Mr. Harry Strong — Zimbabwe.

Harry’s illus­trated talk began with the emig­ra­tion of his grand­father in 1925 to Rhodesia to start a new life. He found employ­ment out there and as a result of a chance meet­ing on a train he met a min­eral pro­specter and prop­erty spec­u­lator whom he went into busi­ness with and star­ted farm­ing on the totally undeveloped land. He planted tobacco which is a fast grow­ing crop and had a good return. He told us how his grand­father divided the land to give his son, Harry’s father enough land for a farm of his own. This even­tu­ally was split between Harry and his brother who farmed inde­pend­ently, grow­ing tobacco.

He explained how they had to do everything, includ­ing making approx­im­ately 1,000,000 bricks a year to build their house, barns and out build­ings. They built a dam for irrig­a­tion pur­poses which also provided recre­ation facil­it­ies such as fish­ing and boat­ing. Weekends were always very busy because their neigh­bours, who lived sev­eral miles away would come around for a social get together. The return from tobacco was paid out in Zimbabwe dol­lars and the mar­ket­ing of the crop was highly reg­u­lated and so Harry diver­si­fied into other crops such as chil­lies and pep­pers.

It was an ideal place to live and to bring up chil­dren. However all this changed when, under Robert Mugabe, white farmer’s land began to be con­fis­cated and given to the black work­ers, politi­cians, and people in high places. Their homes became fort­resses and they had to be armed at all times.

Eventually in 2001 Harry and family returned to England and came to live in Sheffield. They brought very little with them and had to start again on some money which they had inves­ted over here from pre­vi­ous years.

Harry became a part­ner in an engin­eer­ing com­pany but when the credit crunch came his other part­ners bought him out. Ever resource­ful Harry bought a van and star­ted his own busi­ness doing aerial pho­to­graphy. The back of the van was fitted with a large tele­scopic pole which extends to about 90 feet. The top of the pole is fitted with his camera equip­ment, enabling him to take elev­ated pho­to­graphs which would be impossible by any other means. His com­pany is called Sky High Camera Limited and we wish him every suc­cess. His web address is www.skyhighcamera.co.uk.