Buildings at Gordon Park - Matopos - Zimbabwe

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GP HQ - Stables The Stables Rudolph at GP The Leask HQ - Kitchen & Office Kitchen & Crew Hut
The Leask

"...Another building constructed early in the development plan was "The Leask". This was so called because the bricks were obtained from the former Leask homestead. Ossie Connolly dismantled the home and Mike George loaded bricks on the truck, took them to Gordon Park and there unloaded them. Skipper and Rovers partly built "The Leask" but a bricklayer was engaged on Sundays to make the finishing touches. this proved to be a most useful building, housing as it did all the training equipment and camping necessities. ...A kitchen, office, First Aid room were later added to the "Leask"..." from The History of Gordon Park

"Reading some comments on the LEASK reminded me that over what seemed a long period, when I joined the Work Party at GP we were always hauling building materials for that building. I could never make out why they chose that site for the building and why it wasn't made much bigger. A long term view for the design of the camp HQ seemed to be lacking. I suppose it was due to lack of funds and the labour of young boys." from Rob Lavers

"Onto The Leask and here we must involve the Connolly family. They were(are) of Pioneer stock. Naomi taught me, did much for cubbing in Byo and was a member of the leader Training Team. (I joined the Training Team in circa 1962/3 following my Scout and Senior Scout Training Courses at Gilwell in 1961).
Ossie Connolly, of Connolly & Co (engineers) in Byo also had a ranch in south Matopos (I think inherited) on which Moffat established a missionary station. The Rev. Leask had a dwelling there the bricks of which were used to build The Leask at GP, courtesy of Ossie (an ex Rover of Skipper Knapman's) who also financed and built the Knapman Hut. The Leask's site was probably due to the proximity of the Rough and Long Stores and the shelter which was used for meals and sleeping - looked upon as HQ!
The Leask's construction was largely by the crew and locally employed men, including Willie, who was like a "caretaker" for many years. An African bricklayer helped a lot. I don't know where or how the rafters originated, but the water was pumped from river well, and it was from there we got the sand - brought up in the Bedford truck. The water was stored in a corrugated iron tank before the large "brick" one was built. The pipework and showers etc were installed before my time, no doubt by the earlier help from Byo Rovers.
We did install a phone system from the Leask to the well pump house and up to The Bowl - it was an old "turn the handle" to ring system and not very good. There was no connection to the outside world. I think the nearest phone to the outside world was at old Prior's store." - Gordon Caw

re-thatched in 2015 Skipper' Knapman Hut Knapman Hut re-thatched 2015      
HQ Car-park HQ Trolley Gordon Park Weather Station Braai after the Monthly Church Service Stables braai Stables braai
The Knapman Hut Crew Hut Crew Hut 1984 Crew Hut Crew Hut Loft Mrs Scott - Sunrise - Knapman hut
Crew Hut Dec 1995 Estate store 1938 New Loo's St Georges Chapel    
Site of the Conolly Lodge 1979 The Gordon Park Crew (Workers!) Connoly Lodge 1982 Conolly Lodge The Conolly Lodge The Conolly Lodge
Conolly Lodge Braai - Shumbashaba And the Braai actually works! Sing along - Conolly Lodge Santa arriving at Gordon Park    
Rough Store BP Footprint Emma - 1932 Ford 2-ton vintage truck HQ water tanks HQ water tanks  
Justine Ralphs Cub den stone laying ceremony Justine Ralphs stone laying ceremony Mr Ralphs laying the foundation stone "Justine Ralphs Cub den" opening "Justine Ralphs Cub den" opening  
Norman Scott and Emma Emma - the Hollywood film star The Pump starting ceremony... Pump house river crossing    
Gordon Park Scout Museum The Gordon Park Matabeleland Scout Museum Gordon Park Museum The Gordon Park Matabeleland Scout Museum The Gordon Park Matabeleland Scout Museum Zimbabwe Scout Museum
Zimbabwe Scout museum GP Museum Mrs Scott mowing the grass World War 1 Rememberance ceremony Well No.1 -1938  

Digging Wells
"Bob Talbot lost his leg at an early age - a shooting mishap whilst cleaning a firearm. For blasting down a well we lowered him with his good leg/foot in a bucket and after we had prepared the site he prepared the charge and set the detonator, bringing the fuse wire back up to the surface which was lit once we had taken shelter. Only Bob could do as only he had a blasting licence. No health and safety regs in those days!" Regards, Gordon

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Acknowledgements:-Norman Scott
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