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   Martin Lander


Martin Lander

House: School House
Year: Jan 1965 to March 1967

We lived in Kenya from 1957 to 1967 and I went to Westlands Primary and then on to Prince of Wales which became Nairobi School after Independence. I was in School House with my brother Richard. I have many fond memories of those days and would be delighted to hear from folks such as Huck Pratt, Vic Preston Jnr, Clive Corner, Mark Newling, Dick Berry, etc. The list is endless as I have a good memory and remember the class lists and teachers names to this day.

When we moved from Kenya, we lived in Aylesbury and then Sheffield, and at the end of 1969 the family moved to Jo'burg, South Africa. My brother, Rick, stayed on in U.K. to study Hotel Management. He came out to S.A. in 1974, and when he stopped at Nairobi he was not allowed out of the duty free area. The family acquired, lived in, and ran the Margate Hotel in Natal from 1975 until the 1980īs, but by that time I had left and moved to Malaga in Spain. I stayed from March 1977 to Oct 1978, then back to London from Dec 1978 to May 1982 when I returned to Spain, and in the interim years I have had many jobs...... from swimming pool lifeguard, English teacher, tour guide, and then from 1986 to the present I have been in the furniture and decorating trade where I ended up as Branch manager of a chain of shops with 18 people working under me. At the moment I am unemployed and attending an intensive computer training course with the idea of maybe starting my own business or writing a book about Kenya in the 1960īs (including the Whitesands Hotel in Mombasa, the annual climbs to the top of Kilimanjaro, the Thorn Tree on Saturday mornings, etc.)

When I started at Princo, Mr Wigmore was Headmaster and then he was replaced by Mr Ironsides. The one I really used to dread was Mr Hogge, who I think was Deputy Headmaster and used to glare at you with his bushy eyebrows and say "Whatīs your name boy!!", and then you knew you were for it!! Our Housemaster was Bill McCormick who also taught English. At the end of my first year I had so many House detentions that he offered me the option of 3 cuts a day instead, and I am living proof of my fatherīs saying "the brain can absorb what the backside can endure!!"
We used to live in Spring Valley Rd and shared the lifts to school with the Jones boys Allen and Mike. Our weekends were spent at Nairobi dam, or the Grosvenor Hotel pool or the Nairobi Club usually with the Hawkins girls; their father had the Butchery in Westlands, and their 4 daughters were Peggy, Lesley, Lyn and Irene(or Pops as she was known). If anyone knows of their whereabouts I would really appreciate a contact address.

Back to Princo..... I was sorry to hear they had replaced the wooden classrooms that were put up "temporarily" in the War I believe. I kept a diary of the last part of our stay in Kenya and one of the names that comes across is Peter McIntyre also of School House. He left Kenya in January 1967 and went to Scotland. We wrote for a while, but then lost touch. Also in School House were Dick Berry, Huck Pratt and Chris Waugh, and in my year I was friends with Chris Ashford, but as far as I can make out I seemed to spend more time on the verandas for bad behaviour than in class, and the diary seems to be full of detention periods in the Lecture Hall above the offices in the main School building.

The Chapel was there then, but it was quite a new acquisition. I had my First Communion there in March 1966 (still have the Bible to prove it) at the hands of Canon Capon who also signed my Communion certificate. Seeing the scene in the film "Out of Africa" where Meryl Streep goes down on her knees in front of Leslie Philips to plead for the Kikuyu homelands, I realized it was shot in our Quad and the chapel had been carefully screened out as it was too "modern".

Okay, enough waffling for now, and Iīll get back to you when Iīve had time to go through the diary in more depth.

(Registered - 2nd August 2003)

If anyone wishes to contact Martin, please e-mail webmaster@oldcambrians.com to obtain his contact details