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July 2013 travel news 41
View from Morgan's house 2003
TRiad hOuSE, 83 muThaiga ROad - naiRObi
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Tcb’S TRavEl SOluTiOnS
iS all abOuT SERvicE and nOThing buT SERvicE
We have entered a new phase in our travel and tours operation, moving
to a new self-owned and operated travel and tour agency called TCB’s
Travel Solutions partnering with Wild Vision Adventures an established tour
operator for all tour requirements, and all under one roof with .
heaps of FREE parking.
Partnering with Heather Samuels formerly of Rickshaw and Elite Travel
with booking agents Alifya Tayabali formerly of Rickshaw Travel and latterly
of Galileo Australia and Peter Nyaga of Wild Vision.
We know you can trawl the Internet and over a period of time find the
perceived best deal possible that meets your travel requirements. But the
Internet while a valuable resource is not the end of the story. You should
know that we also scour the Internet and know our way around it better
than most, in the quest for the best possible solution to your travel needs.
More importantly we have immediate access to global distribution systems
such as Amadeus and Galileo.
All of this taken in concert means we can offer you the best possible solution
at the best possible price.
We have excellent one-on-one relationships with airlines and other travel
service providers — which leads to immediate problem solving whatever
the situation, and it also is another important avenue in solving your travel
Please come and see us - TCB...
We said our farewells and drove on into the crater, between steam seeping out from
patches of red clay in the road banks. There was a startlingly modern geothermal power
plant beside a furnace of steam. A sign told us this was a ‘hard hat area’. Looking back,
we could see the big trees and roof of the former Wolseley-Lewis homestead.
Driving back to the road junction, we passed a road to our left. An elderly man walking
by said, ‘The Major had once lived down there'. This would have been Digby-Tatham
Warter, who bought from a man called Aitcheson. A decade earlier, Jane Tatham-Warter
had written to my mother, explaining where they’d lived: ‘Dibgy and I lived down the
hill. Turning off the road to Gilgil you went left and that house was the original house I
believe built and lived in by the fellow whose name I think was Harvey. He at that time
owned most of Eburru.’ She adds, ‘We had a wonderful view across Lake Elmenteita
and way on.’
Digby, who was decorated as a war hero, married Jane Boyd whose grandmother was
Countess of Wilton. He was a great supporter of the local pony club – enjoyed by Eburru
children, including Garland, during school holidays. Being a small farming community,
they all pulled together during hard times, supporting one another through adversities.
We didn’t brave the rough road to the Tatham-Warters’ old house. According to Wolseley-
Lewis, who went back with Garland many years after they’d left to show her two sons
where she’d grown up, the house had been destroyed.
Ironically for the Eburru farmers, things had been tough until just before the end. In
1959, Arthur was forced to leave and manage a friend’s coffee farm, while Joan held
the fort at Eburru, fending off the tenant the settlement board was threatening to install,
having made it clear there’d be no more postponement of debt payments. But by 1963,
the farm was suddenly booming thanks to its coffee, sheep, Jersey cows and high-
quality, steam dried pyrethrum. But at independence most of their neighbours were
leaving, their land being bought out by the British government’s African settlement
scheme. Starlings fetched the standard £1000, plus £150 for the clay operations, and
£14 an acre for the land. This paid off their loans from the Kenya Farmers Association
and the settlement board, but there was little good will or appreciation for what these
hard-working settler farmers had achieved, wrote Arthur, now 51. Joan was devastated
to leave her home and garden. They stayed on, becoming Kenyan citizens and ‘Jacks-
of-all-trades’ to survive on the outskirts of Nairobi.
As I drove back to Elmenteita the following day, Eburru was shrouded by smoke, a large
fire burning up what would once have been Tatham-Warter’s land. I was reminded of
Arthur’s matter-of-fact words: ‘So ended a lovely dream, rather abruptly, as dreams do.’
Juliet Barnes' new book, The Ghosts of Happy Valley,
is well reviewed in this issue (see page 20).
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