imageLightDarkIconDark Gerald Romer (1906 - 1999)
David Haselden (about 1919 - 1992)

Manera Farm

Naivasha, Kenya 1940's and 50's

'Out in the Midday Sun' by Elspeth Huxley

Photos Gerald Romer and David Haselden

'Out in the Midday Sun'

by Elspeth Huxley

Extract from Chapter 7

Gerald Romer 1930's


I remember Gilbert Colvile as a smallish, wiry, rather wizened man, reserved but not unfriendly, who willingly answered my questions about Delamere, his neighbour and friend.

His initial ranch was Ndabibi, lying to the north and north-west of Lake Naivasha and eventually covering 40,000 acres.

'He was very hard on his managers,' one of them told me, 'and very mean as well.' Despite this, most of them stuck to him, one for over thirty-four years, another for nearly twenty. Those who stood up to him did best.

'When I was appointed,' one of them said, 'I went round his estates and presented him with a long list of things I thought should be done. He said no to all of them, so I told him there was no point in having me as a general manager if he was going to turn down all my suggestions.

He said: "Don't be stupid Romer, I always say no to start with, now begin again and give me reasons." He then agreed to everything, and I got on well with him after that. (18)

Chapter 7, note reference (18)

Several of Gilbert Colvile's former managers have given me their impressions of his character and life-style, inluding Messrs W. J. Martin, Gerald Romer, David Haselden, Frank Beletti and Paddy Grattan.

Mr Hugh Barclay has been indefatigable in ferreting out information about this enigmatic man, and Mrs Lorna Dempster went to much trouble to put me in touch with people who knew him.

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Gerald Romer and David Haselden

Gerald Romer, Kenya, 1938
Gerald Romer, Manera Farm, Kenya, 1949
David Haselden and Gerald Romer, Manera Farm, Kenya, 1951

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