The Sting

The senior boys at CJR Junior School in Gwelo hunted scorpions in their free time. Photo http://www.medtogo.com/scorpion-stings.html

Boy’s Business

In 1951, Tim, became top of the ‘pecking- order’ as a senior at Cecil John Rhodes Junior School in Gwelo.

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Tall Tales and Long Drops

Tall-Tales-and-Long-Drops

Tall Tales and Long Drops

Peter Hughes, the son of Gervas Hughes’ half-brother, Tom, returned from the North Africa campaigns of WWII a tough soldier, still only twenty three years old. He came to work at Melrose Farm and told Tim many hilarious tall tales.

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Conditions of One Sort or Another

Conditions of One Sort or Another

Part of Dorothy Crowther-Smith’s conditions for marriage to Gervas Hughes were that she would bring a nucleus of her English Jersey cow herd to Melrose Farm outside Que Que. In 1948 when she was settled, Dorothy shipped a number of her best Jersey heifers from Southampton, via Capetown, and by train to Hunters Road railway station. The cows walked the last few kilometres to their new home.

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Big Changes

Big-Changes

Big Changes

In 1947 Gervas sold his transport business and became a full time farmer. Retaining his ranch properties, he bought Melrose, a fenced, fertile, arable, red soil farm of 1214 hectares and moved into the Melrose house.

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Dirty Tricks

Dirty Tricks

Dirty Tricks

Cecil John Rhodes Junior School at Gwelo (CJR) accepted Tim in 1946. Drummond House for boarders housed thirty girls at one end and thirty boys at the other. At meal times girls and boys ate together in the same dining room, sitting at separate tables. After meals the girls filed out first, then the boys. The dining room passage led past an unlocked suitcase store room before dividing to the dormitories. The storeroom was used for kissing. Pretty girls hid in the room until their boyfriends arrived. After a quick kiss and cuddle they parted and went their separate ways. Tim was too shy to participate!

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Team Power

Team Power

Gervas Hughes sold the Greenham dairy herd and milk run concentrating on his transport business after his beautiful wife Barbara died. He converted the large concrete floored cow shed to a saw mill and made scotch carts–two wheeled wagons pulled by two oxen. He and his men made every part of the carts, even the manufacturing equipment.

The men cut and carted timber from local forests and built an oversized lathe to turn wagon hubs. The lathe was also used to turn four foot long windlasses, sold to small workers, to be used on mine shafts and water wells. The winding handles were made in Gervas’ farm blacksmith shop. Tim would spend much of his holidays watching and learning. A special treat for the children was to ride in the traction engine when Gervas was working at the Umniati River drift. Tim would remember it all his life.

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