Sunday, 12 August 2012

Return to Chingola


Well, I finally got that out of my system! Ever since Barbara and I Ieft Zambia in 1973, I have nurtured a desire to return to Chingola and see how things have changed. So last week's visit was something of a pilgrimage.
Chingola Town Centre
When we first arrived in Zambia in late 1969, independence had been gained only five years earlier, and during its colonial days the Copperbelt had witnessed much racist behaviour, and was politically the most volatile area of the country. Cinemas had been racially segregated until 1960. The legacy of its colonial past was mainly evident in the infrastructure, particularly town planning, which had provided the white ex-patriots with relatively luxurious accommodation and excellent sports and social facilities, while the indigenous mine workers were relegated to black townships, with basic amenities, on the outskirts of the town. There were even two separate hospitals, one for whites, the other for blacks.

I was initially assigned to the concentrator, and we metallurgists gave little thought to the fact that all the metallurgists, engineers, chemists and geologists were white, while all the plant operators and labourers were black, from the local Bemba tribe. This was also a legacy of colonial days, but during my time on the mine, as a result of the 1969 nationalisation by Kenneth Kaunda's Government, a programme of Zambianisation evolved and slowly, starting with the non-university educated, but very experienced, General Foremen, white workers were gradually replaced by the indigenous blacks. Another change was the gradual decline in the use of Chikabanga, a form of 'pidgin English' devised by the Europeans to speak to the African workers, and outlawed by the Government after independence because of its colonial connotations.

Chingola-Kitwe Road
We expected to see big changes after 40 years, but were shocked to find the infrastructure in such a poor state, the road from Chingola to nearby Kitwe now in an appalling condition, the journey which once took around 30 minutes now taking up to a couple of hours.

The roads in the once resplendent residential areas are now almost undrivable and our old sports clubs now severely dilapidated. Even the magnificent Nchanga Swimming Pool is closed and derelict, although a friendly security guard allowed us access to view one of our most frequented haunts.
Wattle Avenue, the main road through the residential area
13th Street
The entrance to the Kabundi residential area
The now derelict Nchanga Pool


Nchanga Metallurgists by the pool in 1969


Anyone for tennis?
Lunch at the Gymkhana Club

Last week we had more social contact with local Africans than we did in the whole of our 4 years during the early 70s, due to the enforced segregation of leisure facilities and accommodation, and our friends in those days were by necessity the ex-pats, who were on short term contracts, very few spending many years on the Copperbelt.

With Cliff and Judith Eales

One couple who did was Cliff and Judith Eales, who came out to Zambia in 1966. We met up with them last week at their home on 7th Street. Cliff had been with the National Coal Board in UK, and his first job at Nchanga was as a Training Officer on the concentrator. He then became a shift foreman, and when I arrived in 1969 he was assistant general foreman on the leach plant. From 1980-86 he was concentrator superintendent and then concentrator superintendent at Konkola until 1993, when he left to work as an agent for Multotec South Africa, taking over the Multotec Zambia office in the late 1990s, until retiring with ill-health in 2010. Cliff follows the MEI blog, and would love to hear from anyone who knew him in Chingola.

Our four years in Zambia were some of the most enjoyable of our lives. They say that you should never return to places which hold the strongest memories. Maybe they are right! Apart from the friendliness of its people, the best that I can say about Chingola is that it is now a real African town, typical of many that we pass through in our travels in southern Africa, and for which the Rough Guide would recommend - no need to make a stop here!

Having said that, I am really glad that we did make the effort to return. It was a very interesting and memorable week, thanks in no small part to the warm and friendly people that we met, particularly Barry Kalumba and the metallurgical staff of Nchanga Mine, Cliff and Judith Eales, Doreen Hodgkinson, and Alison Hart of the Protea Hotel.

And another first- on the day we left it was pouring down with rain- does anyone remember this in early August?

See also Return to Nchanga

77 comments:

  1. Thanyou Barry
    You have done exactly what I had wanted to do for about 20 years having left in 78 after two years. Great photo of Cliff and Judith Eales, we were friends with these lovely people. I am on the Chingola site and my email is paul@duggan.me.uk would love to hear from Cliff and Judith. Paul Duggan

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  2. Hello Barry and Mara, thanks for this post. I'm so happy to see photos of Chingola, but naturally saddened by the pitiful state of the landmarks. Still, until I can personally get my own "pilgrimage" done, I guess I will always yearn to return to the place of my childhood. :)

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  3. Glad to see this post! We are considering applying for a position at Konkola, and would be based in Chingola then. It is so difficult to find any information on the web. We are from South Africa and lived and worked in rural areas during the last 15 yrs, but still, it's difficult to form a picture of another country, bearing in mind the two little ones that one has to consider!

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  4. Hello Barry,

    Roger Sawyer sent me your link about your recent trip to Chingola. I was there from 1966 to end 1970 and like you, I always had this hankering to go back and have a look at the place. This we did in August 2010 – me (Section Engineer Hoists and Pumps), Peter Bulloch (Section Engineer Concentrator, who you may remember) and Roger Thomas (who you will no doubt know) and his wife Janet. We travelled by road – Lusaka to Chingola, then down to Livingstone, back to Lusaka, then on to south Luangwa Game Park and then back to Lusaka and away home, a 12 day trip.

    From your account, things have got a bit worse within the 2 years after our trip. Like you, we were given an excellent tour of the bits of the mine which interested us. I was all a bit run down, except of course for the new smelter which was located on the site of the old Leach Plant, right opposite my single quarters. It has gobbled up first street, so the plant is right up against the single quarters and I could not believe the noise that plant made (or the state of the SQ’s, as they are still called) and I’m sure it would not be allowed in Europe.

    We had a look down Oppenheimer Avenue and Pope Drive where the top brass live and they were still pristine.

    We stayed at the Protea which was very good, except that Roger and Janet’s magic electronic door key failed and they had to get in and out via the window! We were made welcome and had drinks in the Golf Club and Arts Theatre and an excellent meal at the Mokorro Lodge restaurant next to what used to be the old Toyota garage.

    We took loads of pictures and if you are interested, some can be found on Photobucket under http://s1002.photobucket.com/user/PGB44/library/?sort=3&page=1
    However, I have just had a look and Photobucket has changed a bit since I was last in there, but I got there in the end. Anyway, no doubt you will have similar photos. We all thoroughly enjoyed our trip and had no trouble at all, other that me getting fined for failing to stop at a road block. The policeman’s erratic hand waving said “keep going” to me, but apparently he meant “stop”! When I told him that he has taken all my money, he gave me half of it back! I wonder where the other half ended up?

    Don Maxwell

    donald.maxwell@orange.fr

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    1. Thanks for this Don. We also stayed at the Protea (not really any other options) and thoroughly enjoyed our week in Chingola. If you are still in touch with Roger Thomas please give him my best regards. Sorry I could not access any photos on Photobucket

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    2. Hi Barry,
      Just found your blog and interested in your report on Chingola where I was an Electrical Engineer from October 1971 to 1974. I was in Electrical Projects, then Sectional Engineer Electrical Open Pits (what a mouthful that must have been).
      In Electrical Projects I did work in all the surface areas plus townships and my Single Quarters were across the road next door to Phil Thomas, a mining engineer who I'm trying to get in touch with.
      Like most of the single guys I only spent about half my time in the SQ, house-sitting for married guys on long leave for a lot of the time, including a 2-3 month stint farm-sitting.
      I recognise some of the names and faces in your Metallurgical team but didn't have much to do with them as most of my work was with the other Sectional Engineers and Foremen.
      I've looked at Don's photos and dropped him a line. The place now looks pretty run down apart from the Smelter.
      I've worked mainly in Oil and Gas since 1974 with a bit of Rail and Building Services. I'm now working as a self-employed electrical engineering consultant, mostly Oil and gas but I have done various studies for a Mining Client.

      Thanks for the memories,

      Regards

      David Wraith

      david.wraith@virgin.net

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  5. Good to hear from you David. Yes it is pretty run down, but I was very impressed with the Tailings Leach Plant, and with all the Zambian metallurgists that I met.

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  6. Sad to hear today of the death of Cliff Eales. Our thoughts are with Judith.

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    1. We too are sad to hear of the demise of Cliff. He and Judy arrived in 1966 fresh from the UK (Wales?), and we had been in Chingola about a year from Australia. I worked on the NCCM Leach Plant, the old HGO + LGS Roaster. Would love to hear from Judith.
      Cliff and Judith had at least one happy trip with us to Rhodwins for a braaivleis.
      Karen and Robert Allan, Mallacoota, Australia

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  7. It was interesting to read your report Barry and the responses. I was at Bougainville Copper in PNG as an expat and in the late seventies the company recruited a number of metallurgists from Zambian mines including Jon Glatthaar, Mike Goiny, Wendy Thahla and Mike Gunn. At Broken Hill I worked with Electrical Engineer Bob Harty who told me great tales about the life there. In 2007 I visited Zambia for the first time spending a few days in Ndola. It was run down but it wasn't hard to imagine how it would have looked in earlier times. Regards...Peter Tilyard Melbourne

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    1. You probably remember Paul Piercy who I worked with at Nchanga in the early 70s before he left and worked at Bougainville for a number of years. I met him this week in Perth, first time I had seen him in 42 years!

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  8. David,

    We are American currently living in Chingola. In many ways, wish we had stumbled onto your blog before relocating. The town is in horrible condition, but there is real evidence of the dual carriageway being started between Chingola and Kitwe. Fortunately, we've met a few outstanding people, Judith among them.

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  9. My dad Harold Barker worked in the mine as a Safety Engineer in the 70's and my brother and I visited 3 times each year. Chingola was a brilliant pace back then, some great places to explore, hanging out at Nchange Pool, the Arts Club abd Rugby club also saw us having fun. I would love to return, but as some have said, perhaps memories are better than seeing the place as it is now. Thanks for the pictures, specially the pool, we spent some great days there, oh how I wish we could wind back the clock

    Shaun Barker

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  10. Barry, when you visited Nchanga recently, did you perchance meet or hear any news of Wallace Banda? He was our local metallurgical accountant in training back in July1968 when I left the Leach Plant. I did most of the monthly copper balances (plus quarterly and annual reconciliations, with the odd battle with auditors). We were doing well to keep the dreaded unaccounted Cu loss to <200 s.tons, esp. with stockpiles of HGO cons. heap leaching away in the rainy season. Anyway,Wallace was a great help to us mets (myself, Les Stewart, Ian Noble, Rogers Thomas and Sawyer) and would like to know how he might have got on (did not succcomb to AIDS, very big scare in 2000 when I last visited).
    Rob Allan, Mallacoota, Victoria, Australia

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  11. In the early 70s there was a Thomas Banda in charge of daily met accounting on the concentrator, but never heard of Wallace Banda

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  12. OH MY! What a delightful find. I have been wanting to revisit my childhood town of Chingola for over a decade. I lived and went to school in Chingola until it became politically hot 1964 (I was 11 years old) and my parents returned to South Africa. We lived at 68 12th Street. I went to ballet classes at the Moth Hall. I would love to know what happened to the Spreggs? I went to school with David Spregg.

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    1. Hi Deirdre,
      I lived with my parents at 73, 11th street until 1965 after finishing Matric Exemption at Chingola High. Also believed with the escalating "Zambianisation" policy in place the future looked rather grim. Returned to P.E. that year to where most of my Mom's family still lived.
      Will be attending the Chingola Reunion next month in Hermanus where I hope to see many of my old school mates!
      Mike Lee

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    2. I lived at 18 12th street and went to Helen Waller but left in 1960. I was known as Diane Hart at the age of 7. I would like to return for a visit but am a bit unsure

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  13. I'll chuck my name into the hat as a couple of the names mentioned here resonate with me, Paul Piercy, John Glathaar. I'm John Ellis and I was a metallurgist on the Copperbelt from 1964 to 1979. I was only briefly in Chingola at the start, maybe 18 months on and off, then I was at Rhokana and gravitated to Minmet Services, Mutondo House, a happy team under the redoubtable Peter Williams. I looked after the group metallurgical accounting and never worried too much about the unaccounted losses as they helped to balance the books and usually came back later as unaccounted gains. Always a good excuse for a trip to Chingola or Bancroft and lunch at the Golf Club! Those really were the days.
    Greetings to all, from sunny Perth,
    John Ellis (johnkwellis@gmail.com)

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  14. Hi there lovely blog. My father and mother Peter and Mel Baker were there 1970 to 1972. My dad was a mechanical engineer at the Nchanga mine and mum taught at the Chingola school. I was born there in 1971 Ndola hospital - sure we have some super 8mm film of my brother in the pool - if you knew my father and mother please get in touch carl.baker@pbworld.com

    Many thanks

    Carl

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  15. I was an accountant based in the Chingola Offices from 1969 to 1974 and have very strong happy memories of all aspects of my time there. I recollect some of the names mentioned above especially Roger and Janet Thomas whom I once house sat for in Kabundi. I was a regular at the swimming pool, tennis club and Arts theatre and am still in touch with Mike Slack another accountant from the same era. I would love to revisit but am saddened by the obvious deterioration in places. (mikehrney@aol.com)

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  16. I too worked at Konkola Copper Mines , Chililabombwe and Chingola , during 2006 to 2008. I worked as a Construction Manager to set up brown field copper concentrator (6 MPA) plant for KCM. That was EPC project. Reading all the stuff on the blog reminded me good old and challenging work performed there. I wanted to visit Chingola again , but as it said never go back to same old place in order to keep your memories glorious. All those places including Nchanga plant, offices, shop rite, Bata show room, Hotel Protea, VIP club etc all roll in front of eyes.
    G.M.Krishna / India

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  17. Thanks for the really interesting post though sad to hear that Chingola is in such a poor state. Moved there with parents in 1970, Harry Langham was a civil engineer at Nchanga and Pauline Langham ran the Nchanga Nursery School. Sadly both are no longer with us. Lots of happy memories of the pool and clubs mentioned. Would love to turn the click back!
    Mandy Chance nee
    Langham

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  18. susanne spiller (nee Doyle)13 February 2016 at 22:41

    Hi,have just discovered this blog and am overcome by a wave if nostalgia. I was born in Kitwe in 1960 and spent several very happy years in Chingola.my father, Patrick Doyle, worked on the open pit as a foreman and we lived at 66,12th street. I too, went to ballet classes and remember walking past the shoe shop,shopping at Amin's and going to Salanki jewellers.. My god parents were Pat and Joan Malone. I would love to hear from anyone who may have known mthem ir my parents, Pat and Audrey.

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  19. We had such a great time and thanks for the photos. Our family left Chingola for Switzerland in 1988.

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  20. GEE it brought tears to my eyes after I read your blog. I don't know if you remember me, I was in Chingola from 1968 to 1981. After I saw the pictures of the swimming pool, squash/tennis club and bowling club I could not believe the pictures. A longer profile will follow.

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  21. Hi, have been on the site a couple of times but never commented. I lived at 79 12th Street from 66 to 76 and I am sure many of you will remember my father, Peter Fiore who worked at Nchanga Mine and was also Zambian Powerlifting champion (now sadly passed away in 2014). I write this comment because of the photos Barry has put on the site noteably the state of the swimming pool and tennis club where I spent many days in childish bliss. I think I even recognise Mike Frost in the black and white and that might even be my Mum in the background near the stand!! Sad to see the current state but in my memory they are still pristeen. I seem to recall the Eales as well as I think i knew their son, Phillip but i'm not sure. Still good to see the Bata shop but not sure if the Solanki store is still around.
    Thanks for the memories.

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    1. This is what a blog is all about! Hard to believe that you will be in your 50s now, Michael, the last time I saw you, in Chingola, you were just a little boy. Your mum and dad, and your three sisters were all friends of ours, and your dad was my great friend and 'personal trainer'. He played a great part in enhancing my sporting life, and, in his role as deputy fire chief, introduced me to the fire service, something that I loved. When we all left Chingola, we lost touch, although I remember seeing him on TV in the mid 70s becoming world middleweight power-lifting champion.

      We caught up with each other only a few years ago, via Google, unfortunately only a few months before his untimely death. You will find quite a lot of mention of Peter Fiore, including photos, on various parts of the blog.

      How are you and the family now, and where are you all living? Keep in touch.
      Barry

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    2. Barry,
      Great to hear from you. Yes, I'm now 53, married with two boys 16 and 12. I now live in Fleet, Hampshire. My sisters also live in Fleet which is great to have the family close. Nat and Naomi are nurses and still single and Nikki is just recently married. Mum now lives down in Salisbury and has been retired for quite some time. Still miss Dad but it is still good to hear from people who have been lucky enough to know him.
      Love the photos amd would love to see more if possible.
      Thanks again,
      Michael

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    3. Contact me by email, Michael, and I will look up some photos.
      bwills@min-eng.com

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  22. I came across this page by pure accident. What a wonderful surprise !!!. Myself my wife Val and our two children arrived in Chingola in June 1972 having sailed from Southamption to Cape Town ( on the Edidburgh Castle )and drove then drove up to Zambia.Such a sense of excitement!!. I was placed at the Nchanga Opencast on the RTV'S. We met some wonderful friends and I now look back in nostalgia at those happy memories. A few names come to mind , Walter Beadling , Jimmy Swan, Roy Taylor Micky Pegg, Dave Lawrence etc ( we all played football in the Copperbelt expat league for Nchanga .Thanks for sharing your memories.Tony Clark.emil-clarkies@yoafrica.com

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    1. Having trouble posting so will try again. We lived on Oppenheimer in 62-65ish era and I visited from school on vacations from SR. It was always a great, clean town as I recall. My parents came back in 77-80 . Thanks for the memories, Rich Moskwa

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    2. I was also in Chingola and remember Micheal Pegg a true scouser and a great friend

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  23. We left England in 1947 and SETTLED in Northern Rhodesia with an emphasis on settled ! Lived in Chingola and departed 1964. There were no EXPATS IN THOSE DAYS ! Everyone was there forever but it did not work out that way , most employees on the mines were paid a GOLDEN HANDSHAKE and told basically it's all over .
    like my family we ended up scattered all over the world . I returned in 1980 and cried at what I saw .
    Have been back many times since that visit . There is one thing that nobody can take away and that are the unbelievable friendships and memories .

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  24. I remember Peter Fiore well and Tony Clark can anyone remember the guys name who painted the various paintings on .the back of the face shovels particularly the toothless bulldog which had .to be hastily removed.
    Brian Mason

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  25. It was great to read all the posts about Chingola and the Nchanga Mine. I was there as a geologist (sorry not a mineral processor) between 1977-80. As it was my first job from University, I too have fond memories, despite the curfews and other restrictions that the final years of Rhodesia conflict imposed. After two years working underground I became structural geologist for the Nchanga Open Pit and enjoyed zipping around in my Toyota Landcruiser. Its sad to see the demise of the Swimming Pool, which I remember well and the general erosion of the fabric of the town. While in Chingola, I joined the local Lions Club, and am still a member of the Lions organisation some 40 years later. A couple of years ago I even met a Chingola Lion, a local surgeon, at a Lions International event - so that is one Club that has survived. And I understand from Facebook that my other regular haunt, the Theatre Club, is still active.

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    1. It would be great to know who you are 'unknown'

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  26. Thank you for posting this. I came with my parents a bit later than most on this blog - '81-'88, and had wonderful memories. I certainly remember the cream buns, and fresh bread from Princes bakery in your photo's. It's sad to see the state of the Nchanga Racquet & swim clubs, many of us spent our free time there. I am planning a trip to Zambia to show my California raised kids a bit about my adopted home country, but after this perhaps I'll skip the Chingola bit!

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  27. I was living in Chingola from 65/67 . I was in charge of the Customs Department and actually married a local girl the daughter of the local dentist Doc Findlay .She was his oldest daughter of four -all gorgeous.My great pal Roger Murphy married number two two daughter Di.
    We got married in St Barnabus church and all the expat notables were at the reception including the Solanki family .
    Great days my ex wife’s mother Paula Findlay was a notable local artist and the doyenne of the little thatr

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    1. Hi Sam, hope you are well. Are you living in the UK? I am living in Cape Town now and Noel and I yearly attend the Chingola Reunion in Hermanus in February which is organized by Colin and Jill Edge. These events are great fun and a good way to keep in touch. People come from far and wide to meet up and renew old friendships. Di and Rog also live in Cape Town not far from me. Mom and dad are long gone now of course but hearing from you bought back many more Chingola memories.

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    2. Hi Sam how are you & where are you? Rog & I chat about you often & the memories of those old days. Would love to make contact if you feel like it. Our email is Di. Murphy @axxess.co.za no caps & no spaces.

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    3. Hi Sam we often chat about you and would like to make contact with you if you want to. Our email address is Di. Murphy @axxess.co.zs

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  28. Michael Hawarden.4 June 2018 at 08:15

    I only had a short stint on Bancroft mine in 1962 after university [9 months] but it gave rise to many great memories. It was hazardous and very wet mining doing a scraperman's job together with grizzly work. But the money was good and copper bonuses high. The copperbelt then seemed like a place of milk and honey. Tidy and efficient and marvellous facilities. When not down the hole I played golf, cricket and rugby. And afterwards drank a lot of beer in the Croaking Frog! Many years later in the 1980's I went back as a corporate man looking for an investment opportunity. But there was little understanding amongst the top echelon of the dynamic needed to lift the industry out of the doldrums.Very sad but it might explain why Africa will always have a great future. I feel I was lucky enough to enjoy the apex years.

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  29. So glad I came across this page looking up Chingola and Ndola as there is a possibility my son may be going to work in Ndola. My son was born in Chingola in 1977, in those days there were food shortages but great times too. I was Claire Watson back in those days, life changes many things, including Chingola by the look of it.

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  30. Just in case someone remembers Dave Watson , armature winder in the mine 1977 - 79, Dave died in South Africa 5 July 2018.

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  31. When you went to Zambia you thought you were a big deal because you were an Assistant Foreman until you got there and realised EVERYONE was an assistant foreman ???? I was there about 1978 and my name is Paul Rowe and I worked at the Open Pit on big diesel electric trucks. What a great place Chingola was ??? I was even in a play at the Theatre called, The Happy Apple' first time and last time !!! The glorious days I spent at that swimming pool? I can never understand why Zambian Mosi beer is so much better than the beer we get in South Africa ???? They were great days! Probably the best of my life! I am looking for Dave West Mining Engineer who lives in Sudbury, Canada, and Mike and Sally Wilks from Bristol !!!

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  32. My parents were married in the Community Hall in Chingola in 1947. I believe my father worked as an accountant at the copper mine and my mother left England, alone, to get married in Africa - quite daring in those days I guess! She died this June, aged 96, and we are keen to bring her ashes to the Alymer May Cemetery in Lusaka where my father is buried. He died in 1954.

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    1. It would be good to know who you are

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    2. My father was John [known as Jack] Leslie Hand and my mother Betty Hand [nee Jones]. I was born in Chingola in 1951 when my parents worked there, and my father died when they were living in Lusaka in January 1954. My mother returned home - I was aged two and a half - after his death. My godfather was Mick Dabinett who, I understand, worked in the South Luangwa Park. My godmother Elaine Peachey, married to Derick Peachey, and they owned an estate in Abercorn. My name is Denise Pettit. As you may be able to tell, I don't have a lot of information!

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  33. Hi everyone.Hat's off for each and everyone of you. I'm so happy to hear from people who knew and lived in Chingola before today.
    I was born in Chingola 1971. My father who is french worked for Mimbula Fitula in kasompe. I started my nursery at St.Barnabas Nursery and Nchanga Lower Trust school and went to St.Josephes Convent School. I'm so happy to know that i'm not the only one who thinks about Nchanga swimming pool, the Rugby club, hockey club,tennis club, and not forgetting 'The Vestra Cinema' with the metal drums on the parking for our father's and mother's to pass their driver's license. Thank you all for the sweet and unforgettable past of my life. I am now in france and looking forward to go visit Chingola.

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    1. My name is Gilles MORICE, son of Daniel Morice and Beatrice

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  34. Great to see the above comments.
    My name is Stephen Hart, I have been trying to trace some neighbours and friends of my parents Stan and Joan Hart, my father worked at the mine from 1950/1960.
    We returned to the Uk in December 1960, my father did not want to take the risk of staying on in Chingola with all of the troubles and atrocities going on, so very sad.
    I was only 8 years old when we left but have such fond memories of our time in Chingola
    We lived at kabundi also in 12th street and 15th street opposite Hellen Waller School
    We also used to go to the Open air pool at weekends with the family
    Neighbours and school friends included, Errol Reece, John Henry, Susan Flood, The Aladice family Diane Wright who lived in Kitwe and Jack and Maisie Collier family.
    Louis and Kath Wright are my god parents originally from Yorkshire, Louis had an engineering business called Riteway Engineering, I have tried to trace these folk for years without success.
    So seeing this blog was quite encouraging, it would be nice to hear from anyone who may know our family
    Regards
    Stephen Hart

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    1. Hi Stephen, I found this webpage as I’m researching the history of my Great Uncle who was Louis Wright. I believe this to be the same Louis Wright you are referring to. His wife was Kath and they had a daughter, Diane. Louis was my Grandfather’s brother, we were very close and I actually named my first born son after him, Louie. I have fond memories of my 2 visits to see my Uncle Louis in Kitwe but this was after Kath had passed away. I’m not sure when she died (I can ask my Mum) but I was born in ‘77 and have no memories of her. If you’d like more info on what happened to them, I’m happy to share that with you and hopefully you may be able to tell me about their lives in Kitwe too.

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    2. Hi Stephen, Louis & Kath Wright from Kitwe (daughter Diane) were my Great Uncle & Aunt. I never knew Kath as she passed away quite young but I was very close to my Uncle Louis and even named my first born child after him. If you’d like to know more about what happened to them, I’m happy to share it with you. I’d like to know more about their time in Zambia so you might also be able to tell me something! I visited twice as a child and have lots of fond memories but as an adult there’s so much more I’d like to know. (I previously wrote a long reply but I don’t think it posted - if it did and I’m now repeating myself, I apologise.)

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  35. My father and mom were here in 1960 or 61. Italians. Giovanni and elisa Martini. I wonder if anyone remembers them, they had a baby, my brother, born in 61.

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  36. I returned back to Chingola 2015 and was taken back how it had changed for the worse!!!. I lived in Chingola for 35 years before emigrating to Australia. You may have known the Smart family ( Muzzy andBrian ) Pino and Mario Massolini? We left in 2003.
    Roberto Massolini

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    1. Hi Roberto,
      I was really pleased to come across this page, and recognise your name .we were friends many years ago.I have fond memories of Chingola and the Convent school.
      Sad to see the photos of what is like now.
      Hope you are well ,

      Mike Wildblood



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  37. Loved this blog! Peter Fiore lived opposite us in 12th Street, we were 80. Happy days!
    Jaz Chappell

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  38. I was born in Chingola lived there until 72 ,my dad was the mine captain Rex Bannister ,I had 6 brothers sadly in the last 2 months I've lost Michael and Steven .
    Carole Green

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  39. Having read about the shortage of water at Vic falls, I thought I would check the weather in Chingola since I knew it should be raining by now. And so it is. Also stumbled upon this blog and in some ways wish I hadn’t seeing the deterioration since my time there.
    I was there from 66 to 79 as a mining engineer. First underground, then the open pits where I succeeded Neville Fivaz as Mine Superintendent. I lived in 8th Street next to another scouser, Jack Wallace. Then I moved to Oppenheimer where my next door neighbour was the great Jackie Kyle.
    I recognise a lot of the names here and particularly remember Peter Fiore in instrumentation where we would often chat.
    Many of the guys went to work at other mines and, as a consulting engineer, I managed to meet up with quite a few. Rossing Uranium became home for many, but also Palabora (Don Maxwell) and NDMC in Sierra Leone.
    Other joined the Selection Trust group in London and elsewhere.
    Sad to see the dilapidation but perhaps inevitable once the wealth of the mine disappeared.

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    1. Hi Jim. You may be interested in more posts on Zambia

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    2. Thank you for the link to Zambia. It all seems a long time ago now. The “whenweweres” are gradually fading away. I mentioned Don Maxwell at Palabora when it should have been Jim Gorman. I was single quarters for a few months with Don, Peter Bullock, Roger Sawyer and Peter Clark. By chance I bumped into
      Roger by chance many years later in a Toronto hotel bar, the Fairmont I think. He was with Rio Tinto at that time.
      I recalled later than Tony Tully was with me on the Rossing trip. They arranged a do in the bat there and it seemed that half of the Nchanga open pit crew were there.
      There is mention in the blog by Sam Harris of Paula Findlay. The Findlay’s lived in 7th Street. I remember a portrait she made of Inika Waterreus, the wife of a colleague mining engineer. Anyone that frequented the pool in the late 60’s would remember the couple. Sadly Inika died young.
      Tad Moskwa was of course the GM for much of that period and I found him to be a kind man. I first really met him when I was a ug mine captain and took him for a tour of my section. The rumour was that when he left, for Cape Town I believe, he bought himself a large motor bike. Good for him.


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    3. I worked for Jack Wallace from 1971 as Assistant Foreman on the mine winders electrical maintenance and Jackie Kyle removed my son's tonsils.

      Regards
      Richard (Dick) Brown

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  40. We lived on Kitwe Road from 75 to 77. Father worked in Barclays and mother in the North Hospital. Went to Sacred Heart school and great memories. Neighbours and friends were the Burgesses. Knew the Eales. Great childhood memories.

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  41. I was in Chingola from 1968 until 1976 then went to Luaska , my father worked in the open pit as a sparkly his name was Dougles aka Doug the thug.I remember the buff club,my sister still has his outfit.My mother was called eva jeffrey,sadly both have passed away.The best days i remember going to the swimming baths and the cinema.I also done cadding at the golf club.I went to chingola primary school then onto chingola high school.

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  42. Thank you for sharing the photo's. It's sad to see the state of the Nchanga Racquets Club and the swimming pool. I used to live at 38 4th street and left Chingola 27 years ago to peruse a career as a professional squash player. I learned how to play tennis and squash at Nchanga Racquets Club so the current situation is heartbreaking to see. I remember when l was around 10-12 years old, Jim Kitchen and Ray Wilson helped me as a junior. I plan to visit Chingola in December and now l know what to expect. Thanks

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    1. How did your squash career go, Masambo? I played squash for Nchanga in the early 70s, my mentor being Copperbelt champion Alan Minty.

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  43. Sorry for this long statement of a short version of my squash career history. I would suggest you make yourself a drink of coffee or cuppa before you start reading.

    During my career as a professional squash player, I competed at a world class level in both professional squash tournaments and professional league squash (England is renowned as having the most competitive squash leagues in the world). My squash achievements are significant and I have received many accolades throughout my career; these are some of decorated achievements listed below:

    Professional Squash Career Achievements 1997-2005:
    • Voted the best squash player of the Year from 1997 to 1999 in the North East of England (Northumberland and Durham and Cleveland leagues)
    • Yorkshire League – 1997 to 2004
    • Led Alnwick Squash Club to three Northumberland Premier League titles 1997-99
    • Represented Duffield and Manchester Northern Squash Clubs in the English National League (strongest league in the world) 1999 – 2005
    • Led Manchester Northern Squash and Tennis Club to win Northwest Counties Premier Leagues 2001-2005 as a (Head Professional, Player and a Manager)
    • Commonwealth Games Competitor, Manchester, 2002 and Malaysia 1998

    Throughout my professional career I often competed with the 20 to 50 world ranked squash players and who, from time to time, I beat in tournaments on the squash tour and in the league matches in the UK. Some of remarkable individual performances during the league season for example, from March 25th 2003 to 26th October 2004, I had an excellent run in the Northwest Counties League in which I recorded 28 straight wins beating a range of tough world ranked opponents. In total, I played 106 matches between a period of 2002 and 2006 and recorded 90 wins, a record which to this moment still stands unbeaten at professional level.

    Unfortunately, I suffered a string of injuries during my playing career, suffering particularly from a recurring knee injury. I then went on to have five surgeries on both knees. These injuries prompted a change to my sporting career and became a Squash Coach, a Personal Trainer and a Sport Therapist.

    Despite the injuries, I continued to play squash but at a reduced level and committed myself more to coaching squash, Personal Training and as a Sports Therapist. I retired from playing full time following the surgeries and I started competing in the Masters Squash tournaments. This also meant taking up a number of sports management and coaching roles which saw me working across different sports clubs and gyms developing junior squash, promoting healthy lifestyle and coaching ladies’ squash.

    In addition to committing to coaching , I also contributed my time on a voluntary basis to teaching special needs children who suffered from low esteem and who were from disadvantaged families, running holiday camps and most of the duties are unpaid. Further, I have acted as a volunteer in respect of a number of social causes volunteering assisting charity organisations serving food to the homeless people on Christmas Days for the Salvation Army. Other causes I have volunteered include taking part in the Manchester Midnight walks raising funds for cancer.

    After retiring from full time squash the following are the achievements from British Masters Squash Tournaments from 2014-2019:
    • Represent Cheshire for the first and the Masters Teams from 2012-2020
    • Cheshire Closed Over 35 Champion 2014
    • Northwest England Masters Squash Over 40 finalist 2014
    • Cheshire Closed Over 35 Champion 2015
    • England Masters Squash Over 40 Champion 2015
    • England Masters finalist 2018
    • Cheshire Closed Over 35 finalist 2019
    • Current Ranked England Number 5 in UK Over 45 Masters.

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  44. Story number two of two.

    At present, I have created Manchester Squash, (MS) is an independent squash coaching organisation based in South Manchester. MS works in partnership with selected squash coaches, local Sports Clubs and Leisure Centres. The aim of MS is to provide affordable squash based lessons and general physical fitness techniques to schools and individuals through fun and enjoyable sessions.

    In February 2020, I started a scheme called, Fitness for Better Life, to promote sport and mental alertness aimed at children from 6-11 and 12-15 years. These sessions are either delivered in schools using a specially designed mini squash court or in local clubs/leisure centres.

    This scheme provides an opportunity for boys and girls to take part in fitness based squash sports activity under my guidance and the sessions are delivered in an organised setting.

    I have also returned to playing the Northwest County Squash in First Division One although, playing lower at number four or five therefore, avoiding to play against young professionals and at the same time alternating between Division Two at number one. I should though point out that l am finding difficult to recover every time than I used to some 10-15 years ago because most of the individuals l play against are half my age and some of them l used to coach as juniors so therefore, tasting my own medicine- hahaha. But, love the challenge.

    Despite all the achievements, l feel I fall short to fulfil my accomplishment because my aim was to reach world number one however, my dream was cut short due to knee injuries and surgeries.

    I do however have memorable highlights and greatest achievements such as completing in the commonwealth games in Malaysia 1998 and Manchester 2002. Then in 1993, I had a breakthrough and won a biggest major Professional Squash Association (PSA) graded tournament and became the first African to win the Kenyan Open Squash championship therefore, making history in Squash for non-European to win a tough circuit tournament and holding a record to win the Championship. Other highlights include winning all East & Centre African Championship tournaments in 1996 back to back. Later that year in 1996 I was also finalist Sportsman of the year in Zambia and best Squash Player in Africa.

    On the other hand, notwithstanding the disappointment of not reaching world number one I have inspired a lot of people, both young and old, to play squash and to keep fit. Some of kids I taught have gone on also to achieve excellent educational backgrounds and have become doctors, engineers or teachers. As a result of my input, I have contributed to their lives and, in some cases, steered individuals away from committing crime or joining drug gangs. Some kids I have coached now play local and national leagues and represent their countries.

    During this period through my successful career as a professional squash player and professional coach this is an achievement of which I am particularly proud of helping others to realise their potential.

    In nutshell, by date, my squash career may be noted as being:

    • Full time full professional squash player 1994-2005
    • David Lloyd Gyms in (Performance Coach)
    • Manchester City Council (Sports Development Official Squash Coach and Event Organiser)
    • Manchester Northern Squash Club and Tennis Club, 2001-2005 ( Head Squash Professional)
    • Cheshire under 17 Coach, ( County Coach)
    • Village Cheadle Hotel, ( Squash Coach and Personal Trainer)
    • Total Fitness Manager, Squash Coach and Kids Co-Coordinator
    • Self-Employed as a (Sports Therapist)

    What was your standard of squash in the 70’s? A name Alan Minty sounds familiar though in the 1970’s I was only little therefore, had limited memory.

    When did you leave Chingola?



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    1. An interesting career Masambo, well done. I am from Manchester, being born in Ashton-u-Lyne, but left for Zambia in 1969, returning to UK in 1973. I only reached county level but Alan Minty was of international standard. I still stay in touch with Alan, who lives in the Manchester area (Altrincham).
      Like with you, the legacy of squash is bad knees, although I do a lot of coastal walking down here in west Cornwall.

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  45. Yes I have had an interesting career indeed and a tough one being 6.3 tall as a squash player because it takes too much on the body physically.

    I live in Cheadle Hulme which is South Manchester but know Ashton-u-Lyne which is the other side of Manchester. Do you come to Manchester to visit? I have definitely heard of Alan Minty maybe one day I will get to meet him.
    Unfortunately common injuries with squash are always knees and most of squash colleagues have retired early as a result.

    Wow, you left Zambia in 1969 and returned to the UK, in 1973. In 73 I was only one year old then and when growing up in Zambia, I remember things and facilities were in great conditions. The 7th street swimming pool, the Hockey Club opposite our house in 38, 4th Street, Watson St, Cricket Club, Bowing Club, Rugby Club, South and North Hospitals and of course Nchanga Racquets Club.

    It saddens me to see how these once great facilities have declined to zero use, and yet on the hand people are building big shopping Malls. Without getting too much into of this, Africans leaders lack of leadership and priorities.

    Let’s keep in touch and I will be nice to meet up with you when I am next in Cornwall.

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  46. Just found this blog - sorry to see the state of things. I was a very green medic from on a one year contract from mid 1973 to 1974. I'm really posting to say a big thank-you to the engineers who built an extra petrol tank under the rear parcel shelf of my old Toyota Crown on which I spent much of my money before I drove due north home to Yorkshire with two friends through Zaire and across the Sahara (that was the easy bit). I remember Jack Kyle of course, and John and Paula Findlay who took me under their wing. One of her paintings hangs on the wall. It was the ace anaesthetist Brian Duffy's friend who ran the transport fleet who arranged the installation and if any engineers involved read this, I am truly grateful. I doubt if we would have made it to Nigeria without it. I lived in a block of flats just below the tennis club, and, unlike the NHS, AngoAmerican-NCCM treated me like a god. I still have my ID photocard - AA3870 - with 1970s hair making look a right prat. I wonder what conditions in the hospitals are like now? It was pretty good when I was there, although North Hospital was very busy as the mine had just been nationalised and we were expected to treat anybody, not just mine workers. Anyway, we proved you could cross Africa without a beard or four wheel drive! I'll try and attach a pic of possibly the worst day of a six week drive.

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    1. Hi John. You may be interested in this account of a similar journey from UK to Chingola, by neighbours of ours on 13th Street

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  47. Sad to hear today that Judith Eales died 3 days ago

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  48. Malcolm & Christine Grey, Originally on Kabundi then at 37, 10th street. Lots of happy memories from Dec 1975 to May 1978. Lovely experiences and fast friends. We enjoyed our time there and traveled around including driving to Malawi with the kids and swede Tommy Ahl's family. I worked in the Study department With Dave Abraham and Nick Gregson. Met Neil & Gillian plus Rod & Sue Warnes and Paul Chessemond at Farnham Castle then added more friends including Mike Wilson and other, ex David Brown tractors guys from Huddersfield area. Enjoyed the Bowls club swimming
    before renovating the pavilion and making the cricket club functional as a cricket club (rather than Julius's bar!) even hosted an international touring team from England with some great young players . Unfortunately i sSuffered a misunderstanding with the police while I was running the Cricket Club. Ended up in jail for a while and left for UK as soon as I got my passport back!! Christine and I eventually emigrated to Texas USA,in 1995. We miss England and hate Trump!!
    Malcolm Grey Malcolmgrey49@gmail.com

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  49. Found this blog by chance lucky me!
    I lived in Chingola from 1976 to 1982 and studied at Sacred heart convent-my parents the Nairs taught at Chikola secondary school. I try and relive the good times in my mind for Chingola will always have a place in my heart.

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  50. I was in Chingola 1970 to 1973. The BCELFEATURED large in my wonderful time there. Watts Williams, Derek Critter,Fred Morgner,Tony and Klompie who all worked at CAMS garage, and Bob Baker,Johnny Green and many others who were on the mine. I was a nurse at Chiwempala Clinic with Kate Evans and Liz Alexander. In Jan'74 I returned to Zambia and worked in Luanshya where I met my husband. We were married there in Sept '74.

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