Sunday, January 26, 2014

Queens Park West

I have been working pretty hard on the family tree, gathering and sorting information and of course cross checking. Don't you just love it when you have conflicting records, I have a copy of the church record of my great grandfathers birth and baptism 1n 1870, I also have a copy of his death certificate with his birth recorded in 1876, different dates, different months and different years I can hear the protests already - a different person? I doubt it since the parents names are identical, that would be two sets of 3 people in the same parish, astronomical odds - literally.

Anyway I needed to take a break from this brain scrambling stuff and so continued with a little more work on my Project_2/2014 (An artistic/photographic project that I am working on and getting a huge amount of satisfaction from.) While working on this I kept thinking of my new blog-pal (friend) Ron who lives in Sauerstown, a suburb in my hometown of Bulawayo. He sent me a few more photo's that I'll include at the end of this blog. I can't help but remember my cousin Alan who was a couple of months older than me. We spent most of our school life in the same class, we even did similar trades, went to Bulaway Tech together, learned to drive together and were as close as brothers but as similar as chalk and cheese.

My earliest memories of Alan are from a fishing trip that was made to the Zambezi when I was about five years old. I have a few old family photo's that I have posted on my Facebook page which include some from this particular trip which would have been taken in (about) 1960. Alan was the eldest of my Mom's brother Joe and his wife Jill's children. We were living in Wankie at the time and we had moved there after Dad's posting by the Rhodesia Railways. I believe that Uncle Joe and his family had moved to Wankie as well for a very short period and I recall that they were in the house next door.

Side note : My memory is not the best for this period but is improving for some odd reason. I found that quite a huge portion of my childhood memories were quite badly effected following severe head trauma at the age of 18/19 where I had been beaten and left for dead following a car jacking. A story for another time though.

When I was about eight years old Dad was transferred back to Bulawayo and we lived at the corner of Dane and Victoria Roads in Queens Park West. The majority of the houses built in Queens Park East and West were made of Mud Brick and plastered with Mud. They were built during the second world war as housing for the Rhodesian and Royal Air Force as this was where a lot of the training took place. The Air Base itself would later become a race track and then a depot for the Second Battalion Rhodesia Regiment. An interesting point about these homes is that the bottom two feet of the external walls were painted a dark reddish brown so that when it rained and portions of the mud plaster gave way it wouldn't be quite so unsightly. All external paint was lead based glossy enamel to protect the Mud on these temporary homes. Quite a large number of those temporary home still stand today, some 70+ years later a testament to the skill of the tradesmen who built them.

I started school at Newmansford Primary School, I remember the corrugated iron walls of the classroom block that I was assigned to in Standard 2a. I remember the porcelain ink wells, the ink nibs on the wooden stems that had replaced the quill and of course the blotting paper which was to keep our work and our uniforms smudge free. I do recall that we managed to keep our uniforms in very good order considering. We were a very proud and patriotic lot who took a huge amount of pride in our school's and our uniforms. I guess the school rules, standards and cane had a lot to do with that.

My eldest cousin Gary attended the school with his best friend Keith and they were two or three years ahead of me so I didn't get to hang out, younger kids were usually a pain in the rear. My cousin Alan was going to school at Hugh Beadle and lived on Hurrell Road which was a lot closer but I would have to negotiate the drift in order to get to school and Mom and Dad were not too keen on the idea but they capitulated and I started school at Hugh Beadle shortly after the end of the CAF (Central African Federation) I recall vaguely a big to-do in relation to the lowering of one flag and the raising of the new flag whilst in assembly at Newmansford School.

Red=Our Home, Yellow=Alan's Home, Blue Line=Drift, Green=Newmansford, D/Blue=Hugh Beadle

My friend Hugh used to live here in 1965

The old  "OLD"S HOTEL" where I lived 1966 - 1970 (It was condemned in 1960)

My Great Aunt Lettie's house where her son Timothy built a Gyro-copter.
 Till Next time - God Bless.

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