Planters Registry of the Ceylon Tea Industry Discover the Great Individuals behind the Success Story of Ceylon Tea
Sir Guildford Molesworth was an English Civil Engineer who arrived in Ceylon in 1859. In 1862 he was appointed the first Chief Engineer of the newly established government railways in Ceylon, and the first track, 54 kilometers from Colombo to Ambepussa, was completed in 1864. With servicing the coffee (and soon tea) industry as a primary objective for establishing the railways in Ceylon, steady progress was made with lines eventually reaching the prime tea growing areas of Kandy, Nawalapitiya, Nanu Oya, Bandarawela and Badulla. Molesworth ended his career with the railway department as its Director General.
James Taylor, the supervisor of Loolecondera Estate plants the tea seedlings at his estate. The seedlings were provided by the nursery of the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens and were planted in just 19 acres.
As prospects of coffee began to look dull local planter Charles De Soysa started converting his plantations to tea. With the Ceylon Coffee Crash Soysa expanded his tea estates to include Guru Oya, Marigold, Hapugasmulle among others
Englishman Henry Randolph Trafford purchased the Poyston Estate and started the growth of coffee and Cinchona, later switching to tea in 1887