scot planter, Dalziell, who also invited the photographer to his plantation to take photographs. Noted Bremner: 'On the whole my visit to these plantations was a very pleasant diversion from the military work I was getting used to' (pp. 18).

After six months of work, in October, he was back in Lucknow, and for the winter was deputed to visit Agra (of the Taj Mahal fame), Benares ('with its multitude of temples, presided over by high priests versed in the various religions of the people') and several other places of no special interest - nothing of historical nature, nothing beyond business with the military'. With the return of summer he was moved off to Karachi, [6] in the Sind, 1500 miles from Lucknow, via Lahore. [Map]

On arriving in Karachi, Bremner found the prospect 'uninviting . . . and I was unacquainted with a single soul'. Soon, however, he encountered Barrack Master Richardson, who belonged to the Scottish Lodge of Freemasons which Bremner had joined in Naini Tal. Richardson took the photographer into his house as a paying guest. Next, 'we called at a chemist's premises and I was introduced to the proprietor who, much to my delight, offered me his compound (ground adjoining the house) for the erection of my tent' (p. 23.)

Bremner stayed in Karachi for five months. 'The business turnover was considerable, at least I thought it so, and the whole of the work, with the help of two Indian servants, had to be done on the spot.' Indeed, even back at Lawrie's studio in Lucknow on his arrival, Bremner had found Indians useful as assistants: 'I was surprised at the clevernes of the Indian servant. Of course, they did no studio operating, being quite unsuited for that part of the business, but as retouchers, printers, finishers and even colouring portaits, they show remarkable skill . . .' (p. 11).

On his return to Karachi, Bremner's three-year contract with Lawrie had ended, but he had it renewed up to April 1888 for 2 1/2 more years. In the summer of 1886 Lawrie sent him to Kasauli and Subathu, military stations in the Himalayas, near Simla, but since the busines there was sluggish, he soon moved on to Mussoorie, a large summer restort. In Mussoorie, Bremner -managed to secure premises recently vacated by a photographer [7] who had been resident there for a number of years. The change of operating in a studio with glass on the roof and the north side, was far more desirable than working in a tent (pp. 24-25). >


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