Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Letter Five: 1926 Christmas in Nakuru Hospital with "Fever"

This is the last letter from the Egerton Estate time in Africa. After this the next letter is from the boat returning to Africa but this time he is bound for the hills near Mt.Elgon. Allan is ill for Christmas and in the hospital at Nakuru so I think he never arrived at the Woodmores at Keringet. We don't know exactly what was wrong with him. On the photo of the rather nice looking hospital below my Mum had written " my father was in this hospital with fever".

Nakuru Hospital

Letter 5

Nakuru Hospital

My Darling Joyce
Thank you ever so much for the nice long letter and the Christmas card you sent me. I was delighted to get them and also a fine card from Mummy and a good long letter with it. Mummy has sent me several letters which have all reached me safely in Hospital and I must write to her tomorrow.
I am so sorry I forgot to send you a special letter on your birthday but am very pleased to read in your letters what a fine lot of presents you had and some of them such useful ones too. Please tell Mummy that the cake and Pudding arrived safely and in good condition. Daddy is not allowed to eat such rich food yet but he asked the sisters ( that is the Nurses) if they would accept and eat the cake because they were so kind and watchful to Dad when he was lying helpless and ill, it is due to their care that I have got better so quickly. And the sisters said the Cake was delicious and the Almond Icing a perfect treat, they have kept a tiny bit for me to taste by and by. We will have the pudding cooked on New Years Day that is tomorrow and Dad will be allowed to have a little bit of that.

Many of the Magazines & Christmas Numbers Mummy has sent have already arrived & I share them around among the other Patients who enjoy a bit of Christmas reading to pass the time along, for some of them are more seriously ill than Dad & have to stay in bed all day, but I can get up and walk about a bit in a Dressing Gown now and am feeling stronger & better every day.

Dad is coming home on the Wangoni which is the same Steamer which took him to Africa. We sail from Kilindini (is that not a long name for a port) on Feb 22nd and the voyage takes about 28 days, it is a nice time of year to cross the seas in and it should be fairly cool in the Red Sea, which is often the most uncomfortable part of the journey because it is sometimes so hot there.
I wish my Dear Mummy and Joyce could get on the magic Carpet and fly to Kilindini to voyage home with me on the steamer, it is a delightful experience, so many days on the blue, fresh sea with foaming waves all round, but very likely you will have a voyage same day when you are a few years older & you will enjoy it. Daddy has had such a lot of letters this Christmas. From Aunt Minnie & Uncle Reavely & Uncle Alec & Aunt Edith & Aunt Nellie & Grandpa Anderson & Uncle Arnold, & from Uncle John & Mr Robinson. 15 letters came on one day. And tell Mummy a very nice one arrived yesterday from Mr Charles Fowler.
There is a long chair in my bedroom and we pull it out on to the Veranda & Dad sits on it looking at a beautiful view of Lake Nakuru & the mountains. But this is a lazy life and I hope in a few days to be strong enough to get about and do a bit of useful work again.
Lazy idle people are never happy, it is only when we are doing something like learning at school or working at a job that we feel we are helping to push the world along a bit and can be satisfied with ourselves. I am glad you liked the pieces Mummy read you from “The Christmas Carol”. It is the best Christmas story ever written. Charles Dickens was a great and good man. The Photos Mr Barraclough took of you and Mums and Patsy have arrived & very good ones they are of all of you.
I had my first bath since my illness yesterday. Until then I had to be just washed in Bed and to have a real bath was a great treat. Some gaily coloured birds, blue on the back and with yellow breasts and long curved beaks fly up and down the verandah. Sometimes if I am awake in the early morning I hear in the darkness the “cheep cheep”of birds in the bushes nearby and though all is black outside, yet in about a quarter of an hour, sure enough the Dawn begins to break, the birds know that here comes the day before I do. It is Harvest home now on all the Farms and great loads of Maize and Wheat are being carried off the Fields, a Harvest at Christmas sounds strange does it not? I hope my dear Joyce had a really Jolly Christmas and some nice presents and I hope gave some little gifts to others too. With Heaps of love to you and Mums. I shall soon be coming back home now.
Your loving Daddy

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Fowler Machinery: 1925 Consignment to Lord Egerton N'Gata Farm, Njoro,

Allan Thackeray worked on the estate for just the one year, 1926, (Lord Egerton would have been 52). He had travelled to Kenya to oversee the use of the Fowler equipment sent to the Egerton estate and the records from John Fowler detail a consignment of agricultural implements sent out to Ngata Farm in 1925.

N'Gata Farm, Njoro 1925. Fowler Consignment to Lord Egerton.
The implements were ordered 22/07/1925
Lord Egerton, Tatton Park, for Kenya Colony
11581 9/10 Furrow A/B Paring Plough
15’ Turning Harrows
14291P 15’ Turning Harrows originally to G.Caudwell06/02/1922 (22/07/1925 SOLD SECOND HAND TO Lord Egerton for Kenya Colony)
14606 11/13 Cultivator 4¼” X 1¼” X 10”
14607 4 Shaft Reversible Disc Harrows
14608 4 Wheel Water Cart 7’ x 3’ Steel Frame
14609P 4 Wheel Water Cart 7’ x 3’ Steel Frame

dispatched on 24/09/1925

This information was kindly forwarded to me by Robert Oliver of the Steam Plough Club Uk together with some preliminary details of the engines etc in the photographs.


The following photographs need information which I will hopefully be able to add after my visit home to Lincolnshire where I will be meeting up with Mr Goodman of the Steam Plough club)

The engine is a Fowler Z6 ploughing engine despatched from the factory on 6th Jan 1926 to a firm called General Real Estates Investment Trust Ltd

Detail of the above. It reads "Made in England, Fowler, Nakuru, V Kilindini" Kilindidni is the port at Mombassa.

Two engines, there is one in the distance.

Fowler Water Tank

The plough was a 6 furrow anti balance plough. ( see in the post Plough)

The 6 Furrow anti Balance Plough:

The plough is a 6 furrow anti balance plough. The ploughs used in steam ploughing are shaped like a flattened out V . They have plough shares on each end of the V and the engine pulls the double ended plough across the field with one set of plough shares in the ground and at the far side of the field, the other end of the plough is dropped down to the ground and the engine at the other end of the field pulls the plough back.
( information from Robert Oliver, Steam Plough Club UK)

The Caterpillar Tractor

I have no details of these yet, but the same people are seen again in the Fowler engine photographs.

Other Machinery:

More photographs of other machinery etc, most without notes as they are printed from the negatives. I hope to be able to add to the information soon.

The train, Uganda Railway

I think this ( middle) may be Mr Coltart who had a farm at Njoro.

This looks as though it may have been a trade show. The name on the banner by the machines is "J R Cox & Co"

This is labelled on the back "Nakuru Show bandsmen KAR." (Kings African Rifles )

I think they might be sawing the timber with the engine..( far left)

This photograph is labelled on the back " Latest 'improved' pattern water cart outside Njoro Ry Station".. with some irony I think.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Photographs from N'Gata Farm 1926: 5 Working with Oxen

The work with oxen that Allan describes in the first letter home. There were no horses there.
Again there are not many written details for the images but Allan wrote on this one,
"Intercultivating between growing maize. Wattle plantation in background Njoro 1926"

Same team here as above.

These next two look like some kind of seed drill

This below was the very best I could get from an old faded print with no accompanying negative. As I was working on it and trying to coax some definition out of the yellowed print I noticed there is also a dog in the picture which may be the same dog as in the photograph of the three people with the car. Again when working with that image a dog revealed itself which was almost indistinguishable in the original photograph. I am therefore thinking that the man with the middle with the glasses may be Mr Coltart. I am sure he is the same man who appears in other photographs, working with the big engines.
It was worth including as on the back is written.

"Ox Ploughing on Mr Coltarts Farm. 3 Furrow Oliver Plough 14 Oxen Njoro 1926"

Two more images but without details.

Photographs from N'Gata Njoro 1926: 4 People

These are the photos of some of the people Allan worked with and their families. Most of these have been developed from old negatives so there are no written records of who they are. It is such a shame, if any more information does come to light I will certainly amend the details here.