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   Andy Tainsh


Andy Tainsh

Nickname: Tosh
House: Clive
Years: 1952-1957

Head of Clive House - 1957

Andy Tainsh - passport photo, 1958
Andy Tainsh - passport photo, 1958

  • On 20th February 2007, Webmaster received a copy of an e-mail from Andy, written two of his old school mates from the Prince of Wales School, Livio Tessaro (Tess) and Paul Morris (Moggy):

    Hi Tess and Moggy,

    Wonderful that communication technology has advanced so much that it has enabled us to get in touch again. It is over fifty years ago that we were the winning cycling team on the “Gran Gilera” beating all opposition in the Cabbage Patch 1956 Coronation Safari

    Since then we went our separate ways and I will bring you up do date with things I have done since leaving School.

    One of my enduring memories about school rugby is the “Tessaro Try” which involved Tess taking off at full speed about 5 yards from the try line and crossing it at full horizontal stretch before touching down. In 1956 we had a brilliant School Team and an equally good Combined School team.

    Other good memories involve cycling in Kampala with Moggy during the holidays. We had a 2 to 3 mile downhill run from the top of Kololo hill to the railway station and often used to overtake cars to the consternation of the drivers. We also used to cycle to Entebbe for a picnic at the Botanical Gardens, an activity which one would not consider nowadays.

    After school I went to the UK to study agriculture at Reading University. Quite a culture shock as I had never been out of East Africa before.
  • 1961 I returned to East Africa and was involved in Tea Planting in Nandi Hills.
  • 1962 I played rugby for East Africa and toured Northern Rhodesia with the Tuskers.
  • 1963 I married Margaret who I had met at University. She is from Yorkshire and we married in Nandi Hills.
  • We had two children, Hannah and Piers, before we went to Uganda where I was the first employee of the Uganda Tea Growers Corporation. There I planted one of the biggest tea nurseries there has been in Africa. Over 100 acres under nursery which went towards planting over 8000 acres of smallholder tea. Then Idi Amin came along!! I have heard subsequently that a lot of this tea has been rehabilitated so our time was not wasted.
  • 1971 we left Uganda and I did a post grad degree in Agricultural Extension. At this time we decided that we needed a permanent base for the kids to identify with even if our work took us overseas. We bought a small cottage in Devon which our eldest daughter lives in now.
  • 1972 we went to Swaziland where I was involved in Rural Development. Our youngest daughter Ruth was born there. We did pretty well there and at one stage I was appointed as Acting Director of Agriculture.
  • 1979 I became a British Civil Servant on Permanent and Pensionable terms working as an Agricultural Adviser to the Aid Programme. We were posted to Bangkok where I covered projects in Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Burma and Thailand. After four years there we had a brief spell in UK where I worked in the Head office in London and managed to travel to Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador.
  • After that came a posting to the Caribbean. We were based in Barbados and programmes and projects in the Commonwealth Caribbean, The British Dependant Territories and Central America. The late 1980s was a busy time and we did a lot of travelling.
  • 1989 we were posted to the Regional Office in Malawi, which also covered Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique. It was good to be in Africa again and we bought a series 3 Land Rover and did some amazing safaris through Zambia and Zimbabwe as well as Malawi.
  • 1995 we were lucky to be posted back to Barbados where we stayed until I retired in 1999. At that stage we had a fully furnished house in the UK and a spare set of household equipment in Barbados. We decide to rent a small cottage in Barbados and furnish it ourselves so now when it gets cold and dark in the UK we can take 5 months off and go back to the tropics.

    In a nutshell that is a potted history of the Tainsh family. Our eldest, Hannah, is in the UK. Her eldest daughter (our first grandchild) Emma is 21 and is in Spain on the second year of a degree course. Her eldest son Ben is 17 and learning to drive and also plays in a band. Her youngest Arthur is 15 and is a trialist for the Cornwall under 15 rugby team.

    Piers, our son, is teaching in Dubai and this year married a lovely French lady. Ruth, our youngest, is in Malawi where she works for a large SA firm called Barlows. She has set up Caterpillar rental agencies in Malawi, Zambia and Angola and is involved in a number of Regional initiatives to do with heavy plant.

    In my travels around the world I have met Old Cambrians in the strangest of places but one of the pleasant coincidences was when our daughter, Hannah, came home from School and said she had a teacher who said that she was the first second generation pupil that he had taught. It was no other than Ken Fyfe who I went to see. Also teaching there was Mr Earl.

    Moggy do you ever come in contact with Alan Howitt? He was in Kampala the same time as us and settled in Geraldton where he worked for the Agric DepartmenT. Tess – a long shot – but did you ever know someone called Patrick Long who was at Kitale School with me and who I think was in the seed business in your part of the world?

    Just to finish where we begun, I sold my bike “the Gran Gilera” to John Wilson in Kampala. The next time I saw him was in Malawi in the 80s although we are still in touch with his elder brother, Jim.

    Have fun.


    Andy Tainsh - retirement photo, 1999
    Andy Tainsh - retirement photo, 1999

    Margaret & Andy Tainsh at the Eden Project, 2003
    Margaret & Andy Tainsh at the Eden Project, 2003

    (Registered - 29th Nov 2002 & updated 20th February 2007)

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