Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria


by Robert Longmore


How I Came To Join The Colonial Service
Being deaf from 4 months old my Father's career, the Army, was not open to me. My Moorsom great-grandfather, Captain W.R. Moorsom, had (after retiring from the 52nd Light Infantry) been a railway engineer, designing and building a considerable number of lines, and I had always been "keen on trains". I therefore considered a career in railways but once again my deafness prevented it. All my relatively recent forbears had been in the Army, the Navy or the Church - Longmores, Moorsoms (having graduated from being wreckers at Robin Hood's Bay on the Yorkshire coast to being shipowners out of Whitby), Hammicks and Townsends. (Bishop Lovett of Salisbury once told my Mother that he could guarantee me £200 a year for life if I became a parson but I felt no call). No family member had been involved in commerce and hardly any in industry or the professions. I had no financial capital and no entrepreneurial urge. I had been a rather moderate classical scholar at Wellington and Cambridge. So what to do to earn a living?

I thought of being a Land Agent: George Hammick, my cousin, and Major Lucas, who had been one of my Father's Battery Commanders in 21 st Field Brigade R.A. at Catterick, clearly enjoyed being agents. I had an interview with the Secretary of the Landagents' Society but any interest in recruiting me wained when it became clear that I had no private means! Agents' pay was evidently not high.

So in my 3rd year at Cambridge, ? early 1946, I applied for advice from the Cambridge University Appointments Board, an excellent institution designed to advise on and find careers for undergraduates. I remember noting 5 points on a postcard: (1) no capital: (2) no wish to work in the City or similar: (3) with my army/navy family background would like something with a service ethic: (4) did not mind going abroad: (5) (forgotten!). I was interviewed by a wise and charming Major Guy who had been doing this job since 1925: he considered my 5 points and my C.V. (the latter was not too bad: college rugger XV, Captain University Rifle team, Squadron Sgt Major in the University O.T.C. etc). After a while he said "I wonder whether the Colonial Service would suit you, but we had better see if you can pass the medical before you apply". He then arranged for me to see a Colonial Office doctor in London who reported that I would be suitable for an Administrative Officer but not for a Police Officer. Clearly I could not overhear illicit conversations round corners! Having presumably read some pamphlets etc., about it, I duly applied.

Selection for the Colonial Administrative Service was entirely by interview. There had been little recruitment during the 1939-45 War and so there were many vacancies to be filled. I think that I had two "one to one" interviews but can only recall one of them. This was with a fairly downright retired Provincial Commissioner from Malaya and lasted over an hour. His first question was "What would be your reaction if the District Officer in charge of the Division to which you were posted - i.e. my boss - was a black African?" I remember replying that I would assume that he knew his job and was properly qualified and there by merit: this seemed to pass muster. We then got on to Anthropology which I was reading in my 3rd year at Cambridge (At the end of my 2nd year Martin Charlesworth, President of S1. John's College and my supervisor, i.e. olc my studies, had put it charmingly to my mother that "Robert had two feet too firmly on the ground to be a good Classic!" I could not toss off Greek verses at the drop of a hat: to me more bluntly "If we want to get more than a third class (degree) after your name we should find something else for you to do", hence Anthropology and Archaeology for one year - most interesting and a two one degree!)

Anyway I gathered that my interviewer was concerned that I might abuse my position as a District Officer, line the tribe up, get out my callipers, measure their heads and classify them as Dolicokephalic (long headed), Mezzokephalic (medium headed) and Brachicocephalic (square headed): I would then apply the judgement of apparently some anthropologists that Dolicokephalic = superior intelligence and Brachicokephalic the reverse etc. remember quite a long discussion on the merits and uses and abuses of social anthropology. Anyway I survived and in due course was summoned to a fairly short appearance before the final interview board of ? six senior officials at ? Dartmouth House in Whitehall. In due course I was accepted and told to join a Colonial Service course "The First Devonshire Course" for a fourth year at Cambridge - in S1. John's, my college - and for six months at London University, all paid for by the Colonial Office.

So, in a sense, I joined the Colonial Service by accident! As it turned out what a lucky one it was.

Training: The First Devonshire Course (September 1946-December 1947)
As I have said this involved almost a complete year at Cambridge - a 4th Year - and then six months at London University. I found that there were 78 of us at Cambridge and a similar number at Oxford. In charge of us was Michael Varvill, a senior District Officer on secondment from Northern Nigeria, whom later on I came to know well. As a focus for the course we had a Colonial Service Club with a bar - where in Cambridge I cannot now remember. I found that I was the only "civilian" on the course: all the rest had been in the services in the war: I think the highest rank was Lieutenant Colonel: one, Richard Gunston, had been an RAF sergeant pilot: all the others were commissioned officers. I was also, bar one, the youngest. I felt suitably small!

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Hausa Class
The curriculum consisted of lectures and reading on colonial history - Britain had had seven empires beginning with Aquitaine and including India and North America - law, basic agriculture, etc. So far as I remember we had no exams or tests.

Since for me the course was a 4th year I carried on with my College and other activities - college rugger, university rifle shooting, university O.T.C. etc. I had rooms in College again after a 3rd year in digs. The members of the course were distributed round the various colleges. Tony Ditcham who became a life long friend was in Johns. . He and another whose name I forget were sharing a set of rooms in New Court across the river, reached by an echoing circular stone staircase: I, having discovered this, thought that I should make myself known and offer to share my knowledge of the College and Cambridge having been "up" for 3 years: Tony recalls heavy steps on the stone stairs and a thump on the door as I appeared. Tony was a charming and extrovert RNR Lieutenant - RNR as he had been at school at Training Ship Worcester - who had earned a D.S.C. when he was a 19 year old midshipman. I hope that my knowledge of the College etc., helped him: his advice on many subsequent occasions certainly helped me.

Others on the course whom I particularly remember were Peter Vischer (son of Sir Hans Vischer, an iconic Director of Education in Northern Nigeria in the 1920s and 30s), Jack Boles (later, after service in, I think, Borneo, Director General of the National Trust), John Loch, Richard Gunston, Barry Nicholas, Philip Coutts (who sadly died young)...

Part way through the year we were required to state to which colony or protectorate we wished to be posted. Michael Varvill, a District Officer from Northern Nigeria seconded as our supervisor, kindly though for what reason I never knew, advised me that those on the course who had served in the war in allegedly attractive places like East Africa or Rhodesia, would most likely get posted there, that the largest number of vacancies were in West Africa, that probably the best part of West Africa was Northern Nigeria and that if I put that as my first choice I stood a good chance of getting it. So I did and I did.

In May 1947 the course moved to London where we combined with those who had been at Oxford. Here we had lectures at the London School of Economics, notably from the famous colonial historian Marjorie Perham, and most important, language instruction at the School of Oriental and African Studies. There I learnt the rudiments of the Hausa language, the lingua franca of Northern Nigeria. Our instructors were a retired District Officer called Parsons (with a goatee beard!) and Mallam Tukur Yauri, subsequently after Independence Nigerian Ambassador in Washington and then Emir of Yauri. Most valuable for me, being deaf and totally so in my left ear, was the "language laboratory", a room with worktops round the walls divided off into individual cubicles, each equipped with a gramophone turntable and headphones: we then had Hausa language gramophone records to which we listened through the headphones. This was ideal for me as I could adjust volume and hear properly. As a result even I got at least a grounding of Hausa.

Memories of social etc., life while on the course are few. At Cambridge parties of us frequented a particular coffee house in Trinity Street. One incident (periodically re-told with gusto by Tony Ditcham) has a party of us walking down Trinity Street towards Kings Parade: there was at least one dustbin on the pavement: all avoided it except me who marched straight into it at speed and sent it clattering into the road, luckily without damage to it or me.

In London some of us were accommodated in a London University hostel or hall of residence - where and anything about it I cannot remember. However after a month or two Brian Hillingsworth whom I had known at Cambridge and who shared an interest in railways (in fact he worked as a, I think civil engineer for the railways) allowed me to share his family service flat in the Gloucester Road area and so I lived in considerable comfort.

Every evening the two young gentlemen sat down at supper time at a table laid for us in the sitting room. Little Mr ? put on his black jacket and served us our supper which little Mrs ? in the basement cooked and sent up on the lift to the hatch in the corner of the room and we dined like gentry!

For exercise I remember playing squash in some University courts: opponents I included Philip Coutts who had been on the Cambridge course and Pennaia Nganilau, a charming vast Fijian who had been on the Oxford part and who ended up years later as Sir Pennaia and I think Premier of Fiji. He and another, Edward Cakobau, also later knighted and, I think, Governor of Fiji, would on formal occasions wear their Fijian skirts (or? kilts) with their dinner jackets.

We had various visits: one to Rothamstead Agricultural Experimental station: another to Colchester Prison. June brought the Trooping of the Colour on Horseguards Parade for the first time since the war: I had never seen it so took French leave and watched it somewhere near the short road from I Horseguards into the Mall. It was done in battledress with flat caps and, by today's standards, an immense number of troops on parade. Bisley week then came up and for this I did get leave from R.E. Wraith, our supervisor on the London part of the course, so that I could shoot for Cambridge against Oxford.

About social life connected with the course I remember little. Richard Gunston was engaged to Elizabeth Colegate who had three charming sisters. They lived in a flat near Victoria Station and entertained among others Tony Ditcham, Jack Boles and John Loch and occasionally I found myself on the periphery. I think that the course dined together occasionally but I have no recollection of details.

First Trip Out; Liverpool to Makurdi: January 1948
First, outfitting by Griffiths McAlister of Golden Square off Regent Street in London: said to be efficient and proved so. Camp bed, mosquito net, tin bath with wicker lining, a lid and a leather strap over it like that on the bonnet of a Bentley: even boxes of provisions, let alone tilley lamps and a basin with a canvas lid: camp chair, camp table (folding) and much else: the appropriate white uniform with cadets rank patches - a bit like those of a naval midshipman, all in a tin trunk, a uniform pith helmet but not thank goodness any suggestion of one for normal wear!

From Mr. Rambridge, the silversmith in the Canal in Salisbury, I got a canteen of plate knives, spoons and forks, all engraved, on my wise mother's advice, with the letter L. She had been in India way back and said that on going out to dinner up country with friends I would find my cutlery familiar, the explanation being that my friends servants would have borrowed from my servants to make up the numbers: marking mine with an L meant that I would get the right ones back!

All this Griffiths McAlister packed in solid wooden packing cases some of which I have to this day and delivered them on board the ship in Liverpool.

Colonial Nigeria
MV Accra
On the day quite a few of those on our course who had been posted to West Africa joined a special boat train at Euston which took us to Liverpool and (of particular interest to me as a railway enthusiast) down by a slow and twisting route to the docks where we found M.V. Accra of the Elder Dempster Line. I found myself sharing a cabin with George Aitchison, an ex. Ghurka who had been on the Cambridge course. Being a bad sailor I spent the Irish Sea and most of the Bay of Biscay flat in my bunk, ok so long as I was lying down but not good when vertical! In due course sympathetic urging by Tony Ditcham, also on board, and George got me up and acclimatised and all became fun. The Accra and sister ship Apapa were approx. 11,000 tons and I think were properly described as cargo liners, passenger ships carrying a fair amount of cargo. Being rather flat bottomed (to get over the Lagos harbour bar) and stabilisers not having been invented, they did roll!

Harking back to the train trip to Liverpool I see from a letter to my mother written before the ship sailed that Elizabeth Gunston who came up to see Richard off brought a bottle of champagne which she, Richard, Tony Ditcham and I drank in our compartment en route.

The first port of call was Las Palmas on Grand Canary. All the Elder Dempster ships on the West African run called here for most of a day to take on oil fuel, this being presumably the nearest place on the voyage to the sources of oil in the Middle East. Six of us, Tony Ditcham, Richard Gunston, Steward McCallum, Alastair Patterson, George Aitchison and I, arranged through the ship's purser to hire a taxi for a trip round the island like good tourists. We thought that we should start by looking at the Cathedral so walked in, as it were, at one of the side doors on the west front: here we found ourselves in an incredibly rickety lift which straightway whisked us up to the top of one of the towers! Not what we expected but the view was good over the town. All the houses were built round little courtyard gardens which of course you can only see from above. I recorded at the time that the interior of the cathedral was rather dull - domed aisles, etc., about 500 years old and vast pictures hung around. The car, a Willys Overlander with the taximan who, we discovered, had been a sergeant in the Spanish artillery, took us out into the country, my first ever trip into a foreign country! No greenery bar cactus, cultivated bananas and tomatoes and the odd palm: all poor brown rocky soil with mountains (not all that high) in the back-ground: oxen ploughing and donkeys pulling carts and carrying panniers: people apparently poor but cheerful. Richard G. desired a local sombrero and so we stopped at a village shop where he bought a vast one while we sampled the local wine, every shop being also in effect a pub! The houses in the country were square and whitewashed with bourganvillea providing purple patches on them. We lunched at the Parador at Santa Brigida - more wine and dry sherry at about 2 1/2d a glass! Then back to Las Palmas where the taxi driver insisted that we meet his wife: so off to his flat and more wine while his wife played the piano! Finally back to the ship just as the gangway went up at 3.30 pm! (Details from a letter to my mother written on board and from photographs). remember also being intrigued by the black patent leather hats of the Guardia Civil with the brim turned up at a right angle at the back. Altogether a nice introduction to "abroad".

We sailed on south. Next port of call Freetown in Sierra Leone where there was no deep water wharf and the ship layoff. Passengers went ashore by launch and freight in lighters. Advised that to go ashore was to be disillusioned I stayed aboard, not withstanding that this was my first chance of stepping onto Africa! A letter to my mother reports "so called 'Gala Night' last night so we put on dinner jackets! Not particularly Gala!" Loading the lighters by ship's derricks was tricky" the same letter reports" some new Austins (cars) caused some anxious moments".

Next came Takoradi - a full scale harbour where we went alongside the wharf. I see (letter again) that some of us went along the coast to Sekondi but what we did and saw I cannot recall.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Makurdi Bridge
And so to Lagos - at 6 pm on the Tuesday evening. A letter reports: "had a nightmare 21/2 hours in the Customs: the problem was finding and sorting your stuff. After that it was all quite simple." All the baggage off the ship was dumped higgledy-piggledy in the Customs shed and then with the help of African dock labourers one had to find and collect in one place the dozen or so cases and boxes that belonged to you. Then evidently the Customs Officers passed it - evidently quite efficiently - and it went off to be loaded onto the train. I see that we had dinner in "a Railway Rest House, quite good." Then we boarded a special boat train - made up, I recall of very old carriages with brown leather seats in the compartments.j We were three in our compartment which had bunks let down over the seats: food quite good. We left Lagos Harbour at 10 pm on the Tuesday and arrived at Makurdi in Benue Province at 10.30 am on the Friday!

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Jebba Station
The journey was not without incident. Having I think slept quite well on hardish bunks we woke up the first morning to find the train stationary in thick bush some 80 miles only from Lagos. It transpired that the engine, I think one of the River Class, all named after Nigerian rivers and built by one of the British engine builders and fairly new, had shed its coupling rod on the left hand side. It took ten hours for fitters etc. to be brought up and repairs to be completed. The line being single track it all constituted a complete blockage. Anyway in due course all was repaired and we started up again.

lIorin, Minna, Kaduna, Kafanchan: having crossed the vast Niger River by the great girder bridge at Jebba. Eventually about 10.30 am on Friday morning Richard Gunston and I got off at Makurdi, having crossed the similarly sized Benue River just before on another vast girder bridge. Here we were met by Hector Jelf, the D.O. Provincial Office (or Resident's Staff Officer) - dressed, I always remembered with slight surprise in leather shorts - liederhosen!

First "Tour" 1948-49 in Benue Province.
(Quotes are from letters to my mother)
Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
The Author, A.D.O.
Having arrived at Makurdi we found that after sorting ourselves out, engaging servants and stocking up with food, drink and any required kit Richard Gunston was to go off to Nasarawa Division, a predominantly Hausa area north of the Benue and I was to go east to the Tiv Division, headquarters at Gboko (otherwise G.Boko in the G-Bush), a large division occupied by the Tiv tribe, a relatively primitive people numbering then about 600,000, predominantly farming and speaking their own Tiv language.

A letter to my mother describes the country "Hot season, therefore dried up. Take Salisbury Plain. Make grass longer. Dot it everywhere with trees and 6 foot bushes pretty close together. Villages every five miles or so, sometimes closer. Mud huts with thatched conical roofs. Benue River 800 yards wide."

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Boat Building at Makurdi
In Makurdi we stayed at the "Catering Rest House". These were government run moderately basic "hotels" in all Provincial HQs and a few other places. I recorded it as "Quite comfortable and good food and service: 12 shillings and 6 pence a day of which one claims 7/- or 5/- "(presumably as travelling allowance). We were made welcome by Hector Jelf and his wife and dined with them our first night and I recorded that she was "very helpful over working out what stores one requires, etc. Gboko is "bush" and one has to get things from here (Makurdi)".

A selection of prospective "boys" or servants appeared. I chose as servant or head boy Abetse Ashwe, a Tiv (and surprisingly a Moslem): he had what I have always thought a very good "chit" or testimonial from his previous master, lan Gunn, a senior Resident for whom he was second boy, which read: "This boy is the only one whom I have trusted to clean my guns and service my Tilley (pressure) lamps." I never regretted my choice and he stayed with me all my time in Nigeria. As cook I engaged Ato, a Jukun from the Wukari Division in the north of the Province: He did not last all that long and was not a very good cook - I recall thinking at one time that the drunker he was the better he cooked! And that was never very well!

The Resident- in charge of the Benue Province with its five Divisions, (Tiv, Wukari, Idoma, Lafia and Nassarawa) - came back from tour late on the Friday night and we met him at the Club on the Saturday evening, it being traditional for most people in the station to meet on Saturday evening at the Club, have some drinks and eat together.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Desmond MacBride
The Resident was Desmond MacBride. He was small, unmarried, with great charm, a deep voice and a brilliant brain. He had got a double First at Cambridge, in Classics and Anthropology and his father had been Professor of Zoology at London University. He was an expert on the Tiv people and had, I believe, created the organisation of the Tiv Nature Authority which was both compatible with their traditions and reasonably efficient. The Tiv called him "Wanjinge", the one eyed one, because he wore a permanent monocle, one eye having some defect. What was remarkable was that his monocle was merely a plain lens of glass, without frame or cord, just gripped in his eye. The story went that as a junior officer when he wore his monocle on a cord he was dancing one night under the tropic moon with a lady of somewhat ample proportions: unfortunately the monocle popped out and fell, on its cord,down the lady"s cleavage where the monkey put the nuts: Desmond"s efforts while gyrating to retrieve it had not succeeded before the music stopped, leaving him attached to the lady in question! From then on monocle, but no cord!

Later I worked directly for him and got to know him well, a friendship which lasted long after we all retired and included visits to him when he was living in France.

A few days later I was picked up and driven out the sixty odd miles to Gboko by Norman Odgers - a charming ex Rifle Brigade Major who had been out there for a bit over a year. I recall that the road was (as were the majority of roads all over Northern Nigeria) single track and made of laterite, technically I believe decomposed ironstone, a gritty gravel which, under pressure of vehicle traffic, formed corrugations: when driving you bumped over them until you accelerated to about 30 miles an hour when you rode them smoothly. I remember Norman telling me early on that you could do fifty m.p.h. safely all the way except for the bend at Abinsi where you had to slow to forty! Except in the wet season you travelled in a cloud of dust and you relied on that to warn you when a vehicle was coming the other way towards you.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
John Taylor
So I arrived at Gboko on Saturday 6th March 1948 (date verified from a letter of 7th March to my mother!) and stayed that night with Norman Odgers. That evening I met John Taylor, the District Officer in charge of the Division: he came, I think, from Yorkshire, unmarried, with a degree in chemistry at Oxford and a slightly cynical but nice sense of humour: a very nice person to work for.

The other Europeans at Gboko, all Administration, were Alec Smith and his wife (he went off a month later to a job in the Secretariat at Kaduna) and Roger Morley (who had some connection with Salisbury and who was due to go on leave soon.)

Gboko was the headquarters or "capital" of the Tiv Tribe who numbered around 600,000 and occupied an area of about 120 miles x 100 miles, most of it south of the Benue River but a small area on the north side. They were divided into fifty two Districts, each with a District Council of six or eight elders (Mbatarev) who also formed a District Court administering Native Law and Custom: a Central Council sat periodically in Gboko, presided over by the Chief of Tiv (Tor Tiv) who was a relatively recent and not, I think, traditional creation. The current Tor Tiv was a cheerful large man who had been a Sergeant Major in the West African Frontier Force. The Tiv were physically strong (In the WAFF they traditionally provided the carriers who carried the various heavy parts of the mountain guns in the Gunner Batteries - though by my time these had been superseded by 25 pounders) but I think it fair to say not terribly intelligent. They were mostly peasant farmers growing yams, doya (sweet potatoes), maize, etc. - subsistence agriculture.

The Central Council constituted the "Native Authority", the legal entity responsible for administering the Tiv country (roughly equivalent to a County Council). This had the usual departments, Administration, Tax Collection, Treasury, Stores, Road Maintenance, Police, Prison, Education, Dispensaries, all housed in buildings in Gboko town. These were staffed by Tiv scribes, a few able but most of low calibre.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
My House at Gboko
Between the town and the Government Residential area (or G.R.A.) which was the area where the Europeans lived were our, the Administration's offices. My recollection is that the GRA was on a ridge - certainly my house had an uninterrupted view east so that when rains had cleared the air we could see the foothills of the Cameroon mountains eighty miles away - that there was then a shallow valley and that our offices were on the far slope with the town beyond. Our offices consisted of a range of brick (maybe mud brick) offices with a verandah along the front, roofed with corrugated iron with, I think, thatch on top for coolness. There was a clerk's office presided over by the Ibo (from Southern Nigeria) Chief Clerk and doubling as the Government Treasury and one or two offices for the Assistant District Officers. Up at the back was a biggish round office for the District Officer, occupied by John Taylor.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Tiv N.A. Stores and Treasury
My first job was to check, sort out, re-organise and put some order into the Native Authority stores - everything from picks and shovels to stationery and drawing pins! Apparently this needed doing fairly regularly. I recorded the Tiv as "definitely lacking in mental capacity"!

Meanwhile I had moved into the most basic of the houses in GRA which was really the unfurnished "Rest House" where visitors set up for a night or two with their camp equipment. I therefore did this, Abetse, my head boy, organising the unpacking and setting up. A letter to my mother describes the house as "Mud, white washed, roof thatch, plan odd: altogether rather curious especially the internal bedroom! Very little light in it:

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Plan
I had managed to keep all my boxes of household goods with which I reached Lagos together bar a box of china and one of cartridges. Both turned up eventually undamaged.

At the end of March I went in to Makurdi with John Taylor to swear before the Resident the Oaths of Allegiance as an Administrative Officer and as a Magistrate: these formalities would usually have been gone through immediately on arrival in Lagos but our swift departure by special train on the evening of our arrival oft the boat prevented this.

Apparently we intended to stay two nights in Makurdi but the Resident decided that we should go back on the second evening to execute five search warrants on houses in Gboko in pursuit of smuggled French brandy! So we drove back with a Corporal and half a dozen Nigerian Police - the government as distinct from the Native Authority police, better trained and equipped - and they then executed the warrants. I recorded that "2 bottles of brandy and an illicit shotgun were the only haul though one house is still under guard as it is locked up and the owner away and a search warrant does not permit one to break in." We just looked on, leaving the Police corporal to do his job.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Tiv N.A. Police Station
I then had a week supervising payment of the road maintenance gangs in the Division. The roads were laterite, Single track with drainage run ofts and ditches. Every stretch of ten miles or so would have a gang of a headman (paid one shilling and twopence a day) and 7 or 8 labourers (paid 10p a day). Each day two labourers pulled over the whole stretch a V shaped brush about 6 feet wide and with vertical bristles about one and a half feet long: this brushed back into the wheel tracks the loose laterite which built up into a ridge down the middle and lesser ones each side and smoothed out the corrugations which passage of traffic created on the wheel tracks themselves. Drainage run ofts (known as "Iumbatu" a corruption of "Number 2" being the number in some set of written instructions given to describe how to dig them!) had also to be kept clear.

Paying the gangs involved a galvanised iron cash box and long lists of names in a ledger brought out by a scribe (as clerks were usually called) from the Native Treasury: the vast majority of the gang members were illiterate so a thumb print was all that could be given as a receipt. Two N.A. policemen came to see fair play! Payment was once a month.

We travelled in one of the N.A.I lorries: these were ex army American Dodge 3 toners with an open steel body. I recorded that I did about 140 miles a day for four days. I enjoyed these trips as it enabled me to see the country. I see that I spent Monday night in Makurdi, Tuesday back in Gboko, Wednesday night at Katsina Ala, a riverside "town" 40 miles east of Gboko having been 30 miles further east: then back to Gboko on Thursday morning by 9 am: Then some 50 miles south on Friday.

This took us into the foothills of the Cameroon mountains, attractive country. Here we had to inspect a newly built bit of road; I found it cleared and levelled with bridges built but no laterite surfacing put down. While some tools which we had to collect were loaded I recorded that I "visited the local clan chief, an old man in a beautiful red and blue robe and a basket work hat which sat right down on his shoulders! He offered me a ram which I politely declined, according to custom! You have to pay for it anyway ..... ... We talked, through a mission boy who knew English of crops and beniseed and millet".

Apparently the lorry was not in good order: it conked out on the new bit of road but cleaning the battery terminals was all that was required. It got me home but could not be persuaded to leave my house again: so it stayed till morning! Thank goodness it wasn't earlier in the day! Soon afterwards I acquired a bicycle! (No horses in this area due to the presence of tsetse fly and hence sleeping sickness).

I then had my first experience of proper "touring". I went out to Yandev, a Clan (or District) H.Q. only seven miles from Gboko for a week. The local Council of Mbataver (or Elders) who also constituted the local court had got very behind in hearing cases and needed to be urged to catch up. I was to do this.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Yandev Temporary Rest House
There was no rest house at Yandev so they had built me a temporary round hut of matting with a thatched roof about 100 yards from the Clan Head's hamlet, Akotsa's House. This was very pleasant though one night about 10 pm a storm blew in one section of the matting side and the new thatch leaked a bit. I feared having to continue in a damp bed but Abetse, my boy, appeared, produced dry sheets etc., from the wicker lined tin bath and all was well! I realised that I was well looked after!

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Yandev Council
The Clan Council and Court was, as I have said, composed of six or eight elders (mbatarev) and sat in public under trees in the village. They sat on low chairs made out of a split forked tree, the seat about three inches off the ground, polished by long use and surprisingly comfortable. They formed a semi circle with the public outside the circle and any complainant and defendant in front of them. I and the Scribe from headquarters and my Government Messenger sat opposite with a table and chairs. The elders wore baggy trousers or even shorts with a locally woven small stocking cap on their heads - which seemed also to contain their supply of the local tobacco which they smoked in small wood or, I think, clay pipes.

As I recorded at the time "My job seemed to be to keep them at it and put some logical questions if they got side tracked, etc. Obviously they know their own native law and custom and I don't! It was all very pleasant and we would discuss crops etc. in between cases".

I think that it was here that I found the court reviewing, no doubt after many previous reviews, a bride price case which had apparently started under the German District Officers pre 1914 when this clan was living in what was then the German Cameroons some 70 or 80 miles east. Apparently the Tiv had migrated slowly westwards as farming land got worked out or deteriorated. The bride price custom meant that when a girl from one family married into another and so moved house - and as a result reduced the farming labour available to the family of her birth by one - in compensation the family into which she married gave a cow to her family. Here there was apparently a long running dispute about the exchange pre 1914 and the courts was identifying the calf of the calf of the calf .. ... of the cow given pre 1914 and the daughter of the daughter .... of the girl married pre 1914. Both I and the scribe from headquarters agreed that this was waste of the court's time and decreed that the review should be thrown out and cease! (I have always wondered whether, after we had left the next day, the old men of the court did not say to each other: "I don't think that young man understood the importance of this matter: should we not look at it again!? ) From hearing this case I have always remembered to this day that the Tiv for a woman is "kwase" and for a cow "bua"!

I have mentioned my Government Messenger. The Government Messengers were a body of men, government employees, based at every Provinicial and Divisional Office. They wore civilian clothes but with an all important cloth badge, a gold crown on a black background, pinned to their rig a or gown. One accompanied the Resident or any District Officer when he went on tour or to a council meeting etc. They were the eyes and ears of the D.0., knew who was who in the various villages, found out quietly what information was true and what was not, could if necessary quite often translate from some obscure dialect into Hausa and, when on tour, organised the carriers who carried one's camp kit etc. A good one was invaluable.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
House Plan
Back in Gboko I moved house again, Alec Smith and his wife having gone to Kaduna. I recorded "I now have glass in the windows, a separate dining room, built in bath but of course no taps! Also two chests of drawers and a hanging cupboard which are the most important parts almost! Bed provided only 6 ft 4" so still use my camp bed." (I stood 6 ft 4" then!)

In station I found myself checking Native Treasury records before destruction, supervising current Native Treasury work and the Prison etc. One junior officer's duties was every morning to have the prisoners who had been brought in the day before from the 52 Clan Courts like the one at Yandev mentioned above paraded before him. I then reviewed the sentence imposed for the various crimes. In each case I had the warrant completed by the court scribe - very brief details. I would find that whereas Shangev Ya Court had sentenced A for stealing 6 yams to 6 months prison and 6 strokes of corporal punishment, Katsina Ala court had given 8 for the same crime 2 years and no strokes. With no details of the circumstances of either crime I would take it upon myself to even out the sentences to, say, 1 year and three strokes each! Right or wrong? No one complained so I never knew!

Then, I think once a week, I found myself supervising the administration of the corporal punishment in the Prison: a Corporal Warder with a rattan cane, a Dispensary Attendant to check whether any prisoner should be excused the punishment or to repair damage and the prisoner bending over. The Chief Warder and myself supervising. Never pleasant though most prisoners took it well.

One of my major duties at this time was close supervision of the Nature Treasury. This handled all the tax and other revenue and all expenditure of the Native Authority. There were three principal officials, the Treasurer, the Chief Accountant and the Chief Cashier, supported by a team of scribes. However there had been problems of dishonesty and peculation: some years before Team "A" of the three principal officials had been found out and had done time in the prison. Team "8" had therefore been appOinted but in their turn had offended and been found out and were doing their time inside. The trouble was that there was no suitable Team "C" so that the only solution was to reappoint Team "A"! However there was one change: every voucher authorising any form of expenditure had to be submitted to, checked by and countersigned by a D.O. And I was on most occasions that D.O. The Treasurer, named Yorgh, was not very impressive and the Cashier thought so slowly that one felt that one could see the wheels of his brain turning slow revolutions! One result was that I learnt in some detail the Native Treasury accounting rules and practices, not that they were very complicated or sophisticated being basically all cash accounting. This had repercussions a few years later!

About now I witnessed an incident which has always fascinated me. I was working in the District Office when John Taylor sent a message suggesting that I come up to his office, a round room above and separate from the main offices. There I found that he was about to investigate a complaint by a Tiv complainant who was deaf and dumb: the dramatis personae sitting round in front of John were: the complainant: another Tiv who communicated in signed deaf and dumb language to the complainant and in spoken Tiv to John's Government Messenger: the Government Messenger then interpreted from the Tiv to Hausa which of course John understood and spoke. What fascinated me was that there should be deaf and dumb signed communication in as rare and primitive a language as Tiv. Regrettably I never discovered whether it was developed among the Tiv themselves or taught by perhaps a missionary. Also I do not know whether the sign language is purely phonetic - but I do not think so.

I then went on tour to Ipav, another District headquarters. Here I saw and heard another form of communication, by tom tom. Mkover, the Clan Head, used his tom toms to call in the elders for a council meeting on the day after I arrived. I recorded: "A great bit of tree hollowed out about 4 ft long and a foot or so in diameter and two smaller ones giving sharper notes. I think that the messages sent are on the principle of bugle calls; not on a language basis. At 10 yards range the vibration colossal. Can be heard up to 12 miles under good conditions."

This was May and the beginning of the rainy season. I recorded that it was "very cool today: when I got up I needed a coat and a sweater". The country was getting green and I understood why the Colonial Service colour was olive green. There was great agricultural activity. I recorded that "It is reckoned that the Tiv farmer does about 15 days work in the year!" Sounds incredible but true. He only does the heavy work like digging and clearing bush. His "farm wives" do the rest ...... Yams, millet, maize, beniseed and soya beans are the main crops, the last two for export: both are oil-giving: the soya has only been introduced here in the last two years but has quickly become popular. The danger is that they go and plant all their land with selling crops and have no grain for themselves.

Transport had its minor hazards: going back to Gboko after touring at Ipav I recorded: "I got sent the bad N.A. (Native Authority) lorry and the bad N.A. driver ... .. We took 2 hours over 15 miles! Blocked petrol feeds due to dirty petrol and then the fool hadn't filled up with enough before he came out so we ran out of petrol, luckily just by a Missionary's house! So were able to borrow. But one does not seem to worry about being 2 hours late out here!"

I see that my visit to Ipav had a purpose: I had to see sorted out problems caused by the Clan Head," a tough and quarrelsome old man called Mkover who is pretty dishonest and does not agree with any of his council. The Clan Court sat for 7 hours solid each day but there were a lot of outstanding cases to be heard and political scandal to be unearthed. Accusations of one elder against the other, and of all of them against Mkover, of exacting bribes and embezzling court fines! At first there appeared to be a surplus in the Clan cash box but it became a deficit after enquiries! That had to be exacted from Mkover's private purse as he has custody of the box: All rather tricky!" I was always accompanied on these tours by a senior scribe (i.e. civil servant) from the Native Authority and by a Government Messenger.

I then had a not too serious go of amoebic dysentery. I first saw the South African doctor at the Dutch Reformed Church Mission at Mkar, five miles from Gboko where the Mission ran a leper colony and hospital, a very good outfit. He gave me some new South African pills which are a new alternative to the usual Ematine injections. I then went in to Makurdi to see the Government Doctor, Jimmie Gemmel, who of course was properly responsible for us and he sent me down to the nearest European hospital at Enugu in the Eastern Region. This was about 120 miles south of Makurdi. I travelled on the day passenger train, started 7 am, arrived 4 pm: this was all 3rd class coaches so I (and another ADO and a Missionary for part of the way) travelled on the verandah at the rear of the guard's van, using our own deck chairs! Comfortable enough but rather boring even though one had an "observation car" view! I recorded that the missionary was "a large French Canadian R.C. Missionary with an immense beard who had taken his girls' school basket ball team to Makurdi for the annual match v the Makurdi Mission school. He was welcomed at Otonkon, his station, by the whole school and a tinny drums and flute band. All rather comic."

The lady doctor, Or. Faulkner, at the Enugu hospital kept me on the South African pills (?using me as a guinea pig for them as they were new}. They evidently worked because I only stayed a week. I recorded that I took my Hausa language books and tried to do a bit of work on improving my knowledge.

I travelled back by train again to Makurdi but this time I rode for 30 miles or so on the foot plate. An American built engine, 2-6-2 tender I think, with African driver and two African firemen. There was a speed limit of 30 m.p.h. due to poor quality track so no thrills: but great fun.

I recorded that my ten days in Enugu hospital cost me 4 shillings and sixpence a day (a subsidised rate based on your salary - in my case at this time £450 a year) and the course of pills from the Dutch Reformed Church mission hospital at Mkar 30 shillings.

Back at Gboko I found myself back on routine work including checking the Government Treasury - all £8,900 of it there was a surplus of four pence! By now it was June and I had all the experience of six months service! I also took - more as a practice run than with any hope of passing - the Hausa language exams - and needless to say did not pass. I record that what completely foxed me was the dictation, a Hausa reading in Hausa which I had to write down in English (I had last done dictation, French dictee, for School Certificate in 1939!) I record that the exams produced some parties as Norman Odgers came in from Wukari where he was now D.O. and one Farrant from Makurdi.

Besides the Dutch Reformed Church Mission there was also a Roman Catholic Mission with several Fathers. They were great supporters of Tor Tiv notwithstanding that he had a considerable number of wives: we cynically said that the support was to ensure that they got to influence and educate the numerous children! One of the Fathers caused us great alarm one day: he came with Mulholland, the Agricultural Department Officer, to play tennis - and promptly threw a fit and collapsed on the court: I recorded "complete with foam at the mouth and blood from the eyes: he had apparently never had one before: we were of course quite clueless so banged him on my camp bed in the back of Mulholland's kit car ...... and ran him back to the Mission." Later another of the Fathers let us know that the Doctor said it was only a bad go of sunstroke and the blood was from his nose which he hit on the court when he fell! Patient recovering in bed. But much alarm to us!

I then went on tour in that part of the Tiv Division which lay north of the Benue River and was away for about three weeks. I recorded that "First I accompany Tor Tiv on a kind of peacemaking visit with the next door tribe with whom some of the Tiv have been forcibly disagreeing recently and then I go round Northern Tiv."

We first went by lorry to Abinsi, a village on the banks of the Benue which had been a staging post in the early days of British occupation before the First War. From there we went by canoe up the river to Bajunba, a village on the north bank some ten miles upstream from Abinsi. We travelled in three dug out canoes some 40 feet long and 6 feet wide, each made from a single tree. Each had four or five polers. I, my servants and a few Native Authority Police with our loads were in one canoe: some 23 or so carriers were in another: and Tor Tiv and his "hangers on" were in the third. That evidently took a whole day as we stayed the night at Bajunba.

I then record that we left Bajunba at 8 am and did 16 miles "of abominable track, mainly rocky watercourses and across two rivers 5 feet deep, one by remains of a bridge, the other in a leaking narrow canoe! So to Aduku's compound, an ordinary Tiv household where some people were turned out of their houses for me and Tor Tiv to stay in. So I had an ordinary native mud hut."

One little episode has remained with me. Tor Tiv and I were on our bicycles: we came to a shallow valley and the track went down into it and up the other side: at the bottom it crossed 30 yards or so of loose sand, the bed of a dried up stream. Tor Tiv, a large man, was ahead of me and when he got to the loose sand I saw his Police Orderly help him through by pushing firmly behind. I thought that this was where the young A.D.O. had to show how fit he was. I came to the sand and pedalled hard - and found it surprisingly easy. I then just happened to glance down behind and found that I too had assistance! One of my carriers, deputed by my Government Messenger or the headman to look after the A.D.O.'s bicycle, was giving me a push through as well! How well I was looked after!

We then had "an easy day to Akahana's, a compound right on the borders of Tiv and Lafia Divisions. There was no house suitable for the D.O. so my Government Messenger and the Police got the locals cracking and in 2 1/2 hours a new house was built for me 100 yards from the compound with two more huts for the boys and the kitchen. First a circle of poles in holes in the ground: then a ring of osier-like rods round the top: then 15 strong chaps lifted a roof bodily off a grain storage hut and put it on the poles: then thick matting sides: and voila." I'm sure that I slept well! Particularly as most of our travel was on foot.

The next day we did ten miles "with a very bad patch over an escarpment in the middle" to Awe where I met Gilbert Stephenson, the D.O. of Lafia Division, and the day after we had "a great session with Tor Tiv and the Chief of Awe over some trouble with Tiv people living in Awe country: all a bit tricky!" What it was all about I, regrettably, have no recollection!

The next day Tor Tiv was fetched back to Gboko - some 140 miles approx. - by car and I clambered up the escarpment back into Tiv country to continue my tour round the north er part of Tiv Division.

I recorded that the Lafia Emirate Police uniform was rather striking - if a little theatrical: I described it as "a comic opera uniform though it looks rather effective when clean: knee length tunic with flared skirt (presumably dark blue) with the flares inset with white: then a white cummerbund and a white pillbox cap! Brass buttons well polished finish it off." I suspect that the important part was "when clean"!

I also recorded that my "carriers amuse me. I have a gang of 17 under a cheery young headman called Asongo and they swing along with 50 Ibs a man making a terrific hullaballoo Singing etc. They have one chap with a flute thing who pipes away and whenever they come to a village of course the noise is redoubled. "

17 carriers sounds a lot but I have worked out that there were at least the following loads to be carried:-

Bed + mosquito net in a roll
Bath
Basin
Table
Camp chair
Tilley lamps + kerosene
Cook's box
Box of stores
Boy's loads x 2
Government Messenger's load
Cash strong box
Government Office Box
Native Authority Scribe's Box
N.A. Scribe's load
Bicycle (when I was not riding it).

The bath was a tin enamelled bath, big enough to sit down in comfortably. It had a wicker lining into which went one's clothes, bed clothes, shoes etc. This would be lifted out and put up on bricks or stones in the Rest House. It was closed with a tin lid secured by a leather strap like the bonnet of a Bentley! It was probably the biggest and maybe the heaviest load and traditionally carried by the biggest carrier at the rear of the line! The next heaviest box was the cash strong box made of galvanised iron and containing bags of coin, paper money being of little use in the bush - the only place for a local to store money was in a mud hut and there if it was paper the white ants would inevitably eat it!

At clan or district headquarters where D.Os. regularly stayed for a few days when on tour there would be a Rest House, a round mud house perhaps 35 to 40 feet in diameter with a thatched roof and a small "privy" out behind with either an earth closet bucket or a hole in the found for a 'loo - known as the "bayan gida" = behind the house: there would then be a mud hut for a kitchen with some sort of crude fireplace and perhaps two huts for the boys. There was usually no furniture in the rest house though occasionally a table of sorts might have appeared from somewhere. All was in charge of a local man, the Sarkin Barriki= the chief of the barracks. Hence the need for bed, bath, table and chairs etc. Where there was no Rest House one improvised as I have described.

My tour round North Tiv continued for another ten days or so. Moments I recall include having a bath and shaving in some sort of shelter in the middle of a market, I think after I had got up early to travel in the cool of the morning and then we were not stopping for the night at this village.

Another was when we found the tracks and hot droppings of bush cow, the West African buffalo - smaller than those of East Africa but just as unpredictable and dangerous - at a point on our track where the buffalo had passed not long before. That was, incidentally, the nearest I ever got in all my time in Nigeria to seeing a wild cloven footed animal. Due to sleeping sickness, the dry climate and lack of water and a fairly dense rural population they were not common. On another occasion I recall a distant view of a stretch of the Benue River with a few hippo plunging about.

At one place we had to agree a change in the boundary between two clan areas or districts. This involved walking the area involved with very old men from each district who recalled that when they were boys their families had farms up to such and such big trees or rocks and now they were further on.

Later writing from Iyorkpen's compound in Mbabai District I recorded that "I'm in rather a pleasant spot at the moment: nice bit of scenery and quite a good rest house." I had to spend three nights there "as I and the old men (Le.the District Council) are meeting the Hausa Chief of the bordering district of Keana in Lafia Division to argue about tax paying on the boundary: the Trv and Keana people assess tax in different ways and so some people are liable under both ideas: thence much argument!" Again I have no record of the alternative methods nor the outcome of our discussions: but clearly there were no "Double Taxation Agreements"!

A side light on catering on tour: "I have nearly run out of sugar so now I eat Golden Syrup with my porridge of necessity instead of as a treat"!! The porridge was made from guinea corn.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Roger Morley
I then trekked on to Udei on the railway line. Here I sat on the station from 5 pm to 10.30 pm waiting to catch "the Limited", the? three times a week passenger train which I think ran all the way from Lagos up to the western side of Nigeria to Kaduna and then down the eastern side to Port Harcourt. By the time it got round to our area time keeping was problematical. I see that I arrived at Makurdi at 12.30 pm, 2 hours for some 30 miles! There with true Nigerian hospitality I recorded that I found Richard Gunston on the platform and "Elizabeth with cold duck at the house." I had intended to go up to Lafia to report to Gilbert Stephenson, the D.0., on our Keana meeting but had been met at Udei by a telegram from John Taylor to come back to Gboko "earliest" as Roger Morley had gone on leave rather suddenly and so John T. was on his own.

So ended what I remember as an enjoyable trip through areas where, I believe, no D.O. had toured since the 1920s. A postscript was that I was "dashed", Le. given, a sheep by one of the senior Clan Heads whom I visited on the tour: this came to Gboko on the hoof, spent a few days grazing round my house and was in due course killed and eaten!

It was then back to headquarters routine. I record that we had a struggle producing the Native Authority's accounts for 1947/8, eventually producing them three months after the financial year end. Then we had to get the 1948 tax assessments produced ready to be announced at big public meetings. The tax was a poll tax, 7/6d or 6/6d per adult male, according to area, the higher rate applying in the more prosperous areas.

One of my duties was to inspect the Prison every Saturday morning. I cannot have been popular when on one Saturday I thought that it was only Thursday and kept "180 prisoners and 30 warders waiting on parade for 45 minutes! I happened to send for one of the Corporal warders and he told me that they were all waiting"!

Modern medicine came to l1v! "We have got a Doctor Hutchison in for a week spending 8 hours a day giving a concentrated course of injections for Bilharzia .... an internal disease from bad water. Endemic out here. He gives about four injections of three minutes each to a bloke in one day. Brutal I call it!"

A major event was that John Taylor got a new car: "a Canadian built Chevrolet Skymaster" saloon. Very good lines and finish. Aboutt 18 h.p. and tons of power ......... cost out here about £600. And when a Vauxhall 12 or 14 costs over £500 how can you expect a British car of smaller size to compete?"

I now had a series of three Jirtamens, the big meetings of five or six Clan Councils each to announce the tax assessments for the year and issue the tax receipts to each Clan Council. "As possession of a tax receipt (a piece of pink paper) presumes that a chap has paid his 7/6d of tax the issue of tax receipts has to be rigidly supervised at any change of responsibility for them. They are all arranged in neat bundles in Gboko and then go out under Police guard, are issued out to the various members of the Clan Councils and "signed" for by a large thumb print. The real safeguard of course is the publicity of a Jirtamen..."

At one of these Jirtamen at Aliade, a village at a road junction on the main road south from Makurdi, I was supervising the issue of tax receipts to one of the assembled Clan councils when I noticed one of the other elders or Mbatarev get up and wander off behind me into the bushes. A few moments later there was a loud explosion right behind my chair: those present all looked pleased. It transpired that the elder in question had discharged his old dane gun. On asking for an explanation I was told that he thought the meeting was going very well and wished to do me honour! I politely asked that in future I would be grateful if they would give me notice which produced roars of laughter! And the owner of the gun looked particularly pleased with himself at his exploit.

This meeting south of Makurdi on a Friday and another at Udei north of Makurdi after the weekend enabled me to stay with Richard and Elizabeth Gunston to celebrate their first wedding anniversary on the Saturday at Makurdi. I record that we had a cheerful dinner party, drank champagne and stayed up till 2.30 am. Next morning I see that I was up by 7.30 and off at 9.30 to issue Tax Receipts to the Makurdi Town Council.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Desmond MacBride
From there I went north to Udei - by road this time - for "a very pleasant Jirtamen with the North Tiv people (incidentally collecting another sheep)"! Then back to Makurdi that day and, after tea with the Gunstons, off to Abinsi 15 or so miles on the road to Gboko where I had a meeting the next day: but 12 miles out I met the other Native Authority lorry "loaded with witnesses and a message saying that I was wanted as a witness in a case before the Magistrate's Court (presumably a touring stipendiary magistrate from Kaduna) the next day: so back to the Gunstons"! The case was adjourned and I evidently went back to Gboko because "on Friday John Taylor and I left in his "spin" car at 7.15 am, did the 58 miles by 8.35 and by 10 had finished in the Court and went breakfast hunting at the House of Gunston!" So, John Taylor having to stay the night and bring Desmond MacBride, our Resident just back from leave, up to date with the Tiv news, I got a lift back to Gboko with Mulholland,the Agricultural Officer from Yandev in the evening.

I also record that while in Makurdi "I sent my boy down to John Holt's (canteen) to get me a fountain pen as I had lost mine ..... he came back with a bill for £4.2.6d and a Parker 51, about the best pen going and which costs £7 plus in England. I looked at the bill first and was shaken but when I realised what I had got I decided to be extravagant for once! It certainly is a most luxurious writing machine!"

Again "I sent off a couple of parcels of rice done up in small bags ...... It is Benue rice bought in Makurdi and a bit speckled as they don't rub all the skin off: but a thorough washing and rubbing should get rid of all that". Food rationing of course still in force in U.K.: was I not a dutiful son!

Next I went out for two nights to North East Tiv issuing tax receipts to the Ukum Clans at Katsina Ala. I recorded that "we had a good Jirtamen, probably 2,000 people there. All rather fun"! I recall that meeting. It took place in an open space, probably the market, with a back drop of half a dozen baobab or silk cotton trees, really fine specimens reaching 60 to 80 feet tall. Half way through the discussions the Native Authority senior scribe who was with me tipped me off that the Ortaregh (old man, a councillor) getting up to speak was a known orator. A heavily built but upstanding man got up, hitched his blanket up on his shoulder and spoke. Even though I understood no word of Tiv bar a few greetings I was gripped and impressed by his oratory: respectful silence fell in the assembly. Whether his argument carried the day I cannot remember, but the memory has remained.

I had what I described as "rather a hectic day ...... three hours Jirtamen from 8 till 11, then 3 miles by lorry, inspect three Beniseed (an oil producing export crop) buying stations, checking up on prices being paid to the illiterate farmers, then a quick look at an R.C. Mission school, just to see what they are teaching etc., then look at an experimental demonstration farm. Then on 15 miles and a Native Authority school, little to see as it is holiday time, then a bush dispensary, then another 10 miles and a prearranged meeting with a Clan council to settle a question of who should be tax collector for a particular Kindred. Then another five miles and an hour and a half while the lorry was ferried across the Katsina Ala river, about 400 yards wide there and with a very fast current indeed since it is right full up (400 yards sounds an exaggeration but certainly very wide!). The taking off place is downstream from the other bank so we clawed our way about 1/2 a mile up stream by poling and pulling at trees on the bank etc., and then made a rapid dash out into midstream and diagonally across. Great fun !" A photo shows a flat platform big enough for one lorry on two pontoons crosswise underneath and ramps for mounting onto it each end. Quite an interesting variety of subjects for one day.

Back at Gboko I added to my furniture. "John Taylor's old car, now owned by an African at Oturkpo, 70 miles away, rolled up yesterday evening ......... and brought me my new chairs. Two arm chairs and a sofa. Nice golden mahogany, wooden arms and thick kapok cushions. I shall get some Tiv cloth and either have covers made or use it as a loose cover ........ Very comfortable. Arms long enough to take a writing board across." These chairs dismantled for transporting and lasted through all my time in Nigeria. also record that "Williams, the tetse man, had ordered a wardrobe: this also arrived and had been so solidly built that it required six men to lift it into the house! 1/2 inch timber all over and heavy timber at that!"

I also see that I had my hair cut by one of the R.C. Fathers!

The rainy season had now, September, set in and this and the need with only two of us in the Division ((John Taylor and myself) instead of 4 or 5 meant that we could do little touring. I found myself fully occupied supervising the Native Treasury. Tax was "coming in fast: about £1,500 a day. I've got about £300 sitting in my bedroom in a steel cash tank which people have brought in from Clans yesterday evening and this morning. They will only leave it with the D.O. The Police office is not safe enough!"

The rains had evidently increased. I reported the railway line washed out and roads flooded. I remember being able to see the foothills of the Cameroon Mountains 80 miles away to the south east. Rain had cleared the haze.

Local scandals: "One of our lost benevolent looking Prison Warders is now under arrest for letting his brother, who was "inside" awaiting trial, escape. He simply opened the door for him! Typically Tiv! And one of the Government Messengers, who said that he caught his wife and the Middle School clerk in bed together and beat the man up with a knife but was let off by the court on grounds of "provocation", is now in hospital with bronchitis: of course the locals say that he swore a false oath at the trial and this is the result!"

I evidently handled a gecko for the first time! "There are a lot of 4 inch lizards which run about. I picked one up by the tail yesterday, to chuck him out of the way, and the tail promptly broke off. Not strong enough. Rather shattering. Lizard ran away quite happy."

It was now October and the rains evidently heavy. I reported home: "Rather a hard week! On Tuesday there was an unexplainable surplus of £1D.0.10 in the Native Treasury: much time trying to trace it. We couldn't so presumed an error in the Cash Book and so will sack the cashier, a dishonest and inaccurate man. Problem of a replacement very difficult. This £10 was shown later to have been a false entry, perhaps deliberate, of some Tax money brought from the Bush. So only the !Od remains outstanding and that might well be a counting error over several hundred pounds.

"Then on Thursday morning the money brought back by the party who go round in a lorry paying the road labour gangs was found to be £6 short. On investigation it came out that just to save themselves time they had not paid a lot of the labourers personally but had chucked some money at the Overseer and told him to pay them and then forged the thumb prints which are what the labourers put on the pay sheets when paid. So the Superintendent of Roads and the paymaster will get sacked. Then, armed with search warrants, a Treasury Scribe and a Corporal of Police, I rushed off about 11 am without time to get more than some biscuits and water and checked up on the labourers, searched two road overseers houses and impounded all the cash we found in the houses. Back about 9 pm: no lunch, no tea!

"Then on Friday we decided I had better go out and pay the remaining road labourers myself so at 10.30 am I set out in a 3 ton lorry, this time with sandwiches, down into South T,iv. We got delayed by rain and about 8 pm were bumbling along in the dark with two more lots to pay when thud and squelch and we had hit a completely waterlogged bit of road, broken through the crust of gravel and were completely bogged! We got out 4 1/2 hours later, at 12.30 am. I knew that John Taylor (the D.0.) was in Makurdi and that the other two Native Authority lorries were out of Gboko and so no relief would be forthcoming and we had seen no other vehicle that day. So we dug and cut trees and put in stones and collected the people from the underpopulated neighbourhood and eventually she came out with a rush. We then paid the road gangs their month's wages and set out on the 60 miles home! My driver was half asleep and so was I but fear that he would go off the road kept me awake! We nearly got stuck on the way in but survived. Bed at 4 am. after a hot bath and some soup. I was too tired to eat more though my boys had all the dinner laid on. I was not at the office at 7.30 am: not till 9 which I thought pretty good!

"Two rather underfed days!"

We continued at this time to suffer from only being two of us at Gboko (and from me being totally inexperienced). Proper touring was impossible as keeping up with supervising the various Native Administration institutions and running the Government Divisional Office and treasury occupied our time.

However I reported: "I had three pleasant days in Bush at the beginning of the week. Went out about 9.30 on Monday but found the River Katsina Ala high at Buruku (some 20 miles from Gboko) and so had to wait a long time for the ferry to be brought back for my lorry. We got over again quick enough as we were towed by a John Holt's Coy steam tug (a stern wheeler) which was loading beniseed. There were five steamers of various kinds there: made it look most seaside like.

Then I paid road labourers, stayed the night at Sankara's Ruins where I went for the biggest of the August meetings: I saw Ngenev Council (probably at Zaki Biam), a singularly inept collection who require much prodding, and then spent three rather hot hours in some thick bush with chain and compass laying out some plots for trading canteens. Then to Ugba's for the night twenty miles back along the road. Saw Ugondo Council in the morning, a cheerful competent lot though without a leader just now as the old Clan Head died in April. Had a look at school, market and dispensary. Then to Buruku again and while the lorry was going across I met the Council of Mbalagh and surveyed some more canteen sites near the river bank. Got chased and stung by bees! A complete Council and others, led at high speed by the A.D.O., in flight from bees must have been an interesting sight. Then over the river in a dugout canoe and so home."

As I have described, the all season roads were a layer of laterite, like a fine gravel, on a base of larger rubble and stones but where the basic subsoil was fine or boggy or a culvert was blocked leading to a build up of water which seeped under the road the surface became weak and sinking disasters such as we had in Southern Tiv occurred!

However it was now the end of October and the end, bar freak storms, of the rainy season. "No more water ...... till next May. Rather a shattering thought really. The roads are already dry and clouds of red dust get up behind any vehicle." I was evidently learning the basic facts about tropical seasons!

It was also the time for preparing the Native Authority estimates or budget for the following year. I reported: "That involves a great deal of work calculating people's salaries, most of which are on sliding scales and complicated by accelerated rises for ex-soldiers. Then buildings, roads, education, medical, etc. expenditure and all the various sorts of revenue: then all sorts of financial statements. Quite beyond me but John Taylor did most of it, thank goodness." I described it as "Rather a hectic week."

It appears that that week we had that rare thing in Gboko, some visitors. "the Provincial Education Officer, an oldish man." I have no idea what age I, then just 23, considered to be "oldish"! Then "two Forestry people, one of them one of the worst bores in the Northern Provinces! He spoke in a low pitched voice which I could not hear anyway and told me two long and involved stories of which I heard not a word and, as John Taylor had not bothered to listen, I was never any the wiser!"

For another visitor I had to represent the Administration. I reported: "the local Roman Catholic Bishop has been round to the local Mission and I had to go and meet him as John T. was in Makurdi. Rather overpowering with 8 or 10 Priests all in various degrees of robery!"

The British Legion Poppy Day extended even to the remoteness of Gboko, presumably in aid of ex. members of the West African Frontier Force who fought during the Second World War, first in the East African campaign and then in Burma. I reported: "Only 200 poppies issued and I simply gave them to the Chief Scribe (the head official of the Native Authority) and told him to get on with it (I hope more politely than that I). He sent some round the town which didn't sell very well and some to the meeting of the Jengba Clan Councils which is now on some 6 miles outside Gboko. All the old men played up well, shillings and sixpences coming in well."

Meanwhile I had plenty to do. I reported: "Last years accounts (of the Native Authority) to a check, an order for Police Uniforms from the Crown Agents in England to draft, two or three "Preliminary Investigations" into manslaughter and one of stealing both for trial by Supreme Court Judge on circuit, stores to check. So plenty to do."

Lack of physical exercise seems to have worried me! John Taylor did not play tennis and there was no one else in the station. However in November I reported: "I have really taken some exercise today for once. John Nicholson, the Development Officer who is here, and I decided that we would go up Mkar Hill, the local mountain about 5 miles away and some five hundred feet high and very rocky. We left about 9 and got back about 2, wanting beer badly! Good fun and very pleasant. A lot of monkeys live at the top and there are tales of leopard but we saw none .... .. The 4 or 5 miles back on a bicycle was the worst part!"

Mkar was the site of the biggest of three Leper Colonies in the Tiv country run by the Dutch Reformed Church Mission from South Africa. Leprosy was common among the Tiv and one frequently saw people with scarred faces, damaged noses or hands without fingers among the general population. The worst affected were in the Mission's colonies. About this time we had an influx of doctors led by the Chief Leprosy Officer for Nigeria, all visiting the Mkar and other leper colonies. The Resident also came as there were discussions about Government financial assistance to the Mission towards the cost of running the colonies. Treatment was by injection though with what I don't think that I ever knew. Needless to say injections were not popular and when many years later, a treatment by pills was introduced, treatment must have become much easier. The fact of leprosy and its effect on people seems to have been accepted by the Tiv people and I do not recall that those who bore the scars of it were in any way shunned by others. Those who were out in the general community were people whose leprosy had burnt itself out and so were no longer infectious.

The accounts of the Native Authority treasury for 1947 on which John Taylor had been working at intervals were evidently beating even him because another visitor was an Auditor from Kaduna who came to sort them out. The situation must have been very dire to entice an auditor so far into the bush! Although I noted that he could not stay long enough to clear up all the accounts he evidently got enough done to enable them to be completed as there is no further mention of them in my letters!

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Makurdi Residency
I was then posted temporarily to Makurdi to run the Provincial Office, in effect to be staff officer to the Resident. Writing home on Sunday 5th December 1948 I record: "I came in here yesterday after dark and stayed in the Residency last night. The motions of unpacking etc. are in process all around me. I have a nice little house but not much view but I am not likely to be here for more than 6 weeks ... .. .. a pleasant break in the tour." I clearly got involved early as in the same letter I record: "The Resident, the Railway Engineer and self did a little survey before breakfast this morning! It had been discovered that the Club had no proper Certificate of Occupancy for its land and so a simple survey was needed for the application to the Secretary Northern Provinces. And before breakfast is the best time to do such things in this place."

The Club - there was one in all Provincial H.Qs and a few other of the bigger administrative centres - was the centre of community social activities. Membership was open to all what I will call superior grade Government officers and all managerial level members of the various commercial companies etc. It was usually situated in the "Government Reserved Area", the area containing the houses of government officials, otherwise known as the "G.R.A". It had a bar, some sort of basic restaurant facilities, a dance floor - usually smooth concrete outside under the tropic moon and good quality polished wood inside - and a tennis court or two of laterite. That at Makurdi was just across the road below the Residency with a fine view across the Benue river, here perhaps 800 yards wide and navigable by river steamers in the rainy season when the water level was high.

My duties in Makurdi were to run the Provincial Office, i.e. the Resident's miniature secretariate, with a team of African clerks, all either Southern Nigerians, mainly Ibo from Eastern Nigeria, or from the Gold Coast: the chief clerk I recall was one Mr. Okeke. There were reports and returns of various kinds from the five Divisions (Tiv, Wukari, Idoma, Lafia and Nassarawa) to be checked, collated and forwarded to the Secretariat in Kaduna, capital of the Northern Region: financial estimates and accounts to process: policy instructions to send out to the Divisions: comments on proposals of all sorts received from various Government departments to draft for the Resident and his replies to send back in return: the small Government treasury to run: contacts to maintain with various Provincial departmental officers such as Police, Public Works Department, Medical Department and the Nigerian Railways: never nothing to do. I was also "President" of the Makurdi Town Council: I reported "All quite amusing on the surface, but underneath the surface there are inter-racial jealousies which 18 months ago flared up in an irresponsible riot in which 12 people were killed and the Policy had to open fire. So one has to keep one's eyes open. The town has only existed since the railway and road came (they both crossed the Benue on a fine bridge, the railway laid tramway fashion in the road) and up till 1947 had a tough old Hausa chief whom everyone obeyed and respected: he died and there is no obvious successor and all the various racial groups are against each other on the question. All rather fun!"

Regrettably I have no recollection of any of my dealings with them!

I even recorded that when the Resident was away I "have been squatting in his office 'acting for him'. No great problems have arisen, I am glad to say!"

I was, it appears, not impressed by (or perhaps rather ignorant about) the Christian Missionaries of various denominations although in Benue Province I think that the Roman Catholics were the most common. I have already mentioned the South African Dutch Reformed Church mission at Mkar near Gboko which did excellent work treating leprosy. But my general view does not seem to have been so favourable: I recorded "The Missions are O.K. as long as they keep to their own spheres but when they start butting in and intriguing in political affairs they are a menace and not popular. The type (of African) they produce has a thin veneer of religion, education, civilisation if you like and must be taken with a great deal of salt: but he is an inevitable stage in transition and must be put up with."

In mid December I had a first attempt at passing the Lower Standard Hausa language exam. Being in an area where very little Hausa was spoken - the Tiv of course spoke Tiv and the office clerks, etc. English - I did not expect to pass and did not! I recorded that the written "papers were hard." I was at least politely encouraged over the oral: I recorded" Had rather fun yesterday doing the Hausa oral exam. I didn't pass simply on lack of vocabulary, which is a matter of time and reading, though the Resident and Findlay, the D.0. Idoma, who were the examiners said that my putting together what I did know was good."!!

Christmas was now upon us - my first away from home! I recorded: "Quite an idle pleasant day yesterday (Christmas Day), mostly sailing on the river. Elizabeth (Gunston), the Resident and I went up in a dinghy. Very little wind after the first bit and Master and I even took to the oars! And we were towed into the sandbank where lunch was waiting by a canoe with polers which had brought some of the rest of the party up. A bit more sailing after luncheon and then a very slow sail home. Then a good dinner at the Resident's and a rather dull affair at the Club - such as those things always will be!"

I also recorded: "I got some icing sugar the other day and my cook has just produced a very good currant cake with icing on it. One of his better efforts which shows you the low standard!"

Duty also called: "Yesterday we, or at least Master, Richard and Elizabeth and self, put on dinner jackets and paid a kind of duty visit to the African "Youths Social Club" dance in the town. All the clerks and their many ladies all very smartly dressed up, though curious combinations of white ties and apparent dinner jackets. A brassy band but keeping good time of course. And intriguing dancing with some most intricate looking footwork and a lot of sinuosity!. ..... Held in the open air on a concrete tennis court." I do not record whether I took part!

Early in January I returned to Gboko: the doctors were unable to pass Richard Gunston as fully fit after his sleeping sickness and so he took over the Provincial Office and remained in Makurdi. However, before I left I recorded: "This morning I have been drafting a rather tricky letter asking for our estimate for the local Catering Rest House (i.e. the government run hotel) for next financial year to be increased from £400 to £600: I had to explain why the original estimate was all cockeye and then say what each bit of it would cost! All tricky." Clearly a most important matter!

However, on Sunday, four days after I had come back to Gboko, "Great hootings outside my house when I was shaving at 8 o'clock this morning and there was John Taylor, who is in Makurdi acting for Master (the Resident) who is in Kaduna, with Richard and Elizabeth (Gunston) come out to spend the day. Very nice to see them. John dragged me off to the Treasury (presumably the Tiv Native Treasury) from 11 till 2 so they didn't get much attention! But Richard himself had brought some files to deal with. Richard went quite mad and lost another of my golf balls! All great fun." So in the midst of work life was very light hearted.

Work there was though with "a different atmosphere" from that in the Provincial Office in Makurdi. "As it is the dry season it is also the building season and as two of our three (Native Authority) lorries are u/s it is all very difficult. We have a school to build at Tor Donga, 45 miles east: cattle pens at Mbakon, 40 miles south: a dispensary at Ngohor, 36 miles west: and another school at Abinsi, 40 miles north west: not to mention compost chambers (i.e. a sewage works!), a lorry inspection ramp and other oddments in Gboko. All need cement, laterite blocks, timber, corrugated iron, etc. And at the same time it is getting near the end of the financial year and one has to watch the money carefully."

The weather, as everywhere, deserved comment. "The cold and dusty Harmattan (a north wind out of the Sahara) has returned for its second period. Pleasant to be cool again though the dust (basically fine sand) gets in one's eyes and skin and all one's papers blow about and one's books curl up."

Modernisation was coming: "We have just had a telephone installed round the offices here! Very bush sort of wiring, or so it looks to me, and an antique type of instrument with a handle which you churn to ring the exchange! Not connected to the outer world and we don't want it to be or we should always have "Master" ringing us up and talking too long! Not to mention telegrams which at the moment come in by mail in a gentlemanly manner 3 times a week."

We were not free from alarms. "Yesterday might have been full of tragedy but luckily was not. We got a report, very vague, at 9 am, of an aeroplane crash said to have taken place two days before. So Roger Morley, who is now here, went off with a Dispensary Attendant, fitters, etc. 20 miles by road and 8 miles on foot, but it turned out that although a plane apparently had been in difficulties and had come down to grass level it had managed to struggle on ok. I think if anything had really occurred we would have heard very much earlier."

The climate earned more comment. "Harmattan still blowing strong: visibility 3/4 mile entirely due to sand! I am for the moment in the small windowless rest house which I had when I first came here so get all the cold wind!. ..... Various flowering shrubs and trees are beginning to come out which is nice. Frangipane white and yellow and the scarlet Flame of the Forest."

It was evidently taking time for the Tiv to get used to modernisation! "Our telephone is now installed but not particularly effective as a lot of unnecessary shouting down it goes on! Mostly "Hullo" much repeated. I think a lot of them are frightened of it. Not surprising really!"

Disasters occurred. I recorded on 30th January: "Gboko town rather shattered by a big fire on Thursday and another this morning. There is no stopping a fire with bone dry thatched roofs and grass matting walls to compounds and some huts. And they will light fires inside the huts and so on a windy day one flares up and off it goes. Thursday's one started on the windward side of the town and went on for a mile or so to the other side, burning a strip about 150 yards wide. The one this morning rather smaller in extent. "Fire" action is to remove everything from the houses and for one or two chaps to sit on top of each thatch roof with a tree branch to beat any sparks out!? No fire engines or fire brigade available!

I was then (early February) posted back to Makurdi. Richard Gunston was at last passed fit and was to go out to Idoma Division at Oturkpo and I was to take over from him in charge of the Provincial Office.

Unusual subjects cropped up periodically. Soon after my arrival I recorded: "Everyone this week here has become very interested in a pesthole called Moi Igbo 20 miles (south) down the railway. They all seem to think there is salt brine there. First a Department of Commerce and Industries man came and went saying there was nothing to see. Then a few days later a Drilling Superintendant arrived in the office wanting to know where the salt was and was most surprised to hear there was no road within 15 miles and no means of unloading anything off the railway! And now I hear a Geologist has arrived and the Drillers are hot on the trail. All rather intriguing and as far as I could see none of them could see what they were after."

Another "first" was recorded: "Elizabeth Gunston comes through tomorrow on her way home. Flies from here to Kano (first passenger from Makurdi on the new commercial air service from here)!" I cannot recall at all where our airstrip was but we must have had one!

It was now "Quite nice and cool this week but visibility down to 1/2 a mile or less due to Harmattan dust, though without a wind. We are apparently just on the edge of the wind so all the dust just hangs! And of course being dry sucks up moisture from the river producing a dry mist."

To be confirmed in one's appointment one had to pass certain exams at the end of one's first tour. These loomed: "Must cease (writing a letter home) and go and delve in General Orders and work out what I have to learn from the Law Exam in June"!

Maintaining personal appearance posed problems. I recorded: "Just had my hair cut so feel very much better. A Yoruba man called Shaibu who also makes bricks and does contracting work such as thatching houses .... and incidentally cuts hair pretty competently! It hadn't been done for about 3 weeks and was then done by Roger Morley (another A.D.O. ) at Gboko: he is NOT skilled!"

Apparent responsibilities did not seem to worry me much: I recorded: The Resident "is now off on tour for a week so I am once again sitting somewhat ineffectually in his office! One gets awkward telegrams from Secretary, Northern Provinces, at Kaduna wanting an "early answer" to something one doesn't know. Highly amusing. Thus are we governed!"

Replacing clothing posed difficulties: "Have just had some shirts made locally: collar attached. Allegedly copies of the Griffiths Macalister shirt! But not as exact as I had hoped." A good thing that there were few occasions when smartness was required.

In my next letter home I recorded, further to my sitting "rather ineffectually" in the Resident's office: "I've had a very hectic week with Master away and tricky problems cropping up right and left: awkward questions from Secretary, Northern Provinces. I sent him (presumably Secretary N.P.) one telegram covering five telegram forms!" Regrettably I have no recollection of the subject on which I was pontificating.

The mail train, the main passenger train, passed through Makurdi three times a week. The down mail, originating from Lagos and travelling half way round Nigeria up to Kaduna and down again en route to Port Harcourt, used to arrive any time between 6pm and 2 or 3am. This train would bring us passengers, mail and money for the Government Treasury. I remember meeting off the train, with all the superiority of one year's service, Derek Mountain and Martin Maconachie (who called himself a "detribalised Scotsman"!) on first arrival as new cadets. I hope that I welcomed and guided them as kindly as Hector Jelf had done for Richard Gunston and me a year before.

I also remember, on some occasion when the train arrived fairly late and had brought a remittance of money for the Government Treasury for which I as A.D.O. Provincial Office was responsible, sitting in the office and counting, by the light of a Tilley pressure oil lamp, thousands of pounds of West African Currency Board £1 notes, grubby and well used, before locking them away in the strong room. Mundane duty but necessary.

Makurdi at this time was apparently "empty". This affected exercise: "The Resident and I have been reduced to singles at tennis of a low standard as Bill Ford, the Policeman, has had bad eyes and couldn't play and Doctor Bury who played has just been transferred elsewhere." There was one special rule applying to our tennis: the Resident used, as I have said earlier, a plain glass monocle which he gripped in his eye without any form of keeper string: if this fell out under stress of active movement it inevitably shattered on the hard ground: the Resident was then permitted to go back to the Residency across the road to collect another from his copious stock and play was held up until he returned!

Meanwhile there was other entertainment. I recorded:" A most overpowering Roman lunch party at the Residency on Wednesday. The R.C. Bishop for the area, a most senior Mother Superior, the cheerful Irish Father from the local Mission, and self and Resident!"

Problems continued: "Bit of a flap on at the moment in Tiv and here as one of the Tiv Clan heads has been shot in his own district and is probably dead by now. Things have not been going too well up there for some time, robberies, arrears of court work, etc. So Derek Mountain (A.D.O. ) and Tor Tiv have been despatched north to Mbagwen and all the neighbouring Clan Heads sent for to have a big meeting and "cleanse the country."

"At the same time here there is a shortage of food in Makurdi Town which must be watched (by me!) and the first change of membership of the Town Council, a new Ibo member having been elected and, as the Ibos are a volatile crowd, that needs watching too!"

The food shortage was, I think, the result of local traders buying up local grain and wanting to export it to other parts of Nigeria rather than supplying the local market, presumably in search of higher prices. Under some power, a local rule prohibiting such export was imposed.

Development continued but under difficulties. I reported" "No African can see straight! We've got a small public library being built by a contractor in (Makurdi) town and two days ago I and the Public Works Department engineer went down and had a look at it. 2 doors and 3 window frames were all obviously askew and so have got to come out!"

Again: "After the Town Council meeting yesterday we all adjourned to the market and marked out some new permanent market stalls, long sheds divided up into sections for petty traders. They take the place of shops of which there are none! An interested crowd collected. And of course when I started setting out a right angle corner by the 3-4-5 method they hadn't a clue! All rather fun!

"Both these buildings are in (mud) bricks which are made locally and for which the wet season when the air is moist is the better building time as there is then no danger of the bricks absorbing the water in the cement." Later: "Nice breeze today though no rain here. (The rainy season was due to begin). I want some rain as the brickwork of the building going on for the Native Authority needs a thorough soaking: otherwise the mortar will be all crumbly." I was evidently becoming expert in local building techniques!

Easter was upon us and brought relaxation: "Today we spent on the River as on Christmas Day. Very pleasant and more wind for sailing up: In the afternoon there was a very hectic period when a sudden thunderstorm squall, carrying driving sand as well, caught the dinghy in mid river and sent it hard on the rocky shore! I was not aboard. Nor was the Resident who is the only really skilled yachtsman. So he pushed off in a small canoe across the by then really choppy Benue and assisted the somewhat amateur crew. That delayed us a good bit and we sailed home mostly in the dark. The Limited passenger train went over the big bridge while we were dropping down stream and looked beautiful all lit up. A pleasant day." And it even catered for my interest in trains!

I had one moment of ignominy. Asked by the Resident to work out some statistics for him and given by him a set of logarithm tables I had to go back and say rather plaintively that I had "forgotten how to do Logs"! Such was the effect of having done nothing but classics at school from the age of 14 3/4 ! So I got a refresher course and was then able to deal with the statistics.

About now all of us relatively junior officers in the Province gathered in Makurdi to take the examinations which we had to pass before we could be confirmed in our appointments: there were papers in Hausa, Common Law, Nigerian Statistics, General Orders (Government service regulations), Financial Instructions (Government financial regulations), Colonial Regulations and Financial Memoranda (Native Authority financial regulations) and then an oral Hausa examination. You had the various books, statutes, regulations, etc. so that you did not have to memorise everything but merely know your way round the books. It was an examination in knowing where to find whatever rules, etc. were relevant to a problem and then applying them correctly. I duly passed in all of them including, much to my surprise, the oral Hausa: for this I remember carrying on a conversation with and having a story told to me by the Resident's senior Government messenger, the examiners being the Resident and David Arnott, then D.O. of Tiv Division. In fact in the Financial Memoranda exam, I scored 100%! I can remember the surprise of Mr. Okeke, the chief clerk in the Provincial Office who, on opening the letter recording this, exclaimed: "I've never seen this before, Sir, you've got 100%"!

The 4th of June 1949 was a busy day which included a remarkable coincidence. Having had three days mainly taken up by examinations I had got very behind in the Provincial Office and was hoping to catch up. However I recorded: "Today, when I really thought that I could get something done, especially as the weekly Town Council meeting was postponed as three members are at Gboko at the Tribal Council Meeting, a rather precipitate Railway Traffic Superintendent comes along and changes the arrangements for allotting cattle wagons to the traders who rail cattle from here: there are not enough wagons and so some can't get them. A rather corrupt but at least workable system had been going on and the Railwayman tries to straighten it out without advice from us on how we think the traders, etc. will take it. They would have started a miniature riot between those with and those without wagons and it occupied the whole of my and the Police Officer's morning and I part of the Resident's to prevent a breach of the peace and get some arrangements made.

"Then about 3.30 just as I finished lunch along comes the Native Authority messenger which a note from one clerk that it appears that the other has misappropriated a lot of tax money. So down to the native town office to put a seal on the cash tank and send a letter to the clerk suspending him from duty. And so no office done at all! What a life."

The coincidence was remarkable. While waiting in the morning for Gidley, the Nigerian Police Officer, before our visit to the cattle loading sidings, I had with me a young Tiv Native Authority police constable. I saw that he had medal ribbons on his tunic including the Burma Star and so I asked him which battalion of the Nigeria Regiment he had been in. 1 st Battalion (1 NR) was the answer. "Oh" I said, "the only person I know who was in 1 NR was Mr. McCallum". The reply shook me: "I was his orderly and I carried him back when he was wounded!" Stewart McCallum had lost his right arm and been shot about in his face. "Well" I said "Mr McCallum is back here now and is an A.D.O. in Zaria!" I took his name and wrote and told Stewart of the meeting. Stewart replied that he remembered him well and that he was "a nice boy"! That I should chance on an ex-soldier, of all the several thousand who fought in Burma, who knew Stewart, let alone one who had been his orderly when he was wounded, was indeed remarkable.

I have regrettably little recollection of the layout or appearance of either Makurdi or Gboko. Houses for European staff were mostly bungalows and certainly in Makurdi we had running water. I don't recall a boiler so I do not think that we had hot running water. The Residency was what was called an "Abbey National" type house: two stories with an overhanging pitched roof. The curse of all houses, particularly the Residency with its big roof space, was the host of bats: at dusk they flew out in apparent thousands and the bat droppings in the roof created a permanent background smell! In most houses the kitchen was a separate small building a few yards from the back door. This usually contained a very slow burning wood stove: it was said that the Crown Agents in London, who supplied most Colonial governments, kept on their books this particular primitive type of stove just for government houses in Nigeria, all other colonies having adopted something more modern! The trading etc. companies provided their own houses for their European staff, usually of a type superior to government houses and even sometimes with air conditioning! Government houses (and offices) at best had an electric fan or even a punkah, pulled by an African sitting outside on the verandah.

Part way through my time at Makurdi I took over a brand new bungalow which had a fine view over the Benue River. The Residency had a similar view.

The roads in the G.R.A. (Government Reserved Area) where we lived were, in Makurdi at least, tar macadam so no clouds of dust. They were often lined with neem trees, a quick growing deciduous tree originally introduced from India. There would also be the occasional flowering tree, a Jacaranda or the even more striking scarlet flowered Flame of the Forest. Depending on the occupant's keenness each house would be surrounded by some effort at a garden in which Red Hot Pokers would flourish. Bourganvillea and Morning Glory creepers grew up most houses.

One feature common to all Provincial Residences (and to Government House in Kaduna) was the small sentry box at the gateway to the drive containing the Resident's visitors' book. It was de rigeur to sign your name and address in this on arrival in the station and again on leaving (or certainly on leaving permanently, e.g. to go on leave, when you added the letters "P.P.C." (pour prendre conge!)

Also the Residency and the house of every District Officer in charge of a Division had a flagpole on which flew the Union Flag. A police bugler (Nigeria Police, i.e. "dan sanda = A son of a stick", if there was a detachment stationed locally or Native Authority police, i.e. "dan doka" = "son of an order", otherwise) hoisted the flag at dawn and took it down at dusk. The Resident also flew a small Union Flag on his car when going anywhere in his province. Thus was protocol maintained!

Down on the banks of the Benue River at Makurdi were wharves at which, in the rainy season when the river was deep enough quite large river steamers would berth. In this area were the various trading company "canteens", galvanised iron roofed buildings, part offices, part basic shops but largely stores for agricultural produce for export and bulk imports. Typical among them were the United Africa Company (a Unilver subsidiary), Companie Francaise de l'Afrique Occidentale (or C.F.O.B.), Paterson Zochonis (P.Z.), John Holts, London and Kano Trading Co., etc.

The shop parts of the canteens sold fairly basic miscellaneous goods including food and drink. I remember being impressed that C.F.A.O. sold tinned snails with, attached to each tin, a small bag containing the equivalent number of snail shells into which you reintroduced the snails before cooking! Whether I got my cook to try this operation I doubt! Wine I remember was usually South African; presumably transport from there was easier.

The Provincial Office where I worked was again a single story building not far from the Residency and, if I remember rightly, looking over the river. Like most buildings it had a galvanised iron roof which rattled mightily in heavy rain. The staff consisted of Mr. Okeke, the Chief Clerk, and several other clerks, all I think from Southern Nigeria. There was also a small strong room for the Government Sub-Treasury for which there were two keys, I think, one held by me and one by the Chief Clerk.

The Resident had his own office up in the Residency. What I chiefly remember about that was that beside his desk was a two tiered table: Master would put down on the lower tier files on subjects which interested him or on which he was asked to send comments and advice to the Secretariat at Kaduna. The trouble was that they got taken up and considered and put back down again for further thought so often that (as I learnt when working later on in the Secretariat) his advice and comments arrived in Kaduna too late: the decision on whatever subject it was had to be taken without waiting for his reply. The sad thing was that his contribution was often the most valuable of all the Residents' advice but was, in effect, wasted. Not for nothing had he got a double first!

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
John Gibb
Visitors came and went frequently: Roger Morley stayed with me for the various exams: George Roche was with me for two nights, having come back from tour by train to Makurdi and then had to wait two days for a lorry to come from Gboko to take him back there. Derek Mountain to lunch en route on tour to Yonov. Gisborne, a botanist of the Agricultural Department, to breakfast en route to Wamba from the Agricultural station at Yanden, near Gboko. Gibbs, an ADO from the Eastern Region, for a glass of beer on a Sunday morning driving in the day about 400 miles from Awgu to Vom in the Plateau Province near Jos, all on wet laterite roads: his dog had got sleeping sickness and he was taking it to Vom which was the headquarters of the Veterinary Department for treatment.

By now it was mid June and I recorded: "And the rains came. They have been going since 6 am this morning and it is now 1 pm. As a result I got out my tweed coat and found that the moth had been at it!"

With the rains the water levels in the rivers rose and the shipping season began. The trading companies exported all their agricultural produce by river and received heavy stuff like cement and steel framing by similar means. At the height of the rains small ocean going steamers could even reach Makurdi. However most of the traffic was smaller steamers, often stern-wheelers pushing or towing barges. One of my uncles, Uncle Harry (H.F. Longmore) a marine engineer, had told me before I came out that in 1914, when he was managing director of a marine engineering firm, his firm had built the engines for two small stern-wheelers for Nigeria called the "Katsina Ala" and, I think, the "Zungeru". He suggested that they might still be running. Sure enough, what was one of the first smaller ships to come up to Makurdi but the "Katsina Ala" with Uncle Harry's engines still chugging away! I went on board and told my story to the African crew and admired the plentiful supply of polished brass and oily steel.

It was now at last possible for me to have 12 days "local leave". To see friends and some other bits of the country I went first to Jos, the nearest thing we had to a "hill station" as it was upon the Jos Plateau at roughly 2000 feet above sea level. I recorded: "Rather shattering train journey, leaving Makurdi at 1 am which is a bad start. Arrived Bukuru 20 miles fromJos where Bob (Pembleton) met me about 7pm. 3 hours change at Kafanchan where I looked up the local D.O. called Bell who gave me lunch which was pleasant of him. Wonderful bit of line getting up on to the Plateau. You go right up one side of a valley: round at the end and all the way back along the other side going up and up all the way. You see a station you passed through half an hour before down below you! Then all across the rolling grass plateau with rocky hills and outcrops up to Jos. Like the (Salisbury) Plain if covered with Dartmoor tors."

However I had clearly had a good dinner before I left Makurdi: "Richard Gunston and Roger Morley arrived in Makurdi the evening I left (to give evidence at the Magistrate's sessions starting the next day) so we had a cheerful dinner party with Master (the Resident) before I pushed off."

My plans for local leave were: "Jos - then Zaria (where Stewart McCallum now is again) - Kaduna where Tony (Ditcham) has a horse no one can ride, so he says. I don't quite see the connection between it and me!"

In Jos I stayed with Bob Pembleton, another A.D.O. who had been on the same course though at Oxford: I evidently saw some of the country: I've recorded: "Went out all last Monday with Bob Pembleton on the Plateau looking at mining leases or rather sites (the Plateau was the centre of the extensive tin mining industry) : he has to assess compensation for farming land, etc. Walked about a bit after driving in his Chevrolet truck over some of the most atrocious tracks (they even call them roads too!). We got down into one very remote valley with a rather fine waterfall where the River Rukuba falls into a deep ravine about 100 feet deep. Back to lunch about 4.30!"

There was other sophisticated entertainment: "Saw a flick in the evening: first one I'd seen since I came out here. Rather a bush place and sound not much good." I also saw friends from Benue - Martin Maconachie (who was at Gboko for a time but who had a wound (from the war) in his back which played up in the comparatively damp Benue climate and so was sent to the drier north) and Bill Ford, a Nigerian Policeman (ex. Metropolitan Police) who was at Makurdi.

I had hoped to travel to Zaria by the Bauchi Light Railway, a narrow gauge line direct from Jos to Zaria. But I recorded: "The Bauchi Light was half out of order and running most uncertainly - apparently uncertain of getting there in under two days and I haven't got my camp kit with me!" So I went "by the main line via Kafanchan."

At Zaria I stayed with Stewart McCallum, another member of our Cambridge Course. He had lost most of his right arm in Burma and it was his orderly that I had met, now an N.A. Policeman, in Makurdi. Notwithstanding the loss of his arm, Stewart did most things. He drove an ordinary car, jamming the stump of his upper right arm into the spokes of the steering wheel when changing gear with his left hand and playing squash and, I think, tennis with his left hand. I recorded that with him I "played some squash in the Army court there: felt most unfit and out of practice!"

Zaria was my first sight of the true Hausa north. It was one of the "Hausa Bokwai", the seven original Hausa states.

Stewart drove me round Zaria native town: "Quite different from down in Benue: mud houses with flat or domed roofs and moulding on the walls and little pinnacles" at the corners." These were considered by some to be phallic symbols but probably merely had the practical use of deflecting the rain off the corners of the mud walls.

Zaria was a relatively big place. The Emir was one of the ten "First Class Emirs" in Northern Nigeria and the emirate area was big. There was a relatively big GRA where the Europeans lived: it included the Government printing and publishing establishment, the Gaskiya Corporation, which among other things produced a Hausa language newspaper called "Gaskiya ta fi kwabo" = The truth is worth more than a penny". There was also an Army (West African Frontier Force) training regiment.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Kaduna Secretariat
Then to Kaduna, by road driven by a friend of Stewart who was going there, about 100 miles. Kaduna was the capital of the Northern Priovinces and, by Northern Nigerian standards, quite a large place. There were large Secretariat offices in two major blocks each on two floors about 300 yards long with an "ivory tower" in the middle of each going up to four floors with open verandah along the front on both ground and first floors. The two blocks faced each other across a garden about 100 yards wide. The northern block was all Administration and the southern block Public Works Department and Education Department. Elsewhere were a Nigeria Police head-quarters and Medical Department and various other offices. A main thoroughfare, an avenue, ran north /south with at its north end the Lugard Hall which was the House of Assembly or parliament building. There was the Government House rather on the outskirts where His Honour the Chief Commissioner (soon to become Governor under constitutional reorganisation) lived and had his office, etc. He was Captain Thompstone, who had joined immediately after the Great War in 1919. Tony Ditcham who had been in St. John's College, Cambridge, with me was his Private Secretary. Then there was an extensive G.R.A. with shady avenues and biggish houses in the older parts and in the newer parts less grand bungalows. There was a race course, a polo ground, both roughish if smooth grass, and the pony lines."

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
1st (Nigerian) Field Battery
There were then two sets of Army barracks: one for the Nigerian Field Artillery Battery and another for an infantry battalion of the Nigeria Regiment, each with relevant officers and British N.C.O.'s quarters.

To, I think, the west of the G.R.A. was the Nigerian Railway quarters centred round the station which was the junction for the line north to Zaria and Kano with considerable engine sheds, sidings, workshops, etc.

There was an extensive native town: this felt fairly modern, as if it had only grown up along with the establishment of the Northern Nigerian capital but it may have been based on an old established small town or village. As far as I remember it was not attractive and had no character!

There was a trading area with some fairly well stocked canteens or shops - far superior to anything which we had in Makurdi. Somewhere there was a small airport for internal services.

Entertainment was on a larger scale than that to which I was accustomed. There was a gymkhana one day and polo with a match between a Kaduna team and one from Zaria. These I think would have been European teams. I was a spectator at both.

Tony Ditcham was much occupied attending on H.H. and I don't think that I saw much of him. But I found a contact in George and Camilla Cope: she was a half cousin of my first cousin Jane Walford and he was a Captain attached to the battalion of the Nigeria Regiment. I recorded that at the gymkhana "Captain Cope rides forcefully but not too well"! I'm not sure that I was really a competent judge.

I evidently stayed in the Kaduna Catering Rest House, the government run equivalent of a hotel, because I recorded that John Milles who was on our course was there: his job was to organise co-operative societies, presumably for agricultural produce or artisan industry, and, since this involved pretty continued travelling, did not have a house.

I had a couple of evenings hacking out in the country with Tony, first on one of his ponies which turned out to be lame and second on a pony lent to me by Nicky McClintock - whom then I did not know but whom later became one of our nicest friends.

Then it was back to Makurdi by train and back to work. I was in fact lucky as the whole of Nigerian Railways went on strike about a week later and no trains ran. My 12 days "local leave" had as I put it "cut me out completely" from work!

The Provincial Administration continued to be short handed. I recorded: "John Nicholson, a 'Development Officer', i.e. a kind of supernumerary Administrative Officer .... who was in Tiv last tour has just come back from leave ..... but 2 D.O's (District Officers) whom we thought were coming have been whisked away, one to Lagos and the other to the Falklands! 5 of us are due for leave in the next few months and only 3 due back which will mean extra work for someone! Or rather that some things which should be done won't get done."

There were periodic visitors. "We have two anthropologists arriving tonight: Americans who have been at Oxford: husband and wife. They are to study certain "aspects" of the Tiv. Have been with (Professor) Evans Pritchard who taught me at Cambridge. They intend to live in Tiv for 18 months".

Anthropologists and similar investigators always frighten Administrative officers: one is never certain what effect their curiosity and enquiries will have on local primitive peoples who may suspect ulterior motives. I never heard how this pair got on but no doubt the Resident (a double first in Classics and Anthropology at Cambridge) will have both helped and kept an eye on them.

Later I recorded: "The two American anthropologists named Bohannan have pushed off to Gboko en route to the Southern Tiv bush. Very ugly, most learned but very nice and have allayed a lot of Master's fears on the subject. You see if you get people going around asking questionns and writing things down the locals naturally think that something is up and in Tiv at the moment we don't want them to think anything is up as they are only now just beginning to digest the complete change of internal constitution which has been going on over the past seven or eight years as a result of Master's investigations."

The Resident had spent several years as D.O. Tiv and, having found out much about their traditional tribal organisation, had adapted it to modern day requirements of a Native Authority. He was regarded by the Tiv with much affection and respect and known, due to his monocle, as "Wanjange", the one-eyed one.

We did receive some reinforcement: an A.D.O. named Loadsman, same seniority as Derek Mountain and Martin Maconachie who had arrived earlier in the year, arrived and went out to Gboko. He had been a Captain in the Tochi Scouts on the North West Frontier of India so presumably was both tough and able to handle tribesmen.

Meanwhile the railway strike had caused "quite a lot of work and worry. It might well have spread and caused disorder. We got out and dusted the security plans and arranged for vehicle commandeering and police reinforcements from Tiv and corn to feed them. And we had to send messengers on bicycles to all the stations to pin up notices from the Chief Secretary to the strikers, warning them about dismissal etc. But nothing came of it."

Richard Gunston and I were now approaching the time for us both to go on leave, having nearly completed our 18 month tour. Richard was suffering a recurrence of his sleeping sickness after effects (swollen glands) and in fact flew home a week or two early: he did not return to Nigeria but transferred to Nyasaland (now Malawi) where, I believe, there were no tsetse fly.

We both found "we have to be vaccinated again as we do not have "International" vaccination certificates. So we shall go and see the Sanitary Superintendant who surprisingly deals in vaccinations and not the Doctor!" I recorded: "Later: have been vaccinated and played a game of tennis!" I apparently feared after-effects but so far as I remember did not have any - or none worth mentioning in letters home!

Then on 7th August I recorded: "I have now got a passage on about 26th August" from Lagos in a boat called the Clio. No one here has ever heard of her so she must be something most obscure. One of the smaller Elder Dempster cargo boats probably: about 12 passengers. Usually comfortable and food good but a bit slow, perhaps 20 days by the time we have loaded in Takoradi or Dakar and no doubt a roller! I shall no doubt feel somewhat unwell from Finisterre onwards!"

I also recorded that this was "annoying for Master as he had counted on having me still here during a series of (meetings of) Provincial Leprosy Board, Provincial Development Committee and Provincial Conference on the revision of the Constitution when he will need as many people as possible to rally round."

Work of various kinds continued: "Rather sleepy today as I only had 2 1/2 hours sleep on Friday night: Courtney Gidley, the Policeman, decided we'd walk round the native town at 3am and see if any of the Native Authority policemen were awake: needless to say none of them were, so I am going to try and get the Sgt in charge dismissed. We walked about 4 1/2 miles between 2 and 4am!! Nice moonlight night - rather pleasant." Whether or not the Native Authority did sack the Sgt I do not record!

Then "A great deal of work here recently. All the Native Administrations (six) are putting in their estimates of revenue and expenditure for the financial year starting April 1 st 1950. Resident has to comment on them for the Chief Commissioner. He and I were at them till 11 pm on Friday and till 8 yesterday as we were out to dinner with the Mountains. Today I have been packing but we may have a session after dinner, I think."

The reference to packing was because I had to move out of my house "as Robin Findlay, Senior District Officer (a rank immediately below Resident) who will take over from Master when he goes on leave in October is going to live here meanwhile. I go to the Catering Rest House for a week... "

Meanwhile my appearance was apparently suffering: I recorded: "I need a haircut very badly but the only barber I'll allow is also a contractor and is away in Ukum, 90 miles away over the Katsina Ala river building stores for Paul Stoeffler's "French" company (Companie Francaise de l'Africque Occidentale"). So the 2/- haircut waits on the £800 contract!"

My imminent departure was in one respect ill timed. I recorded: "A great deal happens here just after I go. Provincial Leprosy Board on 22nd (August), Provincial Development Committee 23rd-25th, Provincial Conference on the Revision of the Constitution after that. Then Master goes off to Kaduna for the Regional Conference on the Constitution and the Judge holds Assizes here on 29th. So there's plenty to keep everyone happy and Master had hoped that they would not find me a boat until it was all over. However!"

However indeed! A week or so later I recorded: "There have of course been an interesting series of hitches and misinformations and the boat on which I was originally booked to sail next Friday sails tomorrow or early on Monday while I remain here ....... 1 was originally to leave here in state on Monday nights train, get to Lagos Thursday morning, look around and get papers, etc. for one day and go on board and away on Friday. Very nice. But then on Thursday along comes a wire from the "Civil Service Commissioner", the rather incompetent character who deals with these things in Lagos, saying that "Clio" was now sailing on Monday and could I get there? The Friday night train could have got me there at 9 am on Monday so we sent back a wire asking what was the latest time I could embark. Back comes a wire not bothering to answer my question but say I'd got to go on board on Sunday so that was temporarily that! I now await another boat."

So back, with difficulty to work! I had already handed over the Provincial Office to Frank Farrant and so was put onto odd jobs in connection with the series of Provincial conferences. "I spent all yesterday morning in a lorry rushing round Makurdi collecting chairs (35) and tables to furnish the converted R.A.F. building now used as a conference room and magistrate's court."

And later: "Must now go and find out just who is coming to these meetings and then go and consult Master about seating. You have to ensure that those who speak neither Hausa nor English have someone next to them to interpret!" There WOUld, of course, have been elders from the Tiv, the Jukun of Wukari Division and the Idoma peoples from Idoma Division in that category. Those from Lafiya and Nassarawa would have been Hausa speakers.

One beneficiary of my delayed departure was my wardrobe: I recorded:"ln one way quite a good thing I didn't push off on Friday as yesterday I got a parcel of shirts, pants and socks which I ordered six weeks ago from Lagos and had given up as gone astray, especially as at the time I sent the order the rail strike was on and I gave it to some one to post in Jos which has an air mail to Lagos and I couldn't be sure that he had posted it. So now I've 6 new aertex shirts (light blue and light green) and 6 white Van Heusen one's, detached collars. I had suddenly realised that such things were about 1/5 cheaper here than in England! Even so the bill (not yet received) will be big enough." The white ones sound smart! Presumably for evening wear. Day time dress was one of the aertex shirts with shorts and stockings. Come dusk and the cool of the evening and mosquito time one had a bath (even out in the bush!) and changed into long trousers and mosquito boots, mid calf length soft leather black boots, and a long sleeved shirt, the idea being to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. I would have worn a tie in the office, I think, and out to dinner. Later I recorded, when starting on leave: "Shall need some flannel trousers. Have two with me - one pair threadbare, t'other moth-eaten, slightly. And temporarily sewn up by Kay Gidley, the police officer's wife!! Beyond me, much less my boy!"

I was evidently "end of tourish." Just before leaving Makurdi I recorded: "Life here continues to turn over at a reasonably high pitch. I am quite frankly tired, partly a mental attitude, I think, because I worked up to stopping work last week and then had to start all over again. We have had a string of committees and conferences all last week, Leprosy, Development (2 days) and Revision of the Constitution (3 days). Supreme Court sits from tomorrow so I have spent Sunday morning turning a conference room into a Court - getting portable dock and witness box and benches, chairs and tables, etc. up in the lorry from various places. I had handed over the office to Frank Farrant but have now taken it back again so that he and Patricia can go and collect from Lagos a kit car they have bought."

Later: "Last week in Makurdi a bit of a strain. I took back the office from Frank Farrant and of course being all keyed up to stop work did not feel like doing much. However I managed to clear up several things about which I was the only person who knew. And I can't think of anything important I've forgotten." I wonder!

I had by now been allocated a passage on M.V.Accra, the Elder Dempster passenger ship on which we had all come out 18 months before, leaving on 6th September 1949, a Tuesday. So at 1 am on the previous Saturday I said good bye to Makurdi, getting onto the Limited, the train which would take me all the way to Lagos arriving in Lagos about 8am on Monday morning. Abetse, my boy, lived in Makurdi so he was in the right place for his leave.

A letter written "In the train south of Minna" records: "I really am on the way now. A good feeling .... 1 had a long conversation with Tony (Ditcham, PS to the Chief Commission) from Kaduna station - borrowing the Station Masters telephone. He flies home with H.H. on about October 7th - as he puts it he has to polish his shoes for him on the way home! The Resident also in Kaduna but he was not in the Rest House when I rang up.

"A dirty place the Nigerian Railway - filthy coal (mined near Enugu in Eastern Nigeria) and therefore smuts and you have to keep the windows open for the breeze! So you just make up your mind to be dirty. I am sharing a compartment with a man in the Traffic side of the Railway, an Argentine - born Englishman, previously on the Argentine railways. Nice chap. We had a couple of Army subalterns coming up from Makurdi to Kaduna which was a bit of a squash.

"I get into Lagos about 8 tomorrow morning before breakfast. Go straight to Ikoyi Catering Rest House and bath and breakfast and then go round various offices collecting warrants, etc. Sign the Governor's book, I suppose (No visiting cards!) ..... Then on board at some unearthly hour on Tuesday - 7.30am or something - and since it is 14 miles from Ikoyi to the wharf, all round Lagos harbour, an early start seems necessary. Customs, etc. Then idleness!"

My recollections of a Nigerian Railway compartment are vague! The gauge was 3'6", sometimes known as "the colonial gauge", compared with the U.K.etc. gauge of 4' 8 1/2", but the size of the carriages was similar to those in the U.K. A compartment in the 1 st Class which we all used, accommodated 4: there were upholstered leather seats with, I think, let down arm rests: these doubled as bunks at night, two more bunks letting down above so that there were four all told. If four people were occupying the compartment it was a crowd and to be avoided. I cannot visualise any washing/lavatory facilities in the compartments and I think that these must have been at each end of the carriage along the corridor. Entry and exit to the carriages was at each end. There was then a restaurant carriage which produced reasonable meals. The engines on the Limited were usually of the River Class, 2-8-2 English (or may be Scottish!) built and named after various Nigerian rivers. Speeds were not great, probably never exceeding 45 or so m.p.h.

I evidently survived Lagos and got on board. A letter home from Takoradi records: :~II ok on board. I have the same steward as when I came out and it may be the same cabin. Sharing with a Technical Instructor (Engineering) from the Education Oept. Quite a reasonable character and comes from the North (meaning he was serving in Northern Nigeria, not that he was e.g. a Geordie!) ...... I also managed to get a ham in Lagos which is reposing in the fridge on board. May be an asset though not a very big one!" Bear in mind that food was still rationed in the U.K. in 1949.

Of the voyage home I have no recollection except the shock of reading in the newspapers brought out on the Liverpool Pilot Boat that Sir Stafford Cripps had severely devalued the Pound! So back to Salisbury Close where I remember meeting people whom I knew I knew but could not remember any of their names!

What were my feelings and what had I learnt after one "tour"? My main recollection is of what fun it all was. Everyone and everything one did was cheerful: no depression. At the risk of sounding pompous one had a sense of doing good by others. There was great variety in the work. I learnt that you could make most Africans laugh: also that a disgruntled African was much easier to deal with if you got him to sit down and easier still if made to laugh.

Another major recollection is of how helpful and hospitable other members of the government services from senior to junior were. John Taylor, my first D.0., had a rather cheerfully cynical sense of humour. One bit of his advice, which at first I thought a bit unambitious, was that it was better, if in doubt, to say "No" to some request and then later, having looked into whatever it was, to be able to say "After all I find I can say "Yes" than to say "Yes" first and then have to try to stop it later.

Hospitality was universal: witness my calling on the totally unknown D.O. at Kafanchan when going to Jos on local leave and promptly being given lunch: and of course I did it too: witness the number of people I entertained when in Makurdi. I was very lucky to work under Desmond MacBride, very clever and great charm. He was then not married so often I would find myself at the bottom of his dinner table when he was entertaining: he was proud of the fact that he had worked out how to pitch his voice so that I, being deaf, could hear what he said. Quite often it would be a question - he having a 1 st Class degree in Classics to my 3rd ! - on the lines of "What was that quotation from Horace that began "Nunc est bibendum .. ... . "I was always relieved when he remembered how it went on for I seldom did! His parties would start with sitting outside with drinks in the evening listening to classical music - he was particularly fond of Mozart - on his turntable gramophone with a particularly large trumpet.

All in all, no regrets - definitely the opposite.

Second Tour in Kaduna - February 1950 to July 1951
Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Christopher Hanson-Smith
After doing, so far as i can remember, nothing remarkable on my first leave I travelled back to Nigeria in February 1950 in one of the Elder Dempster mail boats, I think the "Apapa", sharing a cabin with a nice new first tour cadet called Michael Large. I recorded: "Nice chap .... been in 17th/21 st (Lancers) in Palestine. Going to Katsina ....... so he can take charge of the box belonging to Tony (Ditcham) which I have." A problem evidently solved! He did not "live up to his surname so there is plenty of room in the cabin!' Also on board for his first tour was "Chris Hanson-Smith who is Josephine James's (who lived in the Close) cousin ..... another cheerful character. Like me a bad sailor. ... "His cousin had me to meet him at Salisbury so that I could, with all the authority of one tour, give him advice!

I recorded in a letter from Freetown: "First two days out pretty rough and the third a bit wobbly but after that all was well. But we only spent about 3 hours in Las Palmas and after dinner in the evening at that due to being slow across the Bay. Just enough time to get oil on board ... .. (Chris Hanson-Smith) and I strolled round into Las Palmas, changed 10/- into Pesetas at a British Sailors' Home (who took us for officers off the ship .... !), adjourned to a bar and had some vino and brought a bottle back to the ship. I apparently showed some ability at deck games: "I and ..... Richard Overton got into the final of the Deck Tennis (quoits over a net) doubles but then played vilely and disappointed our supporters!"

"Last part of the voyage very pleasant. A morning ashore at Takoradi on the beach ..... usual chaos at Lagos, aggravated by the 1 st tour people having a tamasha at Government House and having to be got off the boat quick. Boat late due to poor visibility off the coast." The "tamasha" would have been a greeting by the Governor and a ceremony at which they would have taken the oath of allegiance as administrative officers and magistrates. We missed out on this when we first arrived, why I never knew, and I only took the oath some weeks later at Makurdi before Desmond MacBride as Resident.

So far as I was concerned "I bathed and fed with an A.D.O. called McMullen who met me to collect Himsworth's uniform." I had evidently been used as a courier for both Tony Ditcham's box and now this uniform. Tony was of course a friend but how and why I had this uniform I know not. Anyway it got me my dinner! I then recorded: "Caught the train by 5 minutes an hour after it should have left !! Slightly frightening! but OK." In a later letter I see that I entertained him to dinner in Kaduna and described him as "the A.D.O. who gave me dinner in Lagos on the way up and had such a hell of a time getting me back on the boat train ..... a cheerful Irish type." So presumably Lagos traffic must have been even worse than usual. Most people were by now travelling to and from the U,K. by air: hence my having a box for Tony: flying direct to Kano or Lagos and then on by an internal service cut out having to travel by train up from Lagos.

After two nights and a day in the train I got to Kaduna at 8am: "Met by one Walker from the Finance Branch of the Secretariat. He had expected me the evening before and then at 6am so was a bit tired of the station!" Time keeping on a long run on Nigerian Railways was always elastic. It was a good thing that I was a railway enthusiast so perhaps not so frustrated as some! This was about 19th February 1950.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
John Wilkinson
Everyone as usual was very welcoming: "Went straight to breakfast with one John Wilkinson who was in the Hopetown (at Wellington), about a year younger than me - been out here about a year after doing the Course which followed ours. To lunch and dinner with others and lunch today (Sunday) with I Michael Varvill who ran our course at Cambridge and is now fairly high in the Secretariat."

I found that, as I had apparently expected having presumably been told while on leave, I was to be Assistant Secretary, Native Administration Finance in the Finance Branch of the Secretariat. This was the lowest level in the Finance Branch and involved checking, with comments, all the Native Administrations' I annual estimates, annual accounts, 5 year development plans, etc. before submission to and subsequent approval or amendment by the Financial Secretary, Northern Provinces. There were some 60 (I think) Native I Administrations each with a Native Treasury - a beit el mal in the Hausa Emirates - so there was plenty of work. My appointment resulted, I'm sure, from my having got 100% in the examination in Financial Memoranda, the I accounting regulations governing procedures in the Native Treasuries and stores :which I had taken as one of the examinations which one had to pass for confirmation of one's appointment as an Administrative Officer. That in turn resulted from my having had to supervise so closely the running of the Tiv Native Treasury and stores at Gboko two years before. Reports on major fraud, theft and other losses also came through me for submission upwards for authority to write off the loss or recommendations for preventing recurrence. Investment of reserve funds held by the Native Treasuries was arranged by the Crown Agents in London: again correspondence with them passed throygh me. I arrived at the end of February just when the Native I Treasury estimates for 1950/51 - the Financial Year ran from 1 st April to 31 st March - were in for checking, approval and then printing: the printing was done by the Government owned press at Zaria, the Gaskiya Corporation (This published the Hausa language newspaper called" Gaskiya ta fi kwabo" - "The Truth is worth more than a penny" - and did all Government printing): I was responsible for correcting the proofs - though I do not think that I can personally have read the proofs of 60 or so sets of estimates! But I may have done. I recorded:" The job is interesting as I deal with financial stuff (and it is surprising how diverse it is) from all over Northern Nigeria and so learn a lot about places I would otherwise never have heard of."

A week later I recorded: "Life pretty hectic. 4 hours of office work this morning (a Sunday) to get the Kano Native Treasury Estimates off to the printer. And more yet to come." (Kano was one of the biggest Emirates, population 3 million or so and revenue in 1950, £2 million). Further:" I have still to write letters to all the Residents telling them what was and was not approved in the various Estimates and then a kind of Explanatory Summary of all of them - this latter is so much blah but someone wants it!"

Then there were 5 year Development Plans for each Native Administration to process and pass up to the Financial Secretary for approval: these were programmes of roads, schools, dispensaries, etc. construction and the financing of them: all interesting and teaching me, from a distance, about various places in Northern Nigeria.

Then finally I was, if and when time permitted, to revise the volume of "Financial Memoranda", the regulations governing the accounting in the Native Treasuries and the storekeeping in the Native Administration's stores. So there was never nothing to do.

Office hours were, so far as I remember, 8am to 2pm and anything more which might be needed. Our offices - the Finance Section - were in one end of the administration block. The main Secretariat consisted of two blocks of white painted buildings, two stories, about at a guess, 150 yards long, open verandah at ground floor and open balcony at first floor,a tower going up to a third (or? even fourth) floor in the middle containing the main stairs, the two blocks facing each other across a garden perhaps 80 yards wide. One block, the one facing south was entirely administration: the other, across the garden, the Regional headquarters of various Departments - Public Works, Education, Medical etc. All this was set in a classic "cantonment" - tree lined roads, mostly on a grid pattern, houses of various sizes lining them, graded roughly according to the status of the occupiers! There was one major avenue, called "Lugard Avenue" after Lord Lugard who, as Colonel Lugard, commanded the West African Frontier Force - African troops with British Officers - who took over Northern Nigeria in the three or four years following the British Government succeeding the Royal Niger Company on 1 st January 1900. Lord Lugard's first Annual Report - for 1900 - records: "I took over the Administration from the Royal Niger Company and the Union Flag was hoisted in place of the Company's at 7.20am at Lokoja on January 1st 1900, in presence of a parade of all arms at which all civilians were present in uniform."

At the north end of Lugard Avenue was the "Lugard Hall", a parliament building in which met the Regional Assembly and the House of Chiefs.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Kaduna Swimming Pool
In various parts of the cantonment were the Club with tennis courts, a race course, a polo ground and, rather on the edge, a swimming pool. There were also squash and fives courts, both built of mud blocks and open to the sky.

Government House in which lived the Chief Commissioner, (later to become Governor, following introduction of a new constitution and Regional Independence) was a largish house set in reasonably large grounds: this was, I think, to the north west of the Lugard Hall.

There were then barracks for an infantry battalion of the Nigeria Regiment, the 1 st Nigerian Field Battery (now armed with 25 pounder field guns as successors to the former mountain guns carried, not as in India, etc. on mules but by porters who were often from the Tiv tribe with whom I had served my previous tour), various supporting arms and a detachment of Nigeria Police. There was also the Army headquarters for Northern Nigeria, a Brigadier's command.

Elsewhere there was, round the station, a railway area with engine sheds, workshops, etc. and houses for senior and junior staff. There was also a commercial area with canteens (i.e. shops).

Finally there was a largish African township. Whether this was based on some original Hausa town or village I cannot remember but it housed all our African clerks, labourers, etc.

The whole area, African township, railway area, barracks, residential area and office areas, was administered by the "Local Authority", a District Officer who had the distinction, in legal terms of being a "corporation sole", complete with a grand seal!

The country round about was relatively undistinguished bush, not, I think, heavily farmed and with no great landscape features except, a mile or two south, the Kaduna River, running in a rocky defile and, to the best of my recollection 30 to 40 yards wide. It did contain fish but, since in those days I was not a fisherman, I do not know what kind: probably they included the Niger Perch - in Hausa "giwan ruwa" = "elephant of the river" - which were excellent to eat.

The trees that lined the roads and surrounded the longer established houses and offices were mostly the quick growing neem tree, originally I believe imported from India, with occasional acacia and flame of the forest. The latter had brilliant scarlet flowers and were my favourite.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
12 Lafia Road
I hope that we worked hard enough to earn our cheerful and pretty comfortable life. On arrival I was allocated" a palatial mansion", one of the larger two storey houses with established garden and a verandah at ground level and a covered balcony at first floor level. It 'belonged" to a D.O. called Derek Wright who had just gone on leave and my occupation was likely to end when he came back in four months time. No view but surrounded by trees which hid any other nearby houses. 12 Lafia Road was the address.

Abetse, my "boy", had turned up bringing with him a new cook, Ayaka Anyo, another Tiv, who proved to be a much better cook than the Jukun whom I had the previous tour and who stayed with me for most of the rest of my time in Nigeria.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Staff at Lafia Road
My "loads" had evidently been delivered from the Public Works Department stores in Makurdi and so the house was soon up and running with the two comfortable easy chairs and sofa which I had had made in Benue to supplement the furniture which went with the house. Looking back on it, the P.W.D. were remarkably efficient at storing one's loads - furniture, boxes of all household goods and some clothes, etc. - at the end of one's tour and then delivering them by train and/or lorry to wherever one was posted on return from leave. Equally efficient were one's boys at packing everything up: the only time I remember anything being broken in transit was when I, being helpful!, packed some crockery and it did not survive the journey!

Away from work we had a lot of fun. I recorded: "The other Secretariat people are nice but mostly married! Johny Wilkinson, the other O.W., pops in and there are three rather nice subalterns in the Gunner Battery here." I remember particularly Ronnie Caselton and Donald Foulds.

Much of the entertainment, for us at least, centred around horses - or rather "ponies" since none of them exceeded 14.3 or 15 hands! The ponies we rode were all local breeds. There were two main sources: one lot, the better and most popular originated from the Bahr et Ghazal, a province in the north west of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan: horse copers, Africans, would bring posses of them down so that by the time they reached us they had done a trek of 600 miles or so. They were well formed and many had pronounced Roman noses: in fact there was a feeling that the more pronounced the nose the better the pony: there was also a feeling that a roan coloured pony was better than any other colour.

The alternative source was from the north western area around Katsina and Sokoto: ponies from here were (or looked) taller and more rangy than those from the east and the majority were black.

All the ponies were very narrow - their two forelegs came out of one hole as it were - but they were all entire, i.e. stallions, and therefore up to more weight than one might expect.

The ponies were all unshod: there had been Indian farriers in the 1920s in the days of the W.A.F.F. Mounted Infantry but neither they nor their skills lasted.

Each pony had its own horse boy (groom): the stalls in large stations like Kaduna and Kano were communal - a row of mud block thatched roof loose boxes for the ponies in front and a row of mud huts for the horse boys and their families behind. The staple food of the ponies (and the horse boys!) was guinea corn: the equivalent of a lump or two of sugar or a bit of apple as a reward was a handful of undecorticated ground nuts (i.e. peanuts in their husks): the oil in these was, of course, good for their coats.

Saddlery was, for Europeans and for Africans who played polo, European style. Bridles were double rein with what was called a "Mounted Infantry" bit and a martingale. Later on in my time I bought several sets of second hand cob sized saddles and bridles on leave in England to take out.

Soon after my arrival at the end of February I recorded: "Kaduna Races yesterday: a local sort of affair mainly run by the Army. Rather amusing - I'm not after a horse until I have found out what it costs to live here!!" But I did have the occasional evening ride out into the countryside on other people's ponies.

Visitors came and went. At the end of February again I recorded: "Makare, Chief of Tiv, came to call one evening: rather nice of him. He was up for the Regional Assembly. Drank a glass of beer and talked a lot about Tiv and the arguments on the Nigerian Constitution in the Regional Assembl~." So I had evidently made some mark in my time at Gboko.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Kaduna European Hospital
Desmond Wilson, an Ulsterman on our Cambridge Course, "walked in" one day, down from Gusau in Sokoto Province bringing his wife to hospital. Peter Vischer, another off the course and son of Sir Hans Vischer, Director of Education in the 1930s and very distinguished, came down from Kano. John Wilkinson and the Battery subalterns dropped in frequently with Tony Whitfield, the P.S. to the Chief Commissioner. And I seemed to go out to dinner periodically, sometimes even playing bridge! One of the few times I remember winning at bridge was when my partner was Michael Varvill who had been the Supervisor of our course at Cambridge: he was a very good player and whatever I called he seemed to know what I should have called, whatever I led he knew what I should have led and whatever card I played he knew what I should have played - and responded accordingly! He also had the reputation of having a good cook with interesting ideas. On one occasion when Michael was entertaining the Gobles (Leslie Goble was Chief Secretary and so the most senior member of the Secretariat, second only to the Chief Commissioner), Mrs Goble complimented Michael on a peppermint ice cream and asked how it was flavoured: on enquiry word came back from the kitchen that the cook had used the paste "from one of those tubes that Master brought back from leave", i.e. a tube of mentholated toothpaste!

My sole occupation of my "palatial mansion" only lasted a month or so. In mid-March they needed a house for a Nigeria Police Superintendent so Johny Wilkinson gave up his house and moved in to share mine. With the common background of Wellington we got on very well and, remarkably, so did our "boys", i.e. servants. I then recorded: "Six boxes of stores from Lagos arrived yesterday and John and I now have a complete grocer's shop downstairs!" We were efficient enough to make a complete list this morning for accounting purposes. At the end of a month we see what has been used and then split the cost." Some of the Kaduna wives discovered our cache and came to buy tins of this or that: we found that we had a considerable mountain of lavatory paper and either tinned peas or baked beans, far more than we could use, so we operated a "conditional sales" system: if you want a tin of shrimps you must buy a thing of 'loo paper as well! There had recently been a widespread scandal in the Eastern Region (of Nigeria) where the Ibo traders had been enforcing conditional sales on the locals, so much so that a law had been passed making the practice illegal. But it did not apply in the North!

I got the odd trip out of Kaduna. I recorded: "I managed a trip to Zaria yesterday morning to chivvy the Gaskiya Corporation who are printing our Native Treasury Estimates for us and are a bit behind. Left about 6.45 and got there about 8.10 - 52 miles. Nice cool drive with the sun coming up in the east. Dealt with Gaskiya before breakfast which I had with Eric Broadbent, the Station Magistrate (more correctly "Local Authority") an A.D.D. Did odd bits of shopping for various people and saw one or two other A.D.Os. and so back home to lunch about 3. Very pleasant though hot driving back: in a Secretariat kit car." (A kit car was a pick up truck, cab in front and truck body, open or covered, behind.) I was myself looking out for a vehicle and had my eye on two kit cars belonging to people who might be selling but nothing turned up. I wanted a kit car rather than anything else and new ones were hard to come by and relatively expensive - £700!

I was also contemplating buying a pony. But George Cope, a cheerful Major in the Nigeria Regiment whose wife Camilla was a Fair and a great friend of my cousin Jane Walford, "advised me not to buy a horse: wrong end of the year and too expensive". So no pony yet though I occasionally went hacking I out into the surrounding bush on someone else's pony which needed exercising.

Church-going did not figure much in my life in the North but I recorded that on Easter Day 1950: "Went to Church early. Army padre from Zaria".

We even had a pay increase. I had started in Gboko on my first tour on £450 p.a. basic pay: within a few months that was increased to £510 p.a. back dated. With touring allowances I remember that I saved about £200 in my first 18 months, living being not expensive! Now we got another 10%, i.e. for me £51 p.a! I recorded that "clerks, nurses, teachers etc." i.e. junior staff got 121/2%!

We led a cheerful social life among ourselves. "The subalterns of the 1 st Nigerian Field Battery + Tony (Whitfield) the present P.S. (Private Secretary to~ the Chief Commissioner) are dining tonight. Should be cheerful!" Then "some mild roulette at Tom Ainsworth's house last night". "Dined with Michael Varvill who is about No 3 in the Secretariat. He ran our course at Cambridge.

Talked till 2 about all the other people on the Course." "Am learning snooker with John Wilkinson and the three Gunner subalterns."

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Whisky
Friends appeared. Desmond Wilson from Gusau bringing his wife to hospital: Peter Vischer to take over a job in the Secretariat: Doug Nichol, a friend of Johny Wilkinson and on his Course, to stay the night before both went off on Local Leave to Jos, "Doug on a powerful motorbike and John in the "Mechanical Mouse" - his Morris Minor. "Meanwhile I feed his horse l!l the dining room (he was brought into the dining room verandah for his morning feed and got good at steps!) and look after Whisky, his dog, who tends to go for strange animals and people!"

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Don Foulds
There were race meetings, some with African, Syrian etc. professionals and some with European amateurs. I recorded: "Yesterday Johny and I went in his car to Zaria Races. 52 miles. Car ran out of water due to a blockage in the circulation and consequent overflowing but luckily only two miles from Zaria! Saw various friends ..... and backed several seconds to win! Latter not so good. Drove back in the dark at an average of 42 m.p.h. Earth road, no traffic." Then "Kaduna Races again yesterday. Very local. Don Foulds, one of the Battery (subalterns) provided light relief by failing to find the horse he was riding before the first race and then in another race failing to take a right hand bend even though he used both hands on the one rein! He came second in the Polo Club race however!:

I recorded again in July 1950: "Pleasant day today at Zaria Races. Went over in Peter Vischer's car with him and Sheila Murphy (they later married!) .... 1 st race 8am, breakfast in the Zaria Club after the 3rd race. The McCallums were already going out to lunch so we took a picnic lunch and ate it on some rocks outside Zaria with a nice view. Very pleasant!"

I was at one moment threatened with possible midwifery: I recorded: "Richard and Elizabeth (Gunston) rang me up from Bida ....... Elizabeth is going to have a child in a few months ..... Richard said. E. wanted to know if she could come and have the baby in my house! I said "Certainly if she really preferred it to the hospital which was only just a couple of hundred yards away! Kaduna is their nearest hospitaL" The hospital won! Relief!

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Barry Nicholas
Johny Wilkinson who shared our house received the sudden sad news that his Father had died of a heart attack and, since he was due for leave very soon, went home early. There was still a shortage of houses so Barry Nicholas, another A.D.O. who had been on our course moved in to share in place of Johny. Once again we got on well. I of course had Johny's dog Whisky to look after and Barry also had a dog. After initial skirmishing they settled down together!

Entertainment continued: I recorded: "The horse boys called the party we had last night "Quite like we had before the war - except that the officers had not got their revolvers with them!" This was a kind of mounted treasure hunt mainly laid out by George and Camilla (Cope) and one John Howard (another) Major in I.N.R. The treasure at each house was food and drink! We rode round like a massed cavalry charge from about 8.30pm to midnight. Meat course in the bush on the rifle range near Government Lodge, pudding in Mango Avenue, coffee and savoury at the Copes!! Finished up at the Battery Mess. The horse boys went around in a lorry and were at each stopping place to hold the horses. Great fun and rather unusual. David Warren ..... lent me a pony."

This was the rainy season though evidently none to spoil the mounted treasure hunt! I recorded: "Lots of rain here but Kano has had hardly any and I think that there will be a grave shortage of food up there as the corn won't be sown in time unless some rain comes soon. They had bad rains last year so they are short of rain anyway."

Occasionally two or three of us went shooting in the bush, probably down by the Kaduna River. The quarry was mainly bush fowl, a bird a little larger than a partridge. We walked these up through long grass, often knee high. I remember being at a disadvantage because I could not hear them getting up. The others would hear the rustle of wings in the grass and so be alerted. The first I would know of a bird was when I saw it come out of the top of the grass perhaps 20 yards or more ahead. So not much fell to my gun! But it was good exercise and nice to be out in the bush.

In the midst of all this fun we did work! I recorded on various occasions: "Work continues in large quantities." "Work continues here: plenty of it".

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
David Bate
There was the occasional parade: "A good King's Birthday parade last Thursday. Gunner Battery (4 guns), Sapper Field Coy. (a few), 4 Coys of Infantry, two from each Battalion (including George Cope) on parade. j All of us there, those who are entitled to it in uniform with sword and Bombay bowler. Dermot Russell who lives opposite couldn't drive his car in his (uniform) so we drove him down! And thus got a lift!" The explanation was that some forms of the civil uniform trousers were "overalls" with a strap under the small of one's boots so tight that one could not bend one's knees! Smart but not very practical.

There was more mounted entertainment: "Gymkhana here yesterday. Great fun and a very pleasant afternoon, not too hot. George Cope crashing a hurdle racer round the show jumping!! Colonel Lane Joynt's daughter aged about 12 on a very nice little pony won the (mounted) musical chairs after some very' nice "just being beaten to it" business by one of the Gunner subalterns and the Senior Crown Counsel (who must have been David Bate) when they and she were the last three left in!"

I at last acquired a car. This was a Canadian Ford pick-up with a VB engine and a wooden body on the back with metal mesh sides. I bought it second hand from Courtney Gidley of the Nigeria Police who had been at Makurdi during my first tour and had recently come to Kaduna. I recorded: "I have now, got a car: but not the two new back tyres which it needs before it can do a long journey. I must get them quick as I have got to go up to Sokoto, 400 miles, next week and to see about the finances of a mechanised rice cultivation scheme they've got up there. Should be fun to get out of the office for 4 days or so though it will be a long drive. But new tyres are the first essential"

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
The McCallums
I evidently got my tyres because a week later on 1 Oth July 1950 I recorded: "I am now in Sokoto. Arrived yesterday (Sunday) evening after leaving Kaduna about 10.30am on Saturday morning, doing a job in Zaria, lunch with McCallums in Zaria, tea with a friend of Barry Nicholas in Funtua where I also found Michael Large with whom I shared a cabin on the way out in February and staying with Desmond Wilson in Gusau. Car went O.K. bar a leaking patch on a (inner) tube which we repaired at the Agricultural Station at Dandawa beyond Funtua and a petrol blockage yesterday, dirt in a pipe. She also developed a slight leak in the hydraulic brakes which I think is going to delay me half a day here as Joe Alien's, the Ford agents, who happen to have a branch here, have only one mechanic and he is busy today. But she drove very nicely and rode the vile roads well. Alllaterite (a bad shale-like gravel) roads all corrugated... ...If you go 40 m.p.h. you ride over them O.K.: anything slower you bump to hell!"

Of my work in Sokoto I have no record and no recollection. But after it: "Got back from Sokoto O.K. Did Sokoto to Zaria in one day. 249 miles, alllaterite roads, rough and corrugated. Left 8am arrived 4.30pm pretty tired. You jump all over the road on bad bits but if you go less than 40 (m.p:h.) you shatter the car on the corrugations. Car ran O.K. Stayed with Stewart and Anne McCallum in Zaria." Such hospitality!

I thought ahead when in Sokoto: "Bought a lot of motor spares in Sokoto where there happened to be a branch of Joe Aliens, the Ford agents. Found some tyres: expensive things: £7 each and fan belts and valves, etc. It pays to have a bit of stock out here."

I doubt if my work was involved when I recorded: "Had a high-powered Commission round this week. A Canadian, Sir Sydney Phillipson, ex Financial Secretary here, and an Oxford economist: enquiring into the allocation of Revenue between East, West and Northern Nigeria which was one of the main stumbling blocks in the Constitution-mongering last year. The secretary was the A.D.O. who gave me dinner in Lagos on the way up here and had such a hell of a time getting me back on the boat train. He came to dinner" a cheerfully Irish type." Name McMullen.

One's staff were very resilient: "Good sherry party at the Battery on Wednesday to meet General Nicholson, G.O.C. West Africa. We had asked two of the subalterns to dine after: one of them wasn't well but 5 other people came instead! So we sat down 8 instead of 4! Cooks don't seem to worry about that sort of thing here!" But some parties evidently did not come up to scratch: "A cocktail party at Government Lodge (the Chief Commissioner's house)" all the Residents who are in for the House of Assembly and all the Secretariat. All Administration, very snobbish!!! Barryand I not impressed by standard of Govnt. Lodge entertaining!"

I hope that our own was better as we seemed to do quite a lot of it: in August 1950 I reported: "Life here much as ever. Wet, very, just now. Work proceeds at a high pitch as usual .... .. Stewart and Ann McCallum will be over from Zaria for two nights this week and the Patersons from Wamba for two nights next weekend. He was on our course and rather a friend of Barry's. And one Neil Morrison is coming to stay here next week to do the Kano Native Treasury Estimates for 1951-52. They have a tax revenue of £450,000 a year, much more than a lot of Colonies!"

The rains continued: I reported: "A lot of rain here, usually from 4pm onwards which of course is just when we want to get out and about which is a bit annoying. Friday night was chaotic. It rained from 5.30 hard, i.e. tropically hard! I was out riding and just coming home and got caught near the Club so turned the porch into a stable. While waiting someone's car wouldn't start and had to be pushed about in the rain to free a jammed starter - got wet. Then no sign of rain stopping so got Peter Vischer to fetch a coat from home for me and rode home. As I trotted in at the gate I found Barry and the boys trying to free Peter's car which had got bogged in the drive! No chain to pull him out with so I went off over the road in search. Couldn't get one close to so returned and found Peter had taken my car to get home, Barry forgetting that I had got to do down to the station to get some stuff off a train. So over the road to ring up Peter and get the car back. Then down to the station about 7.30. And it never stopped raining! Altogether pretty comic." At least my sense of humour seemed to survive!

Some days were not good ones: "Friday last was depressing day! In the morning I lost my house: in the afternoon my pen: and in the evening the lights fused!" I, went into "a small house of much inferior quality but more suited to my station!" However John Wilkinson then came back from leave and was keen to share again: having just got engaged he was after saving money! We were cramped in my existing house but soon got a better one, on the edge of the bush with a view for 10 or 20 miles!

I began to take an interest in polo: I first bought two polo sticks but had not yet got a pony of my own, only one belonging to a soldier who was on leave which I was looking after: I seem to have considered it "too vicious" to play on. I see that in October "I went on the field for one chukka .... great fun but most bewildering!"

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Tom Ainsworth
Race meetings meant parties - and some work. I reported in October 1950: "Johny and I have come over to stay a night with Tom Ainsworth, the Local Authority laria, who used to be in Kaduna. Zaria races yesterday and today. I Two others from Kaduna, Atalie and Dougal Farquhason, a doctor, also here. A cheerfully mad party. Tom doesn't care a hang for anyone! About 9.30 last night he told us that we had been asked out to fork supper at 8.30 before going on to a club dance! So we finally turned up ..... at 10: the rest of the party went off to the Club soon so we were left to eat up the remains of the supper! General attitude: "What more do you expect from Tom!" All very light hearted. After the next day's racing: "Got back at 10.30 last night (to Kaduna): six men and a lot of loads in the van."

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
The Farquhasons
The work arose because I had become treasurer of the Kaduna race meeting. "I have to send people receipts for their entry money". The meeting was on the Sunday at the end of a hectic Polo week. "We were counting money till 10.30pm! Completely flogged .... .Today I must produce my Race Meeting accounts. All rather chaotic. I have more money in cash than on paper!" I remember that we never did find out where the excess money came from: and I think that it amounted to £200 or so!

I was now looking seriously for two ponies on which to play polo. The Kaduna polo week in November, culminating in the final of the Georgian Cup, the one "open", i.e. not on handicap, tournament, had evidently stimulated me. Oesmond Wilson sent one down from Gusau, an eight day trek, for me to try but "Not a very good action ...... up to my weight but ...... looks as if he might cross his legs in front! Not a good idea on the polo field!" So back he trekked to Oesmond at Gusau. Then: "Today I and John Matthew who is up from Adamawa went to lunch with Tom Ainsworth in Zaria to look at a horse: horse nice till you came to its forelegs which were terrible so no go!" So no horse for me yet.

Cricket, of all things, intervened. "Kaduna v Zaria". Johny playing for Zaria as they were short so I had to play for Kaduna. Never batted and dropped a reasonably easy catch!! Kaduna just won". Confirmed that cricket was never my game!

Hospitality continued. After the cricket "got back to the house to find a note from Desmond MacBride (in Kaduna for the House of Assembly meeting) saying that John Taylor (D.O. Tiv and my boss in 1948) was coming through on the train on his way back from leave. So I went down and got him up to dinner."

Government ceremonial: "House of Assembly (the Northern Nigeria parliament) opened today. Residents in uniform and Budget speech by John Knott (Financial Secretary and my boss). There has been chaos in the Finance Section the last few days preparing it and the Hausa translation!" This was followed a few days later by a meeting of the House of Chiefs, effectively an upper house. The House of Assembly at this time had 18 official members (Secretary Northern Provinces, Financial Secretary, Senior Crown Counsel, three heads of departments, (Public works, Medical etc. ), 6 unofficial members appointed by government to represent, e.g. commerce, mining, etc. and 15 provincial members appointed by the various chiefs and their councils: this normally resulted in 20 European members and 19 African. The House of Chiefs numbered 22, being, I think, the 12 "First Class Chiefs" who were as far as I can remember the Sultan of Sokoto, the Shehu of Bornu I and the Emirs of Kano, Katsina, Zaria, lIovin, Adamawa, Bauchi, Gwandu, Argungu, Daura and Kontagora." In a few years time all was reorganised, I both Houses were enlarged and the members of the House of Assembly were elected. They met in the Lugard Hall, an attractive modern building strategically sited at the end of Lugard Avenue and built in the style of I important traditional Hausa palaces, domed and with pinnacles at corners.

On more mundane matters my car was giving trouble. The steering was not I precise: I described it as "loose". New king pins were put in but did not cure the problem. On 10th December I reported that it was "depressing as we want to got to Katsina in ten days time for Christmas." Finally Ronny Caselton, Mechanical Transport officer in the Battery, took a hand and "his fitter Sergeant discovered that the front wheel alignment was wrong: only by 3/16ths of an inch but it made all the difference. We had cured the tendency to wander all over the road!"

So we were able to go to Katsina as planned. On Christmas Eve I reported: "We are now in Katsina, "we" being Ron Caselton, Don Foulds (both gunner subalterns from the Battery) and myself, all staying in Barry Nicholas' Beau Geste-like house. It is one of the old (1910) mud houses, vaulted and flat roofed with parapets and pinnacles!" These houses were attractive, both to look at, particularly when creepers, morning glory and such like, grew up them, and to live in: They were cold (or relatively so) by day and in the hot season you could sleep out on their flat roofs. The "mud" was usually a traditional mixture of clay, cow dung and blood from the slaughter houses made into rough bricks. The principal rooms were usually vaulted or domed inside: the domes were constructed by building up and then plastering a dome of azara timbers, the split trunks of the palm tree. These were so hard and rough that they could not be smoothed with a plane and, much more important, they were impervious to the all-devouring white ant. At the apex of the dome, inside, it was traditional to fix, top side downwards, a big coloured tin plate: if this fell out it meant that the dome was about to collapse and one had perhaps two minutes to get out! I never saw one fall!

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Barry Nicholas' House
The programme at Katsina was a full one. I reported: "We drove up very comfortably, staying the night with Tom Ainsworth in Zaria en route. About 230 miles the whole way. It took us about 5 hours to do the 165 miles from Zaria here including a stop for lunch. Car going well, steering now corrected."

On arrival in the G.R.A. (government reserve area - where the Europeans lived) at Katsina we did not know where Barry Nicholas's house was. We spotted a Katsina dandoka, a constable of the Katsina Emirate police, and so I called him over and asked, in my best Hausa, "Gaisheka, ina gidan Mr Nicholas?" (Greetings: where is the house of Mr. Nicholas). Whereupon the constable drew himself up and replied: "No speak English, sah."! Titters, of course, from the Gunner subalterns: collapse of stout party by me! A moment that I have remembered to this day!

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Duck Shoot at Kaita
"Here we are being alternatively bone idle and full of energy. Polo yesterday afternoon on a field with the red walls of the city in the background. I didn't play but shall tomorrow. Then yesterday evening Barry had a party for 26 people! Drinks, buffet supper, dancing, etc.! Lots to drink. This afternoon we are off to Kaita about 12 miles out for a picnic lunch and an evening's shooting at (or in the direction of) duck round some marshy lakes and this evening the two doctors are running a brandy and carol session round a camp fire. Tomorrow we relax and dine at the Residency (Christmas Day) in the evening: the next day there is a Club party - fancy dress! Don has a pink coat with him so we reckon we needn't bother after that. And so it goes on."

I was clearly glad to relax: "I am thankful to be out of Kaduna and to have a complete break in work. The Native Treasury estimates for next year (1951/52) are all being approved just now and that is about 10 weeks solid grinding at pages of figures."

I also enjoyed seeing the country of the true Moslem north: "Katsina is rather fascinating: the first large Hausa city I've really been into because I didn't see much of Sokoto (on my flying visit there earlier in the year) and Zaria isn't impressive in the way that this place is. It's public buildings are quite impressive, the Mosque with a blue dome and the buildings in rough hewn stone or red mud. Camels ..... wandering about."

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Polo at Katsina
We clearly enjoyed ourselves in Katsina: I reported on 31 st December: "Our Katsina trip was terrific fun. To Zaria on the Thursday evening, stayed with Tom Ainsworth and on to Katsina next day. Barry lives in a regular Beau Geste house - 4 foot mud walls, vaulted mud ceilings all whitewashed and pinnacles. Saturday we had a look at the town, played polo in the evening and Barry had a party at the house in the evening. Sunday we went up to Kaita some 18 miles north where the District Head, a brother of the Emir, took us to a lake further north where there were hordes of duck: a beautiful place, the lake covered with water lilies and surrounded by big trees. We shot without great success!! On a peninsular in the lake is the site of one of the old Habe empire cities of 200 years ago.

Christmas Day there was more polo at Katsina and dinner at the Residency. I had acquired a bubble reputation for carving by carving a ham at Barry's party so found myself carving a turkey! I fear the reputation was thereafter pricked!"

This was my first contact with the charming and redoubtable Mrs Leslie Maiden, wife of Ralph Maiden, the rather dour Resident. The party was quite large and two big roast turkeys were brought in to the sideboard. Mrs. Maiden summoned me to carve one while she carved the other as Ralph Maiden apparently did not do such things. I had never carved anything as big as that before but, I hope, got by by watching what she did beside me! She of course was an expert.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Emir of Daura's Compound
"Boxing Day we four drove out to Daura, a neighbouring Emirate 50 miles away: we called on the Emir and looked at the Prison! Then a picnic lunch in the Rest House and then we adjourned to the polo field for the real business, a match with the local all-African club. They have a very keen club run by the local mallams and we had sent them a challenge when we got to Katsina! We had a very cheerful game which we just won after extra time: not high class polo but great fun: they lent us some rough but lively ponies. Then home in the dark and on to a Katsina Club Fancy Dress Party. j We rather sheltered behind Don who had a pink coat with him! More polo on Wednesday and on Thursday we drove home. We started well by doing the 165 miles to Zaria in 4 1/4 hours driving."

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Daura Memorial
Daura was an attractive place with a large and cheerful Emir. It had a nice piece of history: in, I think, the 10th century it was ruled by a queen: a devilish and large snake lived in the town well and terrorised the populace: one Bayajida killed the snake and freed the populace from terror and married the queen. Daura had earlier been the capital of the Habe Empire in the 10th century and one of the original Hausa Bokwai (seven), the seven cities of the Hausawa (the Hausa peoples). Subsequently the rise of the Fulani Empire caused Daura to lose its pre-eminence. Dynastic troubles arose, evidenced by a plaque in ?Hausa (or ?Arabic) and English in the main gateway to the Emir's compound recording: "MEMORIAL. Praise be to Almighty God and H.M. the King of England who in 1906 on the recommendation of Lord Lugard restored the Habe capital city of Daura to M.Musa, the descendant of the former Habe ruler exiled for 99 years." At times an A.D.O. was stationed at Daura: when we visited there was none and so we had the A.D.O.'s house to ourselves for a picnic. I remember that the polo ground was rather sandy though level enough. We played three chukkas and ended up all square at 3 goals each: hence the extra time when we apparently scored the winner. I have a cheerful photograph of the teams with the Emir and a young son in the middle.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Daura Windmill
So then back to Kaduna to work: but excitements had not quite ended. I reported that on our way at Zaira "we lunched with Tom (Ainsworth) again and then a couple of horses were produced for me to look at. One I (and presumably the assembled more expert company!) liked and so played a chukka of polo on him and bought him for £20 immediately afterwards after the vet had had a look at him. So now at last I have a horse ! ........ And so home and back to work."

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Majalisa
This was Pride, a bay stallion (all our ponies were entire), 14.2 hands, with four white socks and quite good conformation. I had him for years and he did me extremely well. Within a week I reported: "The bay is not at all bad, I think - any any rate he needs neither spur nor whip to make him go as fast as most ponies on the polo field here."

I also reported: "I am now the owner of two ponies!. ..... Now a black which was among the horses we got from Potiskum: he has a saddle sore on his back, only a light one but I can't ride him yet: he looks as though he should gallop: my horse boy talks of 4 furlong races!" Sadly he did not live up to expectations, perhaps because I called him "Prejudice" to go with "Pride"! I have a photo, the caption to which records: "Bought from Potiskum February 1951 : Sold April 1951." He was rather long and, I seem to remember, not handy. Nicky McClintock, then D.O. Potiskum half way to Maiduguri in the far north east, had selected and sent down to Kaduna this posse of ponies by arrangement with the Kaduna polo club. My initiation to playing polo began.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Daura Prison
I also reported on 14th January 1951: "Bob (Pembleton) and I went out shooting with Dr. and Mrs Nash ....... they have a girl called Gatehouse staying with them from Petworth way. She knew Nancy and Alec's (Hammick) house but not Nancy and Alec. Shooting not successful - grass rather long - but a bush picnic round a fire afterwards for supper was fun. Rather a Wellington party as Or Nash was there and Nancy Gatehouse's cousins too." Nancy had come out to stay with the Nashs after the Monte Carlo Rally organisers had refused the entry of Nancy, her sister Mary and another girl in the Coup des Dames ("no rally experience") and so she was bored! We had met at a drinks party just before Christmas at the Nashes, entitled "Subalterns for Nancy"! Little did we both imagine what that meeting would lead to!

In the midst of all this entertainment I did work: "Work continues at fairly high pressure: I'm very bored with (Native Authority) estimates!! About 2/3 done now." There were some 63 Native Authorities, each of which produced annual estimates of revenue and expenditure which had to be approved by the Secretary, Finance, in Kaduna after vetting by me to check that they met various criteria.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Outside Majalisa
Even I occasionally came in contact with the manya manya, the great and good! "Yesterday evening I went up (to Government Lodge) to listen to the France-Scotland rugger match on Johny's (Wilkinson) wireless and afterwards found myself with Johny having a lesson in bowls from H.H. (the Chief Commissioner Sir Eric Thompstone)! I can't remember ever playing before or since!

At moments hospitality filled the house: "On Tuesday Roger Morley came out of hospital. ... and Don Leach (a Western Region A.D.O. who was on our Cambridge course and was escorting a visiting Professor) arrived from Ibadan and so we had a "house party". One slept in the dining room and one in the drawing room (presumably on our camp beds)...

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Emir of Daura
We sat down eight to dinner on Wednesday - borrowing the next door dinner table! Peter Vischer who was also on the course, Desmond Wilson's wife (Lucy) who was passing through, Sheila Murphy, one of the Secretariat Secret Secretaries (!) and Nancy Gatehouse ..... Don went on Friday and Roger goes on .... Tuesday." - came to dinner, stayed 8 days!

More hob-nobbing with the great and good: "Lunch at Government Lodge last Monday - rather fun. A party of six: two other A.D.O.'s and myself, Lady Mountbatten, H.H. and Johny (Wilkinson)! Lady Mountbatten very interesting about India, particularly the refugees at the time of the handing over" (Le. partition). Apparently Lady MountB was touring round "looking at hospitals"! She was staying at Government Lodge.

All the Native Authority estimates had been vetted and approved and so by 25th February I was to be off on Local Leave. My plan was to go south to visit my first tour haunts in Benue Province, staying en route with the Field Battery who were out at practice camp, firing their guns on the ranges at Kacia, 90 miles south of Kaduna, then on to Makurdi and Gboko: after a week or so there I would go up to Jos on the Plateau, 2,000 feet above sea level, for some cool air and then back to Kaduna. However, problems arose: having spent a cheerful night with the Battery and watched and photographed morning parades I reported: "Brakes gone again so up to Jos instead of on to Makurdi. The car is now in Joe Aliens (the Ford Agents) and I hope to get off to Makurdi today ...... Rather nerve wracking drive up from Kafanchan with no foot brake. 75 miles including some incredibly mountainous bits. Came down to one little bridge in thick forest and found a tree across the road! A local had just burnt it down to get the bees!" Such a drive would terrify me now but I seem to have been braver in 1951! So I stayed the night with Michael Large with whom I had shared a cabin on the ship out a year or so before.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
The Maconachies
I then had a relaxing time. I drove from Jos to Makurdi, staying the night en route at Wamba with Martin and Evelyn Maconachie: I had met him and Derek Mountain off the train at Makurdi on their first appointment two years before. Wamba, on the southern edge of the Jos Plateau, I described as: "A nice spot amongst hills: very twisty and up and down bits of road all round."

So to Makurdi where I stayed at the Residency with Desmond MacBride. apparently found Makurdi extremely hot. I'm sure that in the cool of the evening we would have sat outside the Residency looking down on the River Benue and listening to Mozart on Desmond's large gramaphone with an immense horn and old style records. John Taylor, who had driven "the Lady Education Officer" - I think it was Catherine Dinnick Parr - down to Lagos so that she could go on leave, she having a broken rib and being unable to drive that sort of distance (?? 400 miles ?), then arrived back by air and I drove him out to Gboko. I was evidently well received there as I reported: "Broad grins from all the Gboko locals and an inevitable comment that I was much more "kato" = immense"! When I had been there in 1948 I had had a go of amoebic dysentry which had thinned me down quite a lot: being now fit and in those days 6ft 4ins tall I was clearly kato compared with them!

Then back up to Jos: there I reported: "Town driving in Jos is very frightening having not done any in any place with lots of cars since I left Salisbury!! And a rather bigger car here!" In Salisbury I was using my mother's Baby Austin! News from Kaduna: "Apparently burglars tried my house ...,. last week but Whisky the dog (Johny Wilkinson's which I was looking after as he could not have him at Government Lodge) presumably did his stuff as they only got one of Abetse's chickens."

Jos was quite a metropolis by our standards. It was the commercial centre of the tin mining area and had a large number of trading and commercial companies and an equivalent relatively large European, Lebanese and Syrian population in addition to a mixed African one. Bukuru, some miles away, was the centre and headquarters of the tin mines and there was also the headquarters of the Veterinary department at Vom. There was also an office of the Survey department dealing with the tin mining concessions and one of the A.D.O.'s from the Divisional administration was employed full time assessing compensation to be paid to the local farmers whose land was taken for mining which was opencast.

For us the attraction of Jos was the climate. Being at 2,000 ft or so above sea level and so some 1,000 ft higher than say Kaduna or Zaria or Kano (if not a bit more) it was stimulating and refreshing to spend even a week or two in the cool and fresher air. My recollection of the country is that it was barren and not very inspiring until one got to the edge of the Plateau where it dropped away in wooded valleys.

However, I apparently enjoyed my few days up there. I stayed again with Michael Large and found that Nancy Gatehouse from the Nashs at Kaduna was staying at Vom: I reported that "we did one or two things together including a picnic at some waterfalls which ended up in a hell of a rainstorm! The falls were wonderful after it of course - really angry."

So back to Kaduna and work. I was now working full time on drafting a new version of "Financial Memoranda for use in Native Treasuries". This was the book of instructions and procedures which governed the accounting and recording procedures in the treasuries and stores of all the Emirate and other forms of native administration in Northern Nigeria. The edition in use dated from the 1930s and was much out of date. It was all cash accounting without the complications of double entry book keeping.

The intelligence and educational standards of the Treasurers and accounting and storekeeping staff varied from pretty low, e.g. Tiv with whom I had dealt in Gboko, to quite reasonable, e.g. those in Kano with whom I was to deal in future years. Therefore I set out to draft procedures for every aspect of accounting and storekeeping, laying down what the clerk, accountant, storekeeper, etc. should do in fairly simple language and step by step. I wrote it all out in longhand and my close involvement with the treasury and stores in Gboko when supervising the Tiv administration in my first tour enabled me to visualise in sequence exactly what had to be done or recorded. I also had to design the various forms required and ensure that they fitted in with the rules and procedures in the text. My drafting was vetted by a very helpful member of the Colonial Audit Service in charge of his department's office in Kaduna whose name I cannot recall and, of course, had to be approved by Peter Scott, the Secretary Finance of the Northern Region. I remember doing much of my drafting at home on my dining room table rather than amidst the toing and froing in our office: this at one moment met with Peter Scott's disapproval but John Stapleton, the Deputy Secretary Finance, persuaded him that I was in fact getting on with the job and not just being idle. It was quite hard work and required considerable concentration but I remember enjoying doing it. The 1930's edition had been a pretty slim volume: by the time I had finished with it it was a thick and heavy book! Being a government publication it did not bear any acknowledgement of my part in its creation so, except for those who knew, I did not receive any credit nor any opprobrium! I am told that a copy got as far as Fiji but whether my friends there adopted it or not I do not know! Finally it was translated into Hausa by people at the Gaskiya Corporation, the government publisher/printer at Zaria, though whether it was printed in Hausa I forget.

Meanwhile I moved house yet again. "Brand new, nice little house with lovely wide windows .. .. on top of a hill, no garden and no trees - being brand-new". confess I have no recollections of it.

We had our tragedies: "A slightly tragic week. Bishop Sherwood-Jones died here (I think that his title was "The Bishop on the Niger") and shortly after I left Benue Paul Stoeffler, the French Company (Compagnie Francaise de l'Afrique Occidentale or C.F.A.O.) was killed in a motor accident. He and his wife (Giselle) were both young and charming and we all loved them/" He drove into a patch of smoke drifting across the road from a bit of bush being burnt, probably to clear it for farming, and met head on mammy wagon, a lorry adapted to carry passengers. Desmond MacBride, the Resident, clearly was extremely comforting to Giselle because some years later they married! I knew little about the Bishop!

We continued to play hard. This was now Easter weekend and Nancy Gatehouse, with whom I had become pretty close, was to fly home on the Tuesday. There was racing and polo at Zaria. I reported: "Drove over with Nancy G. on Saturday afternoon. Anne and Stewart McCallum have put her up and Doug Nichol, another A.D.O. who is a great friend of Johny's (Wilkinson) has put me up. Racing Saturday afternoon. Dance in the evening. Swimming Pool Sunday morning, racing in the afternoon, dinner and a flick in the evening. And today (Easter Monday) is the finals of the polo tournament. Des Wilson is in from Sokoto and rode two very good wins and Don Leich is up from Ibadan ...... Altogether very pleasant. We go back directly after the polo tonight as Nancy flies home to England tomorrow." Certainly a full programme.

Nancy flew off in good form but our visit to the Zaria races had unintended consequences: not long after getting home she developed a fever and a rash, I think round the waist, which luckily her G.P.'s partner, who had served in the Middle East, recognised as tick typhus and so she received the appropriate antidote fairly quickly. We always assumed that a pony must have brushed against her leaning on the paddock rails or in the pony lines and a tick fell off and attached itself to her leg or arm without her realising it. Anyway she recovered and our friendship survived the shock!

My household arrangements reached high standards! I reported: "I actually have some curtains! First time ever! This house has nice wide windows - good for the breeze but bad for glare so curtains are essential. A reasonably light red with white and green stripes down. 2 inch red: one inch white: 1/4 inch red: one inch green: 1/4 inch red: one inch white: 1/2 inch red: one inch white: two inch red: and so on. Quite a pleasant effect! Or so I am pleased to think."

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Bill Budge
And in the cooking department: "John Williams and Bill Budge, another Gunner subaltern, came to dinner last night and Ayaka produced five courses which shattered us somewhat!"

And Abetse, my head boy, who had come with lan Gunn's reference chit saying "This boy is the only one I trust to clean my guns and service my Tilley lamps", continued to be first class and utterly dependable.

I began to enjoy my two horses - or ponies as they really were being only 14.2 or 14.3 hands. "We had a grand paper chase (mounted) this morning (Sunday 14th April 1951 I). 8 am start. A good line avoiding the hard rocky bits which cover so much of the ground here. Pride went like a trojan and brought me in at full gallop across country for the last 1/2 mile after a course of about 6 miles including fording the river twice up to my knees. Grand fun and did us all good. Then breakfast at John Williams' house done by his cook and mine. About 20 to breakfast and a field of ten. We expected a few more but for some reason they did not come."

I was evidently feeling fit: in the same letter written after the paper chase I say: "Must now go and play squash!"

However pride went before a fall. I had to report: "I am however slightly handicapped as last Monday (the day after the paper chase and squash!) I managed to gallop my pony into another one and, whereas my pony got up unscathed, I got up with my left collar bone in two bits! So I have had two days in hospital and am now going about with a kind of harness across the back of my shoulders which is designed to keep my shoulders back and so the bone stretched out! All slightly provoking: and all because I chose to look over my shoulder to see if the ball was coming to me at the wrong moment. As I was galloping flat out and the ground is as hard as concrete something had to give. So I can now neither ride nor drive for anything up to six weeks!" The player whose pony I assaulted from behind was John Williams: he and all my other friends thought the whole thing was the best joke in years!

There was some good news: "Johny Wilkinson tells me that H.H. (the Chief Commissioner) has heard that Tony Ditcham will be back out here in September. That is one of the best bits of news that I have had for some time." Tony was in St. John's College at Cambridge on the First Devonshire Course and became one of my nicest friends. Out on tour in bush in Katsina Division a year and more before he had come out of his rest house one morning, got on his pony, and straightway fallen off the other side. He developed a form of infantile paralysis, was totally paralysed from the neck down for some months, was nursed and encouraged initially by the great Mrs Maiden and had been gradually recovering at home ever since. He eventually became almost completely fit except for one leg but was able to ride, play polo and, later in the UK, hunt and ride out on steeplechasers.

I had news from Tiv where I had spent my first year in 1948. First Desmond MacBride, the Resident, was in Kaduna for a Residents' Conference and then a letter from Roger Morley at Gboko reported that out of 70 days he had spent 67 out in the bush on tour! I reported that I was: "most envious. He is actually building a road with volunteer labour - and it is due entirely to his knowledge and ability to speak Tiv that he gets the labour."

And now the rains came, welcome in most ways but I did report: "Vile plagues of flying ants against every lamp. They always come out at the beginning of the rains. They flutter, then shed their wings and become ground ants. An annoying but presumably (to them) necessary performance."

This was early May. On the 6th May I reported: "Arm much better and I have started driving the car again - with slight difficulty! The strapping should be released tomorrow - it had better be as now that the rains have come - odd storms - it has been giving me prickly heat slightly. And I hope to get on a horse again tomorrow though no polo for a bit." So the estimated six weeks of no activity had been reduced to around three. I must have healed quickly!

However it did indirectly lead me to sell my second pony, Prejudice, the black. I had earlier reported that: "I've got a new horse boy (Iocalese for groom) looking after Prejudice the black and he seems much calmer than before. The previous one was a rather dense old fellow who I think was frightened of the pony which is fatal." So I sold him "for what I gave for him to a pleasant Major in 3 N.R." He needed schooling to get him into polo, was liable to be full of beans and since I now had a weak arm and only 2 1 /2 more months of my tour there was not much point in keeping him.

The names of my ponies had, I regret to say, nothing to do with Jane Austen but derived from my family tradition as Gunners. Just as Sappers were "mad, married and Methodist" so Gunners were "poor, proud and prejudiced"! Reckoning that I was already poor I needed some pride and prejudice to go with it!

By the end of May my shoulder was healed enough for me to drive to Kano (? 200 miles) where I stayed with Neil Morrison and did some work in connection with the next Financial Memoranda. I also found myself attending the opening of the Kano Native Authority bus service in Kano City: this involved "driving in a convoy of five buses all round Kano City and stranger settlements. Very good for me as it was in effect a conducted coach tour. Nice buses, red and green single deckers with KANO N.A. in gold."

Then back to Kaduna, staying once again with Stewart and Anne McCallum in Zaria en route so that I could see the Gaskiya Corporation printers about printing Financial Memoranda. At Kaduna "arrived back here to find the roof blown off my garage bodily and two closed windows sucked out and blown off their hinges! Must have been a small tornado!" I don't record how long it took to get repairs done!

At least I was back riding: "First game of polo tomorrow since I crashed! Pride very fit and rather strong. Hacked 5 miles yesterday evening without noticing it!" Pride evidently enjoyed these rides because on another occasion I reported: "Pride in good fettle: got saddled up this morning to come up here for a ride before breakfast and couldn't be bothered to wait for Gaya (his horse boy) so set off alone! Was not caught by Gaya for 300 yds or so up the road coming here." May be the real attraction was the hope of being given some groundnuts: you gave a pony undecorticated groundnuts, i.e. still in the husk, in the way that in the UK you gave lumps of sugar.

Work continued. "Working hard on these FMs in order to get them to the printer - I hope by 21 st June. Must do that if I am to read the proofs before I come on leave. Continual checking and cross checking needed. And vetting by the (Government) Auditor who is extremely helpful." They even impinged on Sundays: on 3rd June 1951 I reported: "Rode from 7.30 - 10 this morning with 3 others: then breakfast with the Trumbles - he a senior Policeman - then 2 hours F.M.'s with the Auditor: then out to lunch with Scott, the Secretary Finance ..... "On 1 Oth June: "Flap over F.M.M, particularly some vile chapters on Storekeeping. How it will ever get to the press I don't know!" One problem was getting my long hand drafts typed for the printer: "It has been typed out by Anne McCallum and others (presumably various wives) as no spare clerks of requisite intelligence existed. We started off saying "we would pay 6d a page just not knowing what to pay but all the husbands said they thought it was ungenerous so we had to put it up to 1/-!"

I made some effort to improve the surroundings of my brand new house: on 3rd June 1951 I reported: "Have at last had my compound cleared by the P.W.D. (PubliC Works Dept.) Should have been done when they built the house. So my cook's "mate" (an individual one "doesn't see", be being paid etc. by the cook) has become the gardener and is busy digging holes to plant trees. Dig out the laterite (I think this was decomposed iron-stone, gritty and red-brown, good for roads but not for gardens) and replace with good earth and manure from around the horse lines." What trees I planted I cannot remember: probably the universal neem tree and some flame of the forest, a wide spreading tree with brilliant scarlet flowers. For this work, of course, I paid the cook's mate!

However my work was beginning to payoff. On July 1 st I was able to report: "Printer's proofs of F.M.'s have begun to come in and only one point in the text remains undecided. I find the index rather slogging work but it is most important and shouldn't be skimped. I think that there will be a number of deaths from apoplexy among crusty D.O.'s and Residents when the monstrous volumes reach them."

A fortnight later: "F.M.'s are pretty well done and I am busy on a first draft of Financial Directions, a much smaller affair addressed to D.O.'s and Residents saying what they have to do in connection with F.M's." The effort was evidently catching up on me: "I'm getting very slow working. Plain tired!" And even: "Actually spent a day in bed on Monday: caught a chill and had a bad inside, werry' bad, and a temperature. All well on Tuesday!" I was clearly what we called "end of tour-ish."

Nevertheless exercise and entertainment continued: Have just been putting Pride over a jump or two. So far as I know he'd never been put to a jump until last week but pops over very happily if left to himself. A pleasant natured animal."

Then again: "We had a shoot laid on by one of the Battery subalterns out on the Zaria road. We lined the road and had a drive which didn't produce the hoped for guinea fowl but only a few bush fowl (francolin). We then walked some up and got a few more bush fowl. Even I shot a brace!"

At a weekend: "Yesterday the gymkhana. Grand fun. Never has such a lot of bad riding been seen all at once! A Secretariat team won the Relay Race which was a comic performance. I twice ended well up my pony's neck in the Pig Sticking when we got near the Pig (a stuffed sack towed by someone else!) and my pony said "Oy: this I don't like, this is where I stop!" However he has a strong neck and chucked me back into the saddle each time!!"

With my imminent departure on leave I was glad to be able to report: "I have got a very nice Major in 3 N.R. to look after Pride for me: a Royal Scot called Bill Fargus. Good on a horse. He has as yet failed to find anything that took his fancy so having Pride will enable him to pick and choose a bit."

And so off home on leave. Packing up all one's goods and chattels was hard work though Abetse and co. were very good at it: in fact the only time I attempted to help by packing some china it came out broken the other end ! Everything had to go into crates or boxes properly packed as on return from leave one might be posted to somewhere 300 miles away and all one's "loads" would travel there by trainand/or lorry. Meanwhile the local P.W.D. stored them. So having moved out of my house on the Tuesday I drove up to Jos on the Wednesday: this was to leave my car with Joe Aliens, the Ford Agents, so that it could be decarbonised and serviced and then stored. I spent Thursday in Jos still working: "Spent Thursday in Jos and finished my last contribution to F.Ms! Train from Jos on Friday morning (back to Kaduna), dinner with John Baker in Kaduna when I handed over the last files on F.M.M. to him to finish off. Only proof reading and printing to get done really. Then on to Lagos, 6 hours late as the Makurdi train had had two engine failures."

The "Limited", the train which took me from Kaduna to Lagos would have started at Port Harcourt deep in the Niger Delta and come 500 odd miles north, picked me up at Kaduna and then gone back south through the western part of Nigeria, another 500 odd miles to Lagos. Kaduna was the junction for the line north through Zaria, (itself a junction for lines north west to Gusau and Kaura Namoda in the direction of Sokoto and east with a bit of south up to Jos) to Kano and eventually to Nguru in the far north. It was all single track with passing loops at all stations. All trains were then steam hauled, the "Limited" normally by a 2-8-2 River Class engine, all named after various rivers in Nigeria. Staff on the train and the stations were all African, mostly from Southern Nigeria: Divisional Engineers and senior operating, technical and administrative managers were mostly European. The gauge was 3'6", sometimes known as the "Colonial Gauge" as it was adopted in so many territories in the British Empire. The loading gauge (governing the height and width of the rolling stock) was at least similar to that in the UK and so carriages and goods wagons were of similar size to those here. The First Class carriages in which we travelled had compartments, corridors and corridor connections between carriages. Each compartment had bench seats which became bunks at night with two more bunks pulled down from above. There was a W.C. and wash basin with, I think, hot water at each end of the carriage. Four sleeping in a compartment was a crowd but two was comfortable. The main trains had restaurant cars serving European food. Second Class in which African clerks, etc. travelled had upholstered seats in open saloon format and Third Class a similar arrangement with wooden seats: they were always crowded. Speeds were not high: I remember that when I travelled on the footplate going down to Enugu from Makurdi I was told that the speed limit was 25 mph due, I think, to poor quality track. I doubt if the "Limited" ever exceeded 40 mph. But by and large the trains ran quite efficiently.

So to Lagos for two nights with Richard Sullivan and his wife - they had lived next door to me in Kaduna earlier. I reported (in my last letter home before leaving): "We wangled a trip round the harbour in the Pilot Cutter - very pleasant. Bought some indifferent shirts and got tickets, etc. Tea at the Yacht Club - a lovely spot on a promontory in the harbour and tonight a game of bridge. Then tomorrow hell in Customs + 13 days peace!"

The boat was the M.V. Apapa, one of the two Elder Dempster Lines passenger liners, about 10,500 tons, and carrying some freight as well as passengers. There was a sister ship, M.V.Accra, and the two ran a bus route between Liverpool and Lagos, stopping in each direction at Las Palmas (where they spent a day taking on fuel): then on alternative trips at Bathhurst in the Gambia or Freetown in Sierra Leone and then Takoradi in the Gold Coast (now Ghana).

The trip took 14 days and was a comfortable relaxation. In a way surprisingly the trips did not count in one's leave time, the 18 weeks leave (after an 18 month tour) only starting when one reached Liverpool. Being August the weather was good: the two ships were rather flat bottomed - because of shallow channels over the bar of Lagos Harbour - and, until later fitted with stabilisers, therefore liable to roll. Being a poor sailor I spent time in my bunk in the Bay of Biscay and the Irish Sea, particularly on outward voyages: coming home gentle tropic seas had enabled me to get at lease some "sea legs"!

Reflecting on this tour spent in one post entirely at a desk in the Secretariat, one thought is that I had little real contact with Africans, particularly with Africans from the North. I worked and played in a predominantly European milieu. On the other hand I got to know, at least on paper, a certain amount about all the Native Authorities in the North. I also met a considerable number of other members of the Administration, both senior (e.g. various Residents in for conferences and senior members of the Secretariat) and junior, all the other Assistant Secretaries like myself. Apropos of meeting senior officers there was one amusing little incident in the office. John LenoxConyngham, a long serving bush D.O. who had never served in the Secretariat, was brought in from Adamawa to be a Senior Assistant Secretary. As was customary, he was brought round all the offices to meet us all. When introduced, I politely said that we had met in Gboko a year or two before - to which I received the cheerful reply: "The time we met before that you were in your pram!!" Titters all round and collapse of stout party from me! The explanation was that John L-C's sister had been at school with my first cousin, Jane Walford, who was 19 years older that I was: John L-C had stayed at Mompesson House in Salisbury Cathedral Close, the family home at some time when I was there in the later 1920s!!

I was lucky in that my work did take me out on one or two long trips, to Sokoto and Kano and several times to Zaria.

Being put on to re-write Financial Memoranda gave me the opportunity to see a project through from beginning to end and the satisfaction of creating something which, I venture to think, was thought to be useful.

As I have described, we certainly all played hard - and I hope that we worked I hard enough to earn our fun,. For my particular circle the horse played a large part. Being introduced to polo was a great bonus and gave me a lot of fun in subsequent years. The way in which we all entertained each other, I both to meals or having people to stay and both for entertainment or in connection with work, pertained to all my time in N. Nigeria. And of course I the chances that led to me teaming up with Nancy Gatehouse, as she then was, were life changing for me. So for me this tour was definitely a plus.

During my leave I had one bit of "duty". This was to attend a "Colonial Service Conference" at Cambridge. I have few recollections. From Northern Nigeria two Residents, George Aicheson, another ADO who was on our Course and I with whom I shared a cabin on our first trip out, and I attended. I do remember that at some stage I talked about our Emirate and other Native I Administrations and particularly the Native Treasuries and use of Financial Memoranda: the reaction from DOs from East and Central Africa was that their Africans were in no way competent or developed enough to cope with anything like that. It seemed that we were way ahead of anything in their colonies.

Third Tour in Sokoto - January 1952
A day or two before Christmas Day 1951 I set off in the newest of the Elder Dempster cargo liners, "MV Auriol", about 14,000 tons, for my third tour. This time I was posted to Sokoto Province, way up in the north west of Northern Nigeria. I do not seem to have been all that impressed with the ship. I recorded: "Quite a nice ship though surprisingly enough not quite so much room for taking violent exercise, deck tennis, etc. as on the others." However "My cabin steward is the same one as I had on the Apapa coming home." Christmas passed on board: "Las Palmas looked lovely on Christmas morning, the mountains up behind all greener than I've seen them before. And Tenerife standing up in the distance with snow on it." We evidently celebrated well: "Elder Dempster did us well on Christmas night. Drinks on the ship and ...... a six course dinner! And I've never seen so much mistletoe in my life!"

We duly reached Lagos and there I evidently had a stroke of luck. Lionel Brett, a barrister who was Acting Solicitor General and who had been Crown Counsel in Kaduna the year before, put me up: it transpired that he was going on leave the following week and on his next tour was coming back to the North: my car was at Jos and so he asked me to drive his Ford Kit car to Jos for him. This was ideal for me as due to a railway strike no trains were running and so I would have been stuck in Lagos. Richard Sullivan, an ADO who also had been in Kaduna and was now in the Secretariat in Lagos, lent me one of the Government Messengers from his office "so that I should have someone to help change the wheel, etc.!" So I set off on a long drive - Lagos to Sokoto via Jos, some 1,200 miles in total. Much of it was through country, particularly that in Southern Nigeria, which otherwise I would never have seen.

My route was via Ibadan (where I stayed with Donald Leich who had been on our Course at Cambridge and had visited me in Kaduna when up on some duty during my previous tour), Benin, Enugu, Makurdi and so to Jos. From Jos in my own car it would have been Zaria, Gusau and so to Sokoto. I started a letter home on 7th January 1952 "Waiting for the Ferry at Onitsha." This was the ferry across the Niger, a big crossing. When we got on the ferry I recorded: "Now on the ferry! Five cars, one lorry and the chinks full of Africans, compressed!" At Enugu, east of the Niger and where I had had a few days in hospital in my first Tour, the House of Assembly of the Eastern Region was sitting, Enugu being capital of the Eastern Region. An ADO who was Clerk to the Executive Council and who had been on our course (though my comment was "no one thought much of him"! I wonder who he was!) told me that "they elected the Eastern Region representatives to the central (Nigerian) Legislative Assembly today and that all the extremist party got in!" This was the N.C.N.C. (National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons) led by Zik (Dr Nuamndi Azikiwe), a clever lawyer and extremist politician who was the leader of the Ibos who inhabited most of the Eastern Region. The Zikists ran an Eastern Nigerian newspaper of the sensationalist type and it was said that if you were a District Officer in the Eastern Region you were not dOing your job properly unless you had been reviled on the front page!

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Sokoto Census
So on to Sokoto: I have no recollection nor record of the journey. There I was given the job of organising and carrying through in the whole of Sokoto Province, some 200 miles x 200 miles, the national Census. As lesser duties I was also responsible for carrying on a scheme for distributing artificial fertiliser to the farmers and for encouraging and checking on an adult education scheme. The fertiliser scheme had been going on for some time run with considerable energy and panache by Desmond Wilson, the cheerful Northern Irish ADO, and the distribution of the government sponsored superphosphate fertiliser had reached saturation point: most farmers had got more than they wanted as a result of Desmond's pressing so that there was little scope for me to persuade them to have more. Whether or not the scheme was successful in increasing yields I do not recall. Indeed I do not know whether it was used by the farmers: I seem to recall seeing unopened bags in the entrances to houses in the villages!

Organising the census was a much bigger job. It involved recruiting, through the Emirate authorities, probably hundreds of scribes (i.e. clerks) to be "enumerators", training them in how to complete the census forms in classes held in the various District Headquarters and then supervising the collection and collating of the results.

The Adult Education scheme was designed to teach adults in the bush villages to read and write, most of them having presumably never been to any school other than an Islamic school where they learnt little more than to recite the Koran.

All these duties were to involve some quite extended touring in the bush, a welcome change from the Kaduna secretariat of my last tour.

In Sokoto the Resident was "Waddle" Weatherhead, a very long serving officer first appointed in 1930. The only person, so far as I can remember, whom I actually knew was Christopher Hanson-Smith whose cousin had lived in Salisbury Cathedral Close and had introduced us before Christopher came out on his first tour: Christopher was fast becoming an expert on the nomadic Fulani cattle people.

I was given a pretty bush house, basically a large round thatched rest house with mud walls and steps up at the front. Basic but adequate.

I had an office in a one storey block, undistinguished but with one delight: it had windows out onto a road lined with low (? pollarded) trees: in these trees pelicans nested and the pelicans would lumber low down the road to their nests like close up Sunderland flying boats. Colourful and amusing. Access to my office was from the other side of the building so I was never in danger from their low flying.

My first expedition from Sokoto was a trip all the way back to Jos to a conference on the Census. I reported: "Have had a pleasant time in Jos "conferring" about the Census. Not convinced that it was necessary to confer but saw a lot of friends including George Roche and Norman Odgers who were both at Gboko in the past and John Britton, now at Gboko and previously at Kaduna when I was."

As usual there was entertainment. "Had some polo at Zaria and Jos. Was on the polo field at Zaria an hour after driving 249 miles! Doug (Nichol) mounted me but on a very old saddle which proceeded to break in two down the middle: luckily I realised what was happening and jumped off quick!"

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Thain and McClellan
I varied the route a little: "I drove the 249 miles to Zaria on Monday and stayed in the Rest House there and dined and went to the Army Cinema with Doug Nichol. Then on to Jos by the "dry season" road: these are lots of roads without proper bridges and not fully maintained which can only be used in the dry season. At the beginning of each dry season a gang goes over them filling in the worst holes but apart from that little else. So they are always bad. Speed on this one was 25/30 for the first 40 miles and 20 for the last 12 miles out onto the main Jos-Kaduna road. But it saved 50 miles and time was no object. Very pleasant to wander along really." But they could take their toll. reported on my way back to Sokoto: "Staying with Tony McClellan here (Gusau) who is looking over the Dry Season roads round here. He has just broken all four shock absorbers and one spring on his Land Rover"!

This was February 1952 when King George VI died unexpectedly. The wireless evidently brought us the news: I reported: "The death of the King a great calamity .... (Winston) Churchill was excellent on the wireless. Words of one syllable and so effective". Later: "We had a pleasant little service conducted by the Resident on Friday morning, including Last Post and Reveille by N.A. Police buglers. And sang "God save the Queen" for the first time.

Another event affected by the King's death took place in Kaduna, reported to me at some later date by, I think, Nicky McClintock who was there. The King died in the night: on the morning after, but before news of his death had reached Kaduna, there was taking place at Government Lodge the first meeting of the new Executive Council of the newly independent Northern Nigeria with, for the first time, African Ministers. Their first action was to take a formal Ministers' oath of allegiance to the King. Shortly after they had done this the Governor's Private Secretary put his head round the door but was firmly sent out again by the Governor, Sir Bryan Sharwood-Smith, and told not to interrupt. However shortly afterwards he appeared cautiously again with a piece of paper: sensing that something important had happened Nicky McClintock, Clerk to the Council, went to him and was given a note announcing the King's death. This, of course, Sir Bryan then reported to the meeting. There was much to be considered and the meeting adjourned. For one thing they had just taken an oath of allegiance to a King who was already dead.

I understand that there was some doubt as to whether the Moslem Ministers would be happy to take an oath of allegiance to the new Queen Elizabeth, she being a woman. There was also much searching in the Secretariat for old files to find out what had been done in 1935 on the death of George VI

Meanwhile the Ministers had apparently got together and soon a message came from them that of course they must reconvene the Council and take a fresh oath of allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and proceed with business thereafter. So all was then well.

Back in Sokoto Johny and Alison Wilkinson appeared, Johny in his guise of organising the start of radio broadcasting in Northern Nigeria, principally for adult education purposes. On this occasion he had records of various kinds of music which he was playing to various Hausa village audiences to discover which kind of music appealed to them. I went with them to Kware, a village 14 miles out from Sokoto (and near to the lake where Nancy had caught her Niger perch, "giwan ruwa" or elephant of the river in Hausa). I recorded that the session was great fun and that we ended up with the local drummers, one of whom had a particularly good "ear", drumming to "Cuban Tangos and things like that."

Then I went off on tour beginning to organise the census and also checking on adult education classes and the distribution to farmers of superphosphate granules fertiliser. I went first to stay three nights at Argungu with the D.0. there, Stanley Pollard. Stanley (who will forgive me for saying that he looked a little like a camel!) had been in the Burma Civil Service before the war and was a DO in the Shan States in Northern Burma when the Japanese invaded. He had to retreat out north into China, taking amongst other things the contents of the Government Treasury on mules: one of these sadly fell down a ravine to which there was no access, having on its back a lakh of rupees! Stanley always affected to be worried that one day the authorities would claim to recover that lakh from him! To my knowledge they never did. I recorded that Argungu was "a pleasant spot 60 miles from Sokoto. A bad Emir which is trying for whoever is DO. The D.O.'s house is on a rise with a long view (west) over the rather shallow valley of the Sokoto River - here probably called something else! The mechanised rice scheme is ploughing up the flats down there and are working double shifts so at night you see the tractors' headlights."

This mechanised rice scheme, off shoot of a bigger one nearer Sokoto if I remember rightly, was an attempt to produce rice on a vast scale rather than by peasant agriculture. They had vast caterpillar tractors and five or six furrow ploughs. My recollection is that it was not a success as it created a dust bowl similar to that on the American prairies and the soil blew away in the wind. Rusting machinery was abandoned on site.

Having discussed the organisation of the census with Stanley P. I drove on the 30 miles to Birnin Kebbi, headquarters of Gwandu Division. The DO there was Hector Wrench whom I had met in Kaduna and Christopher HansonSmith was also out there on tour. I recorded: "The Emir of Gwandu is an outstanding one and it was interesting to meet him." Again I discussed arrangements for the Census with Hector W.

I then drove some 20 miles south east to Jega and after lunch met the Sarkin Mallamai (Chief of the Scribes) who was responsible for organising Adult Education classes in Sokoto emirate. He was a young man whom I recorded that "I found reading "Elizabeth and Leicester".

He took me "40 miles south in his bumpy Bedford truck to a dirty little outlying village where they had an Adult Education class." I did not record the name but looking at the map it must have been Kuchi or Fokku right at the southern extremity of Sokoto Emirate. Then back to Jega for the night in the rest house there.

The next day I drove 30 odd miles north east to Tambawel to stay in the rest house there. Having set up there I went south down a dry season only road for a bit and there got on a horse, presumably supplied by the local District or Village Head, to ride to see adult education classes, etc. at Romo and Bashire. I was assured that it was only 4 miles to Romo and that we would be back by 3 pm. I ended up not getting back till 7 pm, the 4 miles to Romo turned out to be more like six and so on. I had forgotten that Hausa miles are always much longer than English ones! So I ended up riding something like 17 miles without food or water. I admitted in a letter home that I was a "bit whacked" having had "no food or water from 8 am until 7 pm" but "even though it was just a question of endurance after 8 or so miles it was rather fun!"

I had company that night as when I got back to Tambawel I found "a young doctor from Sokoto also going to stay "in the rest house. His medical services were not required!

I then reported: "The next morning I spent trying to straighten out the sides of some new roads they have cut through Tambawel village. No African can "see" a straight line or a right angle so you have to do it for them!" In retrospect that sounds a bit sententious and they may merely have been avoiding cutting into the compounds of important villagers! I add that if you wanted a circle marked out they would probably do it perfectly.

On north the next day to Dogondaji where I recorded that "the District Head is a rather charming garrulous old type!" There no doubt I inspected, as one did in all the villages where one spent some time, the school, the dispensary, the market, the alkali's court and, if meeting, the adult education class. We would be a little party of District Head, local Village Head, the District Head's scribe and headmaster or dispensary attendant or sarkin kasuwa (market head) and, of course, my prop and stay, my Government Messenger.

Every D.O. had a Government Messenger who came with you on tour: he was a civilian, sometimes a retired senior NCO from the Nigeria Regiment, who wore civilian clothes with the prestigious gold woven crown badge on a black background pinned on his riga. He knew the country, knew the important people, quietly collected local intelligence, could probably interpret into Hausa from e.g. Fufulde (the language of the cattle Fulani) or any local dialect, supervised any carriers if trekking on horse or foot and was generally one's right hand man. A good one was a treasure. Every Provincial and Divisional Office had a group of them.

Once again I had company in the rest house: I recorded that "while I was sitting in the Rest House in the evening an N.A. (Native Administration i.e. Sokoto Emirate) lorry rolled in and out got Tony MacClelland, the A.D.O. who put me up in Gusau a fortnight ago. He was on his way to the Zamfara Valley (further south) but had not got away from Sokoto early so he also stayed in the Rest House." These unexpected meetings were always fun as one then pooled ones drink and food resources and had drinks and dinner together and discussed the world in general.

Next day on to Jabo, "a pleasantly rural spot 3 miles down a very minor sandy side track from the main road." This is where the Government Messenger earned his keep because he would know the way to these little places. I evidently enjoyed Jabo - "A tree in the Rest House compound with quite 80 foot spread and a great marabou stork swirling around in the wind." The big tree was probably a baobab or silk cotton tree which grew to a great size and were said to harbour water in their spreading above ground roots. Otherwise the Rest House compound probably had neem trees, locust bean trees or, if one was lucky a flame of the forest, a gorgeous mass of scarlet flowers in the flowering season.

Having inspected things at Jabo I went on north to Yabo. En route I stopped at Shagari, a village on the road, to inspect an adult education class there and no doubt other things as well. I recorded also that I: "found myself trying to put a new bearing plate into the windlass on the village well - a very deep one, hence the windlass which is uncommon - but the bolts had rusted so could not get them undone" - no WD40 there! One tried to help!

I also recorded that: "the harmattan wind has come back so it has been nice and cool for the last two days - I've worn a sweater all day today." The harmattan was the wind from the north off the Sahara which blew in the dry season. It's disadvantage was that if strong it brought a haze of sandy dust down from the desert which brought grit into everything and could create a perpetual haze.

The next night I spent at Wamakko west of Sokoto "along an incredibly sandy road skidding all over the place! You must keep up to 20 or 30 m.p.h. or else you got bogged down." And so back to headquarters at Sokoto having been out for about a fortnight.

On a trip like this the party consisted of myself, doing all the driving, my Government Messenger who rode in front in the pick-up truck with me, Abetse my head boy and Ayaka my cook who rode in the back sitting on, probably, some of the "loads" in the back. The "loads" would be my camp furniture (bed, table, chair, bath - either a tin one with a wicker liner containing sheets, blankets and clothes and a lid held down by a leather strap or a roll-up canvas one - basin with lid holding washing etc. kit, wooden boxes containing kitchen gear, camp crockery and cutlery, supplies of food and drink and the "loads" of Abetse, Ayaka and the Government Messenger. There would also be an office box with certain files, pen, ink and paper and probably a strong box of metal containing official money. Altogether quite a load for the vehicle, particularly on a rough road. If one was going to be out for a long time or intending to go a long way one might even have a 44 gallon drum of petrol on board though that was rare: there were, of course, no petrol stations out in the bush! On arrival at a Rest House: an unfurnished thatched round mud building, the local district or village head would send up two or three chickens and some eggs - for which one then paid the messenger. Water was boiled and filtered : milk if fresh from the local cattle owning Fulani people was boiled or otherwise was tinned: as a result I usually drank weak tea without milk! Vegetables of sorts could usually be bought locally in the market. Light after dark was by a Tilley, pressure, lamp: for that I depended entirely on Abetse as I never mastered the art of servicing it! Otherwise there were a few hurricane lamps. Needless to say no electricity nearer than perhaps Sokoto. With all that I lived very comfortably!

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Goronyo Rest House
More touring followed, inspecting and encouraging adult education classes and the distribution of artificial superphosphate fertiliser to the peasant farmers. In March, 1952 I recorded: "Had a pleasant trip early this week to Rabah, Goronyo and Wurno, all North East of (Sokoto): Goronyo about 60 miles."

When in Sokoto there were minor excitements: in March I recorded: "Got up at 7.30 (on a Sunday) to ride this morning (on my pony, Pride) and when I had shaved I found that he had slipped his halter while being rubbed down and had bolted! Gayya (his horse boy, Le. groom) went after him (presumably on foot!) and eventually got him out beyond Kasarawa, six miles away!! Having been a little lame early in the week he'd had little exercise and so was rather more than usually full of beans!" I do not record whether I then went for a ride on him! I probably did.

Preparations for the national census then began in earnest. I was responsible for organising first the training of the mallams (Le. the local district scribes or clerks and other suitable educated Native Authority employees) who were to collect the details from each householder of all those living in his compound and then the actual recording of those details on the census forms provided including of course issuing the forms and finally collecting and collating all the forms. To supervise the training I was to be out on tour all over the Province for much of two or three months.

I started in early April with a trip south: I recorded: "Four pleasant days down in the Zamfara Valley at GummL A nice Polish doctor there too: he has a Field Medical Unit and goes round spending about 3 months in a bush District doing full scale treatments. The Native Authority is just opening the first of a series of Leper Segregation Villages and so I had a bit to do with seeing that preparations were going OK. That in addition to the Census Training which was my main Object."

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Census Form
The training would start with a lecture and explanation of the Census Forms, probably in the local school. Here I Would, in I hope my best Hausa, introduce the subject of the census and then the Sarkin Mallamai (= the Chief Mallam or Scribe) whom I had dealt with over Adult Education and who was a very competent man would go in detail through what had to be put in each part of the form. There would then be some practical training in a local household. Here the householder would be questioned by the Census Mallam, the "Enumerator", to find out how many people of what ages, etc. lived in his compound. I have photos of this: the householder marked with his finger in the sandy floor of the entrance hall of his compound the numbers concerned: he was very certain when counting the numbers of sons and other males but far less certain when it came to daughters and females! In one I note that the householder was "puzzled, as most of them were!" A census to them probably raised fears of some new tax: the tax to which they were accustomed, haraji, a poll tax, depended on counting so this very grand count presumably presaged something new - and probably more onerous!

There were pleasant moments when touring: I recorded "Back up here (Yabo, a junction on the road from Sokoto to Argungu and Birnin Kebbi where I had stayed before) on Saturday. Quite a pleasant drive forgetting the atrocious road and twice I even drove through the shadow made by a cloud passing over the sun - first time this tour! (which I assume means since January, it now being April, hence the continual heat!). I ate my lunch overlooking a small lily-covered lake with my field glasses on my knees watching egrets, a snow white heron, great black and white crows, a tiny kingfisher, two large hawks and a dozen great crown birds (presumably crowned cranes). Very pleasant indeed. After lunch I strolled openly to within 20 yards of the crown birds".

Occasionally there were less pleasant moments: the next day at Yabo "I woke up with a chill and a temperature so spent most of the day on my bed. Quite ok by the evening. Annoying but the Sarkin Mallamai, a young N.A. mallam who is also engaged on the census is quite capable of doing most of the Census training himself."

Then a little giving support: I reported: "I finished up my trip last Wednesday by spending the night at Kilgori, a very rural retreat tucked away in a little valley (a few miles off the road down a presumably sandy track). Unfortunately the District Head, one of the Village Heads and the District scribe (clerk) have just been put in jail for "fraudulent false accounting" to the tune of £46: so, as I had finished a day early at Yabo, I thought a visit there could do no harm as there is a temporary District Head there". I evidently had a high opinion of my support powers!

Then it was Easter. I recorded: "For the first time for some years I was able to go to church as Mr. Weatherhead (The Resident of the Province) holds a service - in a room in the Residency. We are technically a "Colonial Church" whatever that may be. The main point is that it is undenominational. Most people are rather husky at the moment as a result of heat and dust (it being the dry season) so singing not impressive!" It was hot: "At 7.15 pm tonight the thermometer on Ken Thompson's verandah said 101 degrees. So what it was after midday I can't imagine. I couldn't keep my hand on the steps of my house in mid morning." Being bone dry one could stand such heat.

At times like Easter A.D.O.'s and others from the various out-stations in the Province came into Sokoto for the odd party and sporting event. "Our polo match against the Mallams (i.e. an African team) on Monday was the greatest fun. Hector Wrench, the D.O. Birnin Kebbe, whose handicap is 3 (quite high in Nigeria) could not stay for it so we were reduced to the Vet (I think Dennis Walker), Christopher Hanson-Smith, Tony McCelland and myself, none of us experts. The Mallams won 3-1, not least because I missed the ball completely once with an open goal in front! But everyone enjoyed it and it was by far the best game of polo we have had since I came here."

Then also "We have been having a tennis tournament. I came in in place of the doctor who dropped out, playing with Jean Kay (who teaches at the girls training college and whose brother was on our London course and was a D.0. in Eastern Nigeria). Success moderate." Jean married John Matthew and was a life long friend subsequently.

I then set off on a long trip south, planning to be away from Sokoto for some 28 days. I went first to Yelwa, the capital of the small Emirate of Yauri, right on I the River Niger and the southern most part of Sokoto Province. I recorded that it was "quite a different coloured countryside, green and rocky, against I brown and sandy "further north." The Government Station - only the A.D.O.'s house and two rest houses - is up on a hill overlooking the Niger 1/2 mile I away below. It here flows north and south so you don't get the sunsets into it as you did (on the Benue) at Makurdi. "It is here the boundary of Sokoto and the hills on the other side belong to lIorin."

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Mallam Ladan
I also reported that my Government Messenger, Mallam Ladan, a neat and intelligent youngish man, who had come down with me from Sokoto, had never seen the River Niger before! So it was quite a trip for him. Not entirely surprising as we were getting on for 200 miles from Sokoto.

An A.D.O. was stationed at Yelwa and on my visit there were actually two in the station as John Matthew was taking over from Geoffrey Blackburne-Kane. Geoffrey gave a dinner party while I was there. I recorded: "Guests a mixed bag: two Canadian Missionaries, the Emir (of Yauri), his brother, the Ubandoma and another old boy the Shantalli (literally "the Emir's small water pot carrier"!!), John and myself. Conversation, in Hausa, ranged from past D.O.'s and Residents to Snow Houses, ice hockey and Sokoto races. Great fun. The Shantalli is responsible for the Census in Yauri so I am working with him." Yauri was a well run small emirate. The then Emir's son, Mallam Tukur Yauri, had taught us Hausa at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London in 1947.

We had a little sport: "John (Matthew) and I went up the river (Niger) in a canoe and shot a couple of guinea fowl - one each, with his gun. Mine had to hit a tree before it fell ....... Back in the dark."

We were all hoping for rain - the rainy season (damina) was due. I do remember driving between Argungu and Birnin Kebbi and having two drops of rain on the windscreen: I and M. Ladan rejoiced: "Damina ta zo - the Rainy Season has come"! Here I reported: "It was raining on the other side of the valley this evening but it hasn't come this way."

There were backwards oddities: "I have just noticed that the (Emirate) policeman on guard up here (by the Rest House) is armed with a bow and arrow - seems incongruous but I rather think he is after the odd rat or coney for meat!!" Sadly I did not record the bag, if any!

Reverting to the mention of the Shantalli, here in Yauri evidently a senior N.A. official and, I think, a member of the Emir's council, in most Emir's households he was a relatively junior, if traditional, servant. All Moslems perform a token ceremonial cleanSing before praying: for this in Northern Nigeria the most common utensil to carry with them the necessary small amount of water was in our day a tin kettle: it was the duty of the Shantalli to be in charge of this. Another similar duty was that of the "Mai taka lafiya", a servant who on ceremonial occasions walked in front of the Emir, ostenSibly to ensure that the Emir did not trip over a stone or step and chanting meanwhile "Taka lafiya, taka lafiya" - "Tread safely, tread safely."

It was now near the end of April and having completed census organisation and training in Yauri Emirate I set off north again into the Emirate of Gwandu. My first stop was to be Koko, some fifty miles from Yelwa but my journey was not all plain sailing. I reported: "I got off from Yelwa on Thursday in the afternoon, had a cup of tea with a Public Works Department Inspector and his wife who are living in the bush about 30 miles from Yelwa where he is building a big bridge on the road, and then 10 miles on came on a crashed lorry - one wheel fell off ! - with one chap unconscious by the side of the road. No visible injuries but he had come off the truck on his head! Only thing to do to get him to the nearest doctor - Birnin Kebbi, 100 miles odd. So he was reclined in the back of my truck as far as the dispensary here (Koko where I was to stay and where I unloaded my loads etc. at the Rest House) ...... a stretcher was put in and off we went.. ..... 90 miles at 24 m.p.h. starting about 6 pm, getting to B.K. about 10 pm. En route I remembered I had left my keys in the Rest House at Koko, the cap to the petrol tank was locked and I hadn't enough petrol in the tank to get back to Koko! So after staying the night with Hector Wrench, the D.0., I had to take the car to the N.A. workshops, have the pipe to the tank disconnected and petrol poured in through a long funnel!! Not too difficult actually. So back to Koko, averaging nearly 40 m.p.h. for 85 miles with a nearly empty truck! Never went above 50." Bear in mind that the road was single track laterite, no tarmac but also pretty level. And so back to work but not the end of distractions!

I reported: "The next day the car refused to start! A quick glance showed me that a particular bit of flexible piping in the petrol systems which I had seen at Yelwa was weak had gone: as the previous one went in Kaduna I knew that the only cure was a new one. And there mayor may not be one in Sokoto - 180 miles away! I sent in a note by a passing lorry and now await a reply (I subsequently learnt that no note reached Sokoto!). The next day, however, a passing Public Works Department engineer gave me a piece of thick rubber tubing and I've managed to do a "Bush" repair with that and wire! But how long it will last I don't know! It should get me on tomorrow to Suru, 60 odd miles, but I shall arrange for the N.A. lorry to follow behind!"

The arrival of the P.W.D. engineer was fortuitous: he was based in Lagos and was doing some sort of survey of roads: even more fortuitous was that he had had extra petrol tanks fitted to his Landrover as he had driven across the Sahara from the Mediterranean, had used rubber tubing like Bunsen burner tubing to connect them up and had a spare piece left over and in his tool kit.

But I still had to do the repair and the memory of doing it has remained with me, stimulated by the fact that if I could not do it I was effectively marooned in a bush village! The piece which had failed was a length of rubber tubing, covered with an "armour" of interlaced fine wire and fused onto a short piece of brass tube with a nipple on the end which screwed into? the carburettor. I had to separate the brass tube from the perished rubber tubing, secure the Bunsen burner tubing to it and screw it back into its place. The problem was cutting the brass tube. I had no tool suitable. Eventually the local African blacksmith produced a very large rasp at least a foot and more long and I remember sitting using the blunt edge of this rasp to cut the brass tube. My recollection is that it took about an hour! Once cut the Bunsen burner tubing fitted well onto the brass tube and the deed was done! My recollection is that it served for quite some time.

So I was then able to concentrate on the census organisation and training: I recorded: "Work proceeds OK though being repetitive it is a bit monotonous."

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Jega
Next stop was Suru down a branch road into the Sokoto River valley. I reported: "At Suru, down on the edge of the Sokoto River valley, the great attraction was the duck. It is some of the best duck shooting in Nigeria - and I of course had no gun! But one evening I went out with field glasses and was able to sit on the edge of a little lake with geese and duck sitting 100 yards away and hundreds flighting all around. A wonderful sight.. ... I had duck enough to eat at Suru as Magajin Rafin Gwandu, the senior Gwandu N.A. official in charge of the Census, also an M.P. at Kaduna, had his gun with him and was shooting straight." I have no record of what breeds they were but they probably included the common "wishy wishy" or white faced tree duck, garganey, knob nose geese and teal.

From Suru back on to the main road to Jega. Here Hector Wrench came out for a night from Birnin Kebbi to see what we were doing. Once again I had ambulance work to do: a girl fell into a well and broke her leg, evidently late in the day as the reason why I took her into the doctor at Birnin Kebbi was that the lights on Hector's vehicle were not working!

There followed a few days in Birnin Kebbi including lunch at Hector's with the Resident, I think Weatherhead, who was himself on tour before driving on to Argungu where I see that I said that "Stanley Pollard will lay down the law!" I do remember that he was always fairly definite in his opinions! Great fun.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Leith Watt
So back to Sokoto on 15th May (having been out on tour since 17th April) but only for three nights! Then it was north to Gwadabawa, only 24 miles away. I found this "a rather dull place surrounded by sand, even sand dunes as distinct from flat farms of sand. 120 Mallams there (on the Census training) but mostly brighter than the lot here" (Wurno, my next port of call). Leith Watt, the D.O. Sokoto Division stayed a night while I was there: he was a charming and excellent New Zealander. He was on his way further north to Gada, right up on the border with the French territory. We went out and inspected a small reservoir and dam built by Neville Parminter the year before and improved by Christopher Hanson-Smith this year. The object was to provide water through the dry season for cattle.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Wurno
Then I was on the move again: on Monday 26th May 1952 written at Wurno north east of Sokoto I reported: "That (visit to the dam) was Friday morning: then I went back in Sokoto, lunched with Geoffrey and Ray Blackburne-Kane and then out here, stopping at Archida en route for tea with Christopher (Hanson-Smith) and a look at another dam that he is building there .. ... The locals started their annual month of fasting today, Ramadan, and so very nearly did I: for the collection of Mallams here were so dim that it was 6.30pm before I was finished looking at the test papers they had done before breakfast this morning - and I started looking at 10.30 am - 8 hours solid!! I never realised how late it was until it was too late to have lunch anyway!"

One change from the normal at Wurno was that I "can't sleep with a mosquito net here as a gale seems to blow up furiously by midnight and carry it away but in such a gale there can be no mosquitos. And anyway its so dry here that there can't be very many." I must have been right as I did not get any malaria or other ill effects.

I was now on the last stretch of organising and training for the Census: I had one night in Sokoto and then down the main road east to Talata Mafara for five nights, Gusau the same and Kaura Namoda the same. From Talata Mafara I did get as far as reporting: "I am needless to say thoroughly bored with this Census, a mechanical process which doesn't improve with repetition! However wherever I go I manage to fit in a little general Admin. work - here I looked at a Dispensary being built this morning. I've got a disagreement between the local missionaries (Americans) and the District Head to sort out - the Missionaries appear to have been thoroughly high handed! - and the local Police Detachment to inspect." When I complained about my boredom with the census to Richard Barlow-Poole and Lucy who were at Gusau and said that now it was coming to an end I felt like the end of term at school he sagely remarked "Yes, but don't forget the exams are yet to come!" i.e. the actual census and its accuracy - if any!

One good thing at Gusau: "The whole country round here is green which is a refreshing change! And the second night I was here we had some real rain, the first I'd seen." That was 8th June: evidently the rains had really come.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Census
After a final major census course at Kaura Namoda (there was still one small one in Sokoto later on and the odd refresher one later) I had a relaxing few days in Katsina. I stayed with Barry Nicholas - with whom I had shared a house in Kaduna - and Tony Ditcham, recovered substantially from his severe? motor-neurone illness of a year and a half ago, was down the road. There was work: I wanted to see how they in Katsina Province did their Adult Education work in case we in Sokoto could learn from them and I had one day being shown several of their Adult Education classes. I even played polo: "The Emir put me up on a good pony ..... but not having ridden much for 3 months I was rather loose in the saddle!" The polo field at Katsina was bounded by a cactus hedge and I think that it was on this visit, it being the early rainy season, that the cactus had all blossomed with pink flowers - most attractive.

I should also mention regretfully that when I met Tony Ditcham for the first time on this visit his comment was: "Help, you've put on weight!" Presumably the result of so much Sitting around running census training courses and driving in between them.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Adult Education
So back to Sokoto on 18th June - "Really rather nice to be stationary for a bit." My work remained a mixture: I had to finish off the arrangements for the census, including refresher courses for the Mallams who were taught as far back as April and a small course for those who were to count the population of Sokoto city itself. Then I had to sort out the mess into which the Sarkin Gona (Chief of Farms), the Emirate Agricultural official responsible for the distribution of the artificial superphosphate fertiliser to the peasant farmers, had allowed the records of the distribution to get. Probably some "creative accounting" required!! More Adult Education organising followed. And my N.A. Finance expertise caught up with me in the form of writing 16 pages of "Notes on N.A. Finance for Heads of Departments". I think that these would have been a potted guide to the workings of the N.A. Treasury (Annual Estimates, Development Plans, Annual Accounts, Supplementary Estimates, etc.) for the various Provincial heads of Government Departments such as the Public Works Department Provincial Engineer, the Provincial Agricultural Officer, ditto Education Officer, ditto Forestry Officer, etc., all of whom depended to a large extent on funds from the Native Authority to finance the works and schemes on which they were providing advice and supervision and executive action. They therefore needed to know how the N.A. Treasury worked, at least in outline, to help in their dealings with their relevant N.A. Councillors and heads of department (Africans of course).

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Place of Idi
There were formal occasions. The new moon was due and with it Id el Fitr, the end of Ramadan, the fasting month. The celebrations started with the Sultan leading most of the population of Sokoto itself and the District Heads and their retinues from all over the Emirate in prayers at the Place of Idi outside the city. All Europeans would gather at a place beside the road out to the Place of Idi and on his return from prayer the Sultan and his councillors would come and greet the Resident and the other Europeans and receive our congratulations on the end of Ramadan. For this Administrative Officers wore uniform. It appears that this was the first time that I had had to wear mine and we made the interesting discovery that Mr. Keogh, of Sackville Street off Piccadilly, had failed to include the necessary slit for the scabbard of my ceremonial sword to go through! Some last minute scissor-work was needed!

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Sultan Addressing his People
Following the meeting with the Turawa, the Europeans, the Sultan and Councillors processed back to the City. They would be mounted, the Sultan under a large ceremonial umbrella and carrying his staff of office, a large mace with a crown finial; he would have an escort of mounted men in Damascus chain mail, some of it reputed to date from the time of the Crusades! On arrival back in the city the Sultan would address the multitude from the balcony over the entrance to his palace, exhorting them to do all that was right in the coming year. Then all could feast and put fasting behind them.

Before the Sultan's speech each District Head, supported by a posse of Village Heads and other followers, greeted the Emir by dOing a jahi - a gallop down the open space in front of the palace entrance towards the entrance gateway and a rein back onto their horses' haunches and waving of swords and spears. Much competition to do the most energetic and arresting jahi!

Since I was now to be a little more static for a time I was given a better house. The one I had till then - July 1952 - I remember as a bare round mud walled and thatched roof rest house, really intended for short term occupation with camp furniture only by visitors. Since I had the set of two armchairs and a sofa which I had had made years before in Gboko I was quite comfortable but I don't think it was all that wind and water proof - open window openings with roll down matting to keep out sun and rain. The new house, only 200 yards away, had three rooms and glazed metal framed windows! Such luxury. I recorded that: "the sitting room - 30 feet long about - is divided by a step up and I eat on the higher level. It runs right through the house so gets a through breeze which is good."

Meanwhile the great Census had taken place and was "beginning to produce results. Sokoto City was always thought to be about 30,000 (population) : it is now 50,000! The Resident rather shaken! District's results still to come." When they did I had the hard labour of checking through every census sheet to see that no obviously outrageous mistakes had been made by the mallams who were the "enumerators". I recorded that one district made such a mess of it that we made them do the count again. Finally we produced final figures: Sokoto Province 2,650,000 (i.e. the four Emirates of Sokoto, Gwandu, Argungu and Yauri): Sokoto Division, i.e. Sokoto Emirate, 1,999,735: I commented on the latter: "very nearly 2 million and to run it one District Officer, two Assistant District Officers (one of them me) and 4 Cadets (i.e. first year A.D.O's). For some reason we've got an abnormal number of junior people." Part of the reason for a lack of more senior people was that several were on leave but never the less the numbers were rather remarkable.

I evidently was expected to know something about agriculture. It being now well into the wet season, I recorded: "Crops now up to 9 feet high in places - and only sown up to 12 weeks ago! It always shakes me when I think how brown it all was in May and how brown it will be again in December." The crops would have been maize, millet and guinea corn. Then again: "I spent yesterday (9th August 1952) having a pleasant but very bumpy drive looking at some superphosphate experimental plots. Did about 75 miles and as it had rained the night before the roads were not at their best. Mostly pools of water!" This was a follow up to the distribution of superphosphate fertiliser for which I had been responsible on first arrival in the Province. What the results were I regret I did not record! And what knowledge I had of maize, millet and guinea corn to enable me to judge good from bad I know not! I assume that I had Sarkin Gona (Chief of farms), the Emirate head of agriculture, or one of his staff with me.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Imbert Bourdillon
There were social moments. Imbert Bourdillon, a new cadet, arrived and I put him up. His father, Sir Bernard Bourdillon, had been Governor of Nigeria some ten years before and the family had lived in Midhurst and had known my cousins, Alec and Nancy Hammick, and a Cambridge friend, Brian Hollingsworth: so we had something in common. Also Jean Kay, in the Education Department came back from leave and Stanley Pollard, the D.0. Provincial Office, asked us all to a lunch party to welcome her. Stanley had been in the Burma Frontier Service administering the Shan States in northern Burma before the war. After the Japanese invasion he had been evacuated into China towards Chlinking: he took with him on mules the contents of the Government treasury and affected to be worried that the Burmese authorities would be after him because on the journey one mule carrying a lakh of rupees on its back had fallen down a ravine and could not be recovered! So far as I know he was never asked to ante up! I recorded re "the lunch party" : "Stanley leads an odd life and his idea of a lunch party was to assemble after work at 2.30 and drink ale till 5! We then had a rather meagre lunch at 5.15. Jean didn't actually turn up till 5 having driven slowly from Gusau and we had actually given her up so far as lunch was concerned!" I do recall that the first course was a rather poor curry and that after the first course Stanley's head boy came in and spoke quietly to him at the head of the table: Stanley replied: "To, shi ke nan" = "Right, that's all." That meant that, due to some disaster in the kitchen there was no pudding!

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Dennis Walker
That was not the end of the day: I recorded" Then we went out to dinner with another Education woman (name not recorded) : we - I and Bourdillon - spent the first half hour after our arrival organising her newly acquired horse. She doesn't know enough about it to have one really and Dennis Walker, the Vet, who was organising it, had gone off on tour. Her horse boy seemed incompetent and had gone off to spend the night in the town - against orders without making the stable - converted garage - secure! The horse had been caught by the time we took part but we had to improvise a barricade - no doors to the garage! We then went to the Club and to bed at 3 am after an energetic session of reels, etcL .... We lunch with the Resident today (Sunday). And then replapse into a quiet life again."

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Canadian Ford
The rains were in full swing: I recorded: "A lot of rain and all the roads very bad. Water, mud, ruts. I regret that I have to go to Zaria next month! Car in moderate order." I was working up to selling my Canadian Ford pick up which had done me well but undecided on what to buy to replace it.

Confirmation of how bad the roads were was that Imbert Bourdillon "and Jean Kay in her Morris took 7 hours to do the 90 miles to Birnin Kebbi - had to dig themselves out of the mud twice. Luckily I insisted they should take my shovel and gave them some sandwiches! That is Sokoto roads in the rains"!

Wireless broadcasting was even reaching Sokoto! Johny and Alison Wilkinson were staying with me for the opening of a "Radio Diffusion Centre" in Sokoto. I recorded: "Johny and Alison only left this morning (Sunday 7th September 1952 - they had been due to go on the previous Thursday) : a bridge east of Gusau on the only road into the Province broke completely on Wednesday and the road has been closed. Greatest fun having them ..... we were quietly gay - dinner with the Barlow-Pooles on Thursday, Chris HansonSmith and Edith and Richard Kinsman here on Friday and ..... monthly Club supper night yesterday. Johny was continually rushing off to his Radio Diffusion Centre to record local musicians or to "get a strong signal from Lagos" - much triumph if it was duly got. The grand opening on Thursday - 3 Emirs (The Sultan - of Sokoto - and Emirs of Gwandu and Argungu) and the Regional Minister for Public Works was interrupted firmly by rain but went off very well. No hitches except the wet. Johny made a speech - in Hausa (translated for him by my Sarkin Mallamai) and so did among others the Resident (I think by now Tim Johnston) who is glorious to listen to: he speaks like a native and can make a speech too."

Minor problems of racism even arose here: I recorded in a letter of 7th September 1952: "Must now go to a Club meeting which has been called to clear up a local cause celebre - a young African Administrative Assistant in the Public Works Department has twice been refused Club membership by voting in the committee." I did not record the result I hope that he was granted membership. The membership till then was, of course, entirely European.

The ramifications of the census for which I had been responsible in Sokoto Province seemed at last to be coming to an end. The population of the whole of Northern Nigeria totalled 16,800,000 an increase of 20% over what it had previously been thought to be. I recorded: "Census having what I really think are its final flings I've nailed (the record sheets of ) all bar 2 Districts up in boxes but these two are being brutish: full of mistakes and the District Mallam whom I have had brought in 150 miles to sort out the mess he'd originally made of one of them seems so dense that I expect I shall end up doing it myself!"

My next ploy was a week's Mass Adult Education Course in Zaria. I had one false start: I recorded: "I set off from Sokoto but after 12 miles my brakes seized up - the result of over-close adjustment by myself!. .... That involved getting back to Sokoto in a missionary car, getting a mechanic out who did 4 hours work on the car, and then getting back to Sokoto in the evening! So on Saturday I set off at 7.30am, picked up Sarkin Mallamai at Talata Mafara where he had been running a course for Mass Education Instructors and then drove right through to here, 249 miles. Not a hot day so not too exhausting though the road was quite atrocious: 40 miles past Talata Mafara just a series of pot holes which were quite unavoidable. How many springs I have broken I don't know...!"

The course seems to have been rather a non-event. The Chief Adult Education Officer in the Education Department only came back from leave the day before it began and his deputy had apparently made no preparations! However I evidently enjoyed a quiet week in Zaria - what I learnt I did not record! - and then a few days in Kaduna staying with Johny and Alison Wilkinson and seeing friends. I also got off a broken up kit car in the back streets of Zaria for £3 a new windscreen for my kit car: I had evidently damaged mine at some time and since I was to sell the car shortly this was most useful.

So back to Sokoto "after 2 days of pretty hellish driving. Part of one shock absorber came adrift between Zaria and Gusau and I was lucky to get the Railway Motors workshop (in Gusau) to put it back on again with a pretty solid temporary repair. Part of the worst stretch between Mai Inchi and Talata Mafara had already been graded by Colonial Development Corporation mechanical graders so was much improved but it was not the worst bit of all where the pot holes have been measured at 10 inches deep!"

There had been progress in Sokoto City while I was away. Rex Niven, acting Lieutenant Governor of the North, with the Civil Secretary (Leslie Goble) and the Sardauna of Sokoto, Minister of Public Works had all been up for the ceremonial opening of the Sokoto Urban Water Supply. This must have been the first piped water supply, replacing or at least supplementing water from wells or the river.

For me it was evidently back to hard work! I reported: "I have landed another vile job - the "Unallocated Store", a technical term describing the method of accounting for the stuff in it. It is the main building and engineering stores for Sokoto Native Authority (i.e. the whole Emirate) - it even includes two coffins and anti-locust powder! The accounting has got into a mess and the first thing to do is 12 days hard labour checking what is actually there - weighing nails, counting sheets of glass, axes, measuring rolls of canvas, etc. After that we have an Auditor (i.e. a member of the Government Audit Dept.) coming who will check that the accounting procedures laid down by me - based on Financial Memoranda (which I had redrafted on my previous tour in Kaduna Secretariat) is ok! Hell of a do. I'm determined then to go to bush!" I apparently survived this labour of Hercules and I hope that the order which I hope I created lasted for some time and that the auditor approved my accounting procedures.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Emir of Argungu
I continued to see my friends. I reported" "Chris Hanson-Smith rode 25 miles into Argungu this morning and then drove the 60 miles up here - no breakfast, no lunch! So he had 4 (African, i.e. minute) boiled eggs and bread and cheese for tea and is coming to dinner! I've ordered it to be enough for 3 men - 2 for him!"

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Council Chamber
I recorded a last mention of the great census: "The one District which didn't do its Census properly and had to be recounted got an increase of 30% on its recount! Had been 40,000 and went up to 61,000. Something must have gone very wrong the first time. The District Head is an incredibly idle but rather charming old fool! A brother (half) of the Sultan."

My miscellaneous duties continued. I recorded: "On Wednesday I go down to Gusau to show a man from Kaduna the phosphate fertiliser in store there. Then I reckon to have a trip up north to check up on Mass Education classes there and incidentally to buy corn - that being the best part of the country for it, i.e. where you get it cheapest. The object is to buy in bulk enough to last a year! About £12 worth." This corn of course was to feed my pony, Pride. "This is also the time to buy bundles of grass and the green tops of groundnut plants - the leaves - and to stack them for use through the dry season, i.e. till August next year. They have to be stacked off the ground or else the (white) ants get at them. On frames built for the purpose, on the garage, etc. Anywhere with a flat roof."

I seem to have done (or may be only contemplated doing!) a trade in snake skins: I recorded:" Are snake skins - python etc. - any use? Can you get bags, etc. made out of them at all easily? They are sometimes pretty cheap here and might make presents if useful." Later "I should think a snakeskin big enough for a pair of shoes would cost 5/- to 7/-. That is only native tanned of course." I seem to have supplied some for later I recorded that "Nancy wants to get a belt made of one ....... She has had it dyed red ....... and it has come through the curing process o.k. A Courtauld relation got it done". However there does not seem to be any further mention in any letters of further trade!

Elsewhere one potentially disastrous saga had a happy ending. John Williams, a D.O. with whom I shared a house for the last weeks of my tour in Kaduna, was walking back to his house in Vola in Adamawa Province in the dark and was bitten on the leg by a small venomous snake and as a result developed severe haemophilia, dangerously life threatening. He was flown to Jos Hospital and survived. I did hear it said that the Doctor in charge saw him on a day of Jos Races and said that if he was still alive when he (the doctor) came back from the races he would pull through. He was and he did. About now (October 1952) I heard that he had gone home on leave to recuperate.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Dr Nicholson House
Now began what was one of my most enjoyable periods of my time in Northern Nigeria. In early November 1952 I was posted to be D.O. in charge of Argungu Division, based at the town of Argungu. I recorded: "My main bit of news ... is that in 10 days time I go down to Argungu to be D.O. there which is rather fun. Quite a job as it has a First Class Chief (only 12 in the Northen Provinces) and a most dishonest one at that! So politics locally are quite exciting. It will be great fun to have my own show ...... The "company" at Argungu is a doctor and a (European) nurse: the doctor is there but no nurse yet. The doctor who is coming shortly is a very nice man called Nicholson whom I've met in Katsina. Very good at polo - but no polo at Argungu! We'll have to go in for tent pegging! And we are only 30 miles from the cheerful crowd at Birnin Kebbi. There is no D.O. at Argungu at the moment but Stanley Pollard who was the last D.O. is now D.O. Provincial Office (in Sokoto) and has all the secret files with him here: so I am busy learning all the tricky points of who loves whom and who fights whom!"

The logistics of moving to Argungu were put in train. I recorded: "I go down to Argungu on Tuesday if their (i.e. Argungu Emirate Native Authority) lorry comes to take my loads down. It was said to be "off the road" last week. Packing in progress but Abetse seems to have got most of it well under control". Throughout my time in Nigeria I used for packing most of my goods and chattels the wooden boxes which Griffiths Macalister, London colonial outfitters, had supplied when I first went out. As necessary the Government Public Works Dept. made up more. Further arrangements included: "Pride (my pony) waits for a last game of polo tomorrow evening and then follows me down taking four or five days. My house down there is brand new and apparently is yellow-washed with green windows and doors. Sounds very choice! And a long view to the N.West across the Sokoto river valley." It was a long low bungalow built of concrete blocks with a corrugated iron roof, later covered with thatch for coolness, and a verandah all round.

When I moved down to Argungu, Stanley Pollard evidently came down also to show me round and, as it were, hand over the Division to me. Having done so he returned to Sokoto and reported that he had "spoken loudly, clearly and distinctly to Bob Longmore who hadn't heard a word I said!" However he nevertheless was content to leave me in sole command!

Pride, the pony, duly arrived with Gayya, his "horse boy" (Le. groom) having trekked gently down in five days. One problem was that there was no stable .. However I found that in the Government estimates for Argungu division was a sum of money under the heading "Minor Works". There didn't appear to be any minor works planned so I duly spent some of it on a round mud block stable with a thatched roof and a house for Gayya. I remember I had the stable doorway and the feed bin (of concrete over mud blocks) carefully angled so that I could see Pride being fed from my breakfast table! Only much later did I discover that the Minor Works money had in fact been intended for some totally different object! I don't think that anyone discovered my misappropriation! Anyway, a stable for the D.O.'s horse was a totally reasonable requirement!

I also recorded on 9th November 1952 that "my gun barrels arrived yesterday." That brought to an end a long running saga which started with an evening shooting trip up a rocky hill near Gusau after bush fowl (without success so far as I remember) with, I think, an ADO called Peter Pearless in February or March. Coming down I just tapped the Damascus barrels of my "Army and Navy Co-operative Wholesale Society" gun (made by Webley and Scott, Birmingham and given to me by my uncle Bob (Brigadier R.T., D.S.O.) Hammick) on a hard rock face: result, a quite severe dent on one barrel. After long delays getting appropriate papers to permit export and subsequent reimport I sent it back to Jefferies, the gun shop in Salisbury, for repair. They arranged this and the barrels were back in the hands of the Customs in Lagos by 12th October when I recorded: "I am having a struggle with getting them through the Customs who are the most obstructive department in this country!" I had at last succeeded, just in time for the main shooting season.

I then got to work. I recorded: "I'm spending 10 days in the station getting settled in and shall then get out on tour, probably chasing cattle to discover whether they've paid their cattle tax."

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Mahommadu Mijimbira
To help me I had a very good head Government Messenger, Mallam Mahommadu Mijimbira. He was a fine looking man who had first joined the Government service in 1909 and was awarded the Coronation Medal later in 1952. He was a mine of information about the various local factions and goings on.

The people of Argungu Emirate were the Kebbawa, a sub-tribe of the generic Hausa population. One third of the tribe were in British territory in Argungu Division: the other two thirds were over the international border in French Niger. This resulted from how the European nations had divided up this part of Africa into "spheres of influence" by the Treaty of Berlin of 1875. The boundary was a more or less straight line on the map bearing no relation to any physical features on the ground. The French colonial system was quite different from ours: where as we were aiming to make "better Africans out of Africans" (and learnt Hausa so as to talk to them in their own language) the French Chef de Circle (or D.0.) expected the Africans to talk French to him and was trying to turn Africans into Frenchmen. The Emir to whom all the Kebbawa looked for religious guidance and Argungu the traditional capital of the tribe were, of course, in British territory. I always heard that there was in effect, a waiting list of French Kebbawa wanting to migrate into British territory when land became available.

The leading figures in the Emirate were the Emir, Mallam (the polite term for an educated person) Sama'iJa, not a very satisfactory character and subsequently "persuaded" to "resign", and his Council: this consisted of M. Mohammadu Modi, Chief Alkali, a "little" man in every sense and under the Emir's thumb, M. Umoru, Madawaki, the most upright member and opposed to the Emir, M. Ibrahim, Magajin Gari, about whom I remember little, and M. Muhammadu Muza again, I think, opposed to the Emir and who succeeded him when he "resigned". Of these the most effective figure in every way was the Madawaki.

I spent a week making myself familiar with the various Native Administration departments and catching up with papers in my own office. With my interest in Native Treasury matters I remember spending some time checking the financial etc., position. One of the things which I found was that they were £1,200 short of the budgeted figure for Cattle Tax revenue, quite an important amount in the context of their total revenue and anyway a sign of inefficiency. More important it was now mid-November and the period during which cattle tax could be collected ended on 30th November. Something had to be done.

The basis of the Cattle Tax or Jangali as it was called in Hausa was as follows. The main population, the Hausawa or, in the case of Argungu, Kebbawa lived in towns and villages and thus had a fixed place of abode. They were taxed by a poll tax or Haraji at so much per head. However there were then a nomadic tribe the Fulani or, in their own language, the Fulbe: having no fixed place of abode they could not be taxed by the poll tax or haraji. The Fulani were cattle owners: they lived in the natural, i.e. unfarmed, bush areas folloyving the grazing and water as their herds of cattle required. Their cattle were their pride and joy and their reason for living. A well to do Fulani family would own several hundred head.

The cattle were all, or at any rate mostly, the humped Zebu common in many parts of Africa. Through the rainy season the hump would build up solidity and stand up above the animal's withers. During the dry season it would gradually shrink until it hung down flaccid over the animal's side. The Fulani lived mainly on what their cattle produced, milk, a form of cheese and meat and they sold the milk, cheese and meat in the town and village markets. The cattle were their only source of income and wealth. Since it was not possible to collect Haraji from them it was logical to collect Jangali, a tax calculated at so much per head of cattle: in my time it was 3/6d per head per year. But collecting it was another matter! A Fulani elder would admit to having so many head: but everyone would suspect that he had quite a few more! It was tax evasion on a grand scale! And it was practiced as a cheerful game according to known rules.

Collecting Jangali was the responsibility of the District and Village Heads. As I have said, the Fulani would admit to having so many cattle and pay Jangali accordingly but if it was thought that they had more these extra cattle had to be found and the extra Jangali collected. This operation would be organised and carried out by the District and Village Heads but sometimes it became necessary for the District Officer to supervise it by way of encouragement. This I was now to do.

I recorded: "I've now been out on tour a whole week, first out in Arewa Yamma - North West-District away on the French border and now in Gulma District down on the edge of the Argungu River Valley about 12 miles south of Argungu and on the western bank, all after cattle and cattle tax."

The drill was basically this. In the evening there would be a meeting of District Head, Village Head, a representative of the Emir, myself and Mijimbira my Government Messenger: we would discuss which area of bush we would search the next morning and decide, say, to go out to the south and do a sweep through the area to the west. We would then disperse to our suppers. There might then be messages passed between us as there was the possibility that our discussions had been overheard or leaked: the question was whether we would, as it were, double cross the Fulani and in fact go out to the north and sweep to the east - or whether we should double double cross them and go as originally planned. As far as I remember I left that jockeying to them!

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Pride
The next morning up at 5 am or so, about an hour or so before dawn, and onto my pony Pride. Then I remember that we rode out of the village through the surrounding small farms and up into the bush. A retainer of the Village Head led the way in the dark with a small hurricane lamp. We were quite a posse: District Head and a retainer or two, Village Head and ditto, two N.A. mounted police and two scribes (clerks) to record the details and perhaps collect some tax, myself and Mijimbira, my Government Messenger and probably a representative of the Emir from Argungu, all mounted and moving quietly. I, of course, was completely in their hands as to where we were going. We would then ride quietly through the bush until the dawn. As the sun came up, roughly 6am to 6.30am, we all stopped and listened. Here I, of course, being deaf was pretty useless! What everyone was listening for was the lowing of cattle as the sun came up. Suddenly one person would point questioningly in a particular direction: another would agree. We then had an exciting helterskelter gallop through the bush on the line of the sound, looking for the cattle which they had heard. I remember that having galloped a mile or so we came upon a clearing in the bush with a rough zariba of cut down trees and bushes around it and inside a hundred or so cattle and some sleepy Fulani herd boys woken up rather rudely, properly caught out! We had found them before they moved out to graze. If they had heard us coming they would have broken open the zariba and stampeded the cattle: we would then have had the difficult job of rounding them up!

There was then a bit of a pause while the herd boys sorted the herd into groups if the cattle belonged to more than one owner. When that was done we left one policeman and one scribe to note down the owners of each group and the numbers in each group so that the jangali payable could be assessed. The rest of us cantered on through the bush hoping to find another herd when the process would be repeated. By 9 or 10am we would have covered enough ground and so would ride back to base arriving about 11 am for a shave, wash and breakfast. On the Thursday of my week out, however, I was not back until after 2pm. That was because before I came out on tour I had stayed a night in Birnin Kebbi, headquarters of Gwandu Division, and arranged with Imbert Bourdillon, the ADO there, that on that day we would each do a Jangali drive along the border of Gwandu and Argungu Divisions, in my case in Gulma District. We would then meet at a certain village near the border and exchange information and results. So on that day when we were finishing our drive we did not go directly back to base but to our planned meeting place. I was rather surprised when Mijimbira led me to a grove of trees with no village in sight. On my querying this I was assured that this was where Imbert B. would come. It was explained that years ago the village had been here but for some good reason (? a dried up well) it had moved over the hill out of sight. In fact I believe that it had moved twice. So I waited with some doubts but sure enough in twenty minutes or so up cantered Imbert B. with his Government Messenger and others. We then had a cheerful meeting and dispersed. I recorded: "We weren't back till 2pm - rather tired and very sore! Quite hard going but fun and I'm feeling very fit now after much riding. Pride (my pony) going quite well though not as hard as the country horses who are used to this trekking, all at a "hound trot". Some of the local horses were trained to triple, a trot with the forelegs and a slow canter with the hind legs. I have ridden at a triple and it was rather comfortable when one was accustomed to it.

Later I recorded: "We didn't really get a lot of cattle but we caught one Village Head embezzling about £49: he has not been tried yet but I can't see how he can get off!" £49 was quite a large sum to that sort of official in those days. I do not record whether my confidence in the outcome of any case against him was justified! I was obviously out on tour again because I started one letter home: "I got back here (Argungu) yesterday morning - rode in from Augi 14 miles away. A pleasant ride down the fadama - the flood plains in the valleyamong palm trees and rice fields and ending up with swimming the horses across the river down below my house while we came over in canoes. Remarkably there don't appear to be too many files waiting for me on my office table and as tomorrow (Monday) is a public holiday for some Mahommedan reason I shall have a quiet morning to attend to them."

There was the occasional cri-de-coeur home: "Socks! Abetse tells me they are wearing out. Size 11 1/2 please! Can you help. Not a hope here!" But on other occasions better: "My new mosquito boots (the soft calf length leather boots which one put on in the evening to stop the mosquitoes biting ones legs) came and were sent out to me - a good thing as there are a lot of mosquitoes here - I am only 1/2 mile from water"! Even so there were frustrations: "I've had a box of orange and lemon squash waiting for despatch on the railway from the factory in Abeokuta near Lagos for 3 months now (written 30th November 1952) and the manager tells me that the railway there won't accept it on the grounds that the road from Gusau to Sokoto over which the Railway Motors run was closed! (This was the main and only main road into Sokoto and Nigerian Railways ran a service of incredibly old Albion lorries from Gusau which was the rail head for Sokoto). It was closed for a few days at the beginning of September to mend a bridge but not since! i.e. some clerk never sent the message saying it was open again."

It was now early December and Christmas loomed ahead. I recorded: "I have got a lot of Christmas cards from the Gaskiya Corporation at Zaria (a government run printing and publishing organisation = "gaskiya" meant "truth" and was the title of the government newspaper which it published and it also did all government printing. Not so nice as the ones I had two years ago. I have sent off some but most are still to do - 2nd class Air Mail at 4d a time!" Sadly I have no recollection what form the cards took.

Meanwhile there was plenty to do. On 5th December I was in to Sokoto for the week-end. I recorded in a letter from Sokoto: "I came in here on Friday evening to do various things - the main one being to consult the Police Officer (the Superintendent of Nigeria Police who was stationed in Sokoto and who supervised the four Emirate police forces, there being so far as I recall only one detachment of the government Nigeria Police in the Province at Gusau) about a case against a District Head in Argungu: embezzlement alleged by the Emir and disagreed with by certain members of his Council, so to be tried before the superior Magistrate at Zaria to get an answer. But we have to produce the case. (Zaria being some 200 miles away would ensure that local bias would not apply since this was evidently a case arising from the local politics in Argungu.) I have also discussed various things with the Resident and have to see where I can order various N.A. (Native Administration) stores - not least 420 bags of cement for the N.A." Only by making use of a visit like this could one discover, for example, which of the trading company depots in Sokoto had a stock of what one wanted. There was no telephone available to the Native Authority in Argungu and letters went by the mail lorry, I think twice a week. There was a telephone line between the Provincial Office in Sokoto and my office in Argungu: this was a single wire on poles with earth return: if I wanted to speak to the Provincial Office I churned a handle at my end which brought the system to life and we then shouted extremely loudly in order to be heard the other end. It was not a satisfactory means of communication and not much used!

So back to Argungu on the Tuesday, leaving Sokoto at 6am for a cool morning drive. Since the road to Argungu ran mostly due west and so directly into the setting sun an evening drive back was to be avoided. As I have said earlier, the roads were made of laterite, decomposed ironstone forming a fine gravel. They were single track and corrugated when more than the odd vehicle passed along them. The more traffic the deeper the corrugations which ran across the road at right angles to the line of the road. Your car juddered severely until you reached a speed of 30 m.p.h. or so. There were gangs of about six or seven road labourers under a headman, one gang every five miles or so: each day two of them pulled a broad arrow shaped brush about 7 or so feet wide with bristles about a foot long over the whole length of their section. This brushed the loose laterite back into the longitudinal hollows formed by the vehicles' wheels and smoothed out the corrugations.

Having the roads made of laterite meant that, except when it rained, one travelled in a cloud of brown dust, not really very pleasant. The only good point about it was that it enabled you to see an approaching vehicle some distance ahead and gave you time to get to the side in time to let it pass - and to shut the car window to keep out its dust!

Having got back to Argungu I recorded that: "life has been very full. Meetings of committees, the Doctor in with a report of suspected yellow fever 100 miles south, the Textile Officer in with a new way of getting the N.A.'s money back from some weavers who were trained (under some N.A. scheme) and now do nothing, the Tobacco Company chap saying his clerk has stolen a chair of the Company's and can a Search Warrant be given and his house searched - with the result that his house was found to contain the chair! .... One way and another there is a lot to do. All of which is great fun!"

Life continued full in the weeks leading up to Christmas. I recorded on 20th December: "A full week here. Discussions on the increases in N.A. salaries and other things on Monday and Tuesday. To Gwotoma, 15 miles towards Birnin Kebbi on Wednesday where I stayed the night. John Kitching, the Irrigation Engineer, joined me there and in the morning we walked round the embryo irrigation scheme there. The channels were dug earlier this year and have not been used yet. After a late breakfast John K. went on to Birnin Kebbi and I came back to Argungu, looking at a citrus orchard and some market construction at Alwasa en route - neither very satisfactory! Friday morning I started what promises to be a rather long court case and later in the morning the Regional (i.e. Northern Nigerian) Minister of Health, Mallam Yahaya lIorin, came. A tour of inspection in the town, a meeting with the Emir and Council and in the evening a public meeting." We were in fact threatened with a deluge of the manya manya, the great and good because the Minister was to be followed in the next week by H.H. the Lieutenant Governor, Sir Bryan Sharwood-Smith.

Bearing in mind that the Argungu bush was mostly bone dry and growing poor quality grass and low scrub, I am not surprised that a citrus orchard was "not very satisfactory". Even the fadama, the flat plain bordering the river, was in the dry season pretty barren. An irrigation scheme was much more the form.

The court case which I mention must, I think, have been the case of alleged embezzlement by a District Head which the Emir was pressing and some of his Council disputing. Although I was myself, by virtue of being an Administrative Officer, a magistrate with powers of, I think, one year's imprisonment I do not remember ever having to sit as one at Argungu. All the local inhabitants were subject to Sharia law administered by the Alkalai, the Moslem judges, and the Emir himself. The only cases with which I would have been involved in trying would have been if a non-native, ego from the Gold Coast etc., was charged with some offence. The work with which I would have been involved in this case of the District Head would have been interviewing witnesses and recording their statements and assembling exhibits such as tax receipts, treasury vouchers,etc. The results of my labours I would then have passed to the Nigeria Police superintendent at Sokoto who would have arranged the presentation before the stipendiary Magistrate from Zaria.

Evening relaxation was often a ride out round the neighbouring farms on my pony, Pride. The local farms were small size plots of maize, millet, pumpkins, indigo (the blue dye), ground nuts (peanuts), etc : plots might be a few hundred or so yards square. By now, December, the tall crops had been cut so the views had opened up.

I have one particular recollection which has stayed with me. I had noticed that a flock of 40 or so Crowned Cranes, big black and white heron like birds with a "crown" of yellow "bristles" on their heads and a wing span of ? six feet or so, flighted up from the river valley each evening, quite often directly over my house. I tracked them when out riding to the area of farmland where they fed. Then one evening I got out to that area before they arrived and waited quietly on my pony under a small clump of trees. Sure enough, right on time they glided in and landed perhaps 100 yards away quite oblivious of my presence. They were most handsome and elegant birds. One of the battalions of the Nigeria Regiment had a tame one as its mascot. I watched them feeding elegantly, stretching their long necks to graze at ground level for quite some time before riding off quietly in the other direction: a very pleasant moment the memory of which has remained with me.

We now had to prepare for H.H.'s visit. The plan was that on the Monday the party, H.H., the Resident, I think Lady Sharwood-Smith and St. Elmo Nelson, an Australian A.D.O. who was H.H.'s Private Secretary would have breakfast with me en route from Sokoto to Birnin Kebbi where H.H. was to open formally a new hospital. They were to stay that night in Birnin Kebbi and then stay the Tuesday night in Argungu, H.H. and Lady Sharwood-Smith in the Rest House and St Elmo Nelson with me. Then on the Wednesday they were to return to Sokoto. So I had a meeting with the Emir to arrange details of what H.H. was to see and for a meeting with him and his Council. Then I went out with the Magajin Gari, one of the Emir's councillors who was keen on his shooting, in the evening to Felende, south of Argungu "to recce a place to take H.H. duck shooting on the Tuesday ...... We had a pleasant walk and found two pools with quite a lot of duck on them."

In the event H.H.'s tour became a flying visit. The party was only H.H., the Resident and the P.S.: they duly had breakfast on their way to Birnin Kebbi but on the Tuesday H.H. wanted to get back to Sokoto where his wife was not feeling well after some trouble with having a tooth out. So the party called in the morning and "had a talk with the Emir and Council and gave them a pretty good rocket - and then coffee and sandwiches provided by me about 12 and then on to Sokoto." So no duck shoot and no overnight stay.

The "rocket" delivered by H.H. was in effect a final warning to the Emir,. dishonest and oppressive, to mend his ways. In the Council there was on one (dishonest) side the Emir and the Chief Alkali, a little man in every way I and under the Emir's thumb, and on the other the Madawaki, M.Muhammadu Muza and, I think, the Magajin Gari. I think that it was mainly the influence of the Madawaki, a man of integrity, who kept the N.A. functioning as well as it I did.

Now it was Christmas and we from the out stations gathered in Sokoto. I and I Imbert Bourdillon, the ADO at Birnin Kebbi, stayed with Christopher Hanson- Smith who, based in Sokoto, was rapidly becoming an expert on the Fulani, the nomadic cattle owning tribe. I recorded: "What a good thing a Sokoto Christmas only comes but once a year! From the evening we arrived till yesterday evening (i.e. 28th December) was one continual round of parties I with a paper chase (mounted) and two evenings after duck thrown in! We drank here and drank there and ate here and ate there and seldom got to bed before 2! I had turkey and Christmas pudding 5 times in 2 1/2 days!" Those in Sokoto had got up a pantomime and I recorded that "Christopher H.S. was very handsome as Prince Charming." Clearly much fun was had by all.

The duck shoots involved a party of us driving out some miles from Sokoto into the valley of the Sokoto River where there were the odd small lake (Hausa tafki). We would spread out round one or two of these lakes depending on size and find a bit of cover in reeds or a bush. The quarry here were mostly the resident white faced whistling tree duck (Hausa wishi wishi). Bags were never very large: on the two occasion that we went out over Christmas I recorded that on one occasion I drew a good place and shot four duck but on the other the birds flew very high and I only winged one which got away under water. Hardly anyone had a retrieving dog - too high a risk of a dog being bitten by a snake or getting rabies so few people had any kind of dog. Retrieving was done by small boys from the local village who always appeared hoping to earn a penny or two. Our shoots were normally in the late afternoon and evening, in effect an evening flight. Once a shot was fired the duck would keep circling, and coming back into the lake. As I have said the duck were mostly the local wishi wishi: I don't recall that we had many, if any, of the migratory duck, teal, garganey, pintail, knob nose geese, that I later saw near Nguru, 100 miles or so north east of Kano.

So back to Argungu. I recorded: "I was quite glad to get back here on Monday after the Christmas gaiety. Couldn't have stood any more parties!" However I was myself entertaining although not very efficiently: I recorded: "On Friday I got back from the office at 4pm, 1 1/2 hours late for lunch (office hours when in the station were 8am to 2pm), to find Diana Titley from Birnin Kebbi to whom I'd promised lunch - and forgotten. She had come late and perhaps it was better that I should be later than that she should have found me having already had my lunch !I" She and Jean Kay who later married John Matthew, another A.D.O. who had been on our our course, were Lady Education Officers and ran a girl's secondary school at Birnin Kebbi. I was evidently forgiven as we continued to meet on other occasions.

I recorded why I was so late: "I had been delayed taking statements from a couple of men who were accusing the Emir of Forced Labour and Wrongful Imprisonment! The father had been put in prison to make the son work on repairing the Emir's private mosque!! I only hope that I can prove it! But that is always so difficult." This was another example of the Emir's misbehaviour but at least they had the courage to complain about it. The case against the Emir was building up.

There was then more sport at the week-end. This time it was a foray with some of the people of Birnin Kebbi. We met at Gwotomo, a village half way between Argungu and Birnin Kebbi, had a picnic lunch and then went after the duck on some local lakes. I have no record of the bag. The original plan involved the five of them coming on to Argungu for dinner afterwards when we would have sat down eight as Doctor Nicholson and his wife who were based with me at Argungu had not met them and were coming too. But the day before the M.O. from Birnin Kebbi called in to say that after all the B.K. lot would not come on to dinner: I had been a little surprised as it would mean a 30 mile drive back in the dark over the roughish sandy road. However the duck shoot and picnic were still very much on.

For the last few months I had been considering buying a new vehicle. My Canadian Ford V8 pickup which I had bought second hand from Courtney Gidley when I was in Kaduna in the middle of 1950 had done me very well but was giving trouble - petrol stoppages, flat battery etc. - and showing its age. Possibilities were an American Chevrolet kit car or an English Morris Commercial one. The Chevrolet more comfortable, more expensive and heavier on petrol : the Morris Commercial a bit like a builder's lorry, a bit cheaper and more economical on petrol. I eventually decided on the Morris Commercial at £700 and was now waiting for it to be available for collection in Lagos. Since I would be selling the Ford I was trying to avoid damaging it meanwhile.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
En Route to Kamba
So when I then went out on tour, this time to Kamba in Dendi District, 100 miles south of Argungu near the Niger and only 3 miles from the French border, I went in an N.A. kit car and left my car at home. The N.A. kit car was fairly basic, a Bedford 1 ton open truck with, of course, its African driver.

I recorded: "I set off on Thursday in the N.A. kit car and got to Kamba for lunch, the District H.Q. about 3 miles from the French border and on the main trade route into French territory north of the Niger in these parts. A large market. Some American missionaries live there and asked me to dinner. I looked round the town and dispensary, checked the Native Court books, etc."

Our route down started by going down through Birnin Kebbi on the "main" road and then off south west on lesser roads, mostly still in Gwandu Division. We crossed the Sokoto (or Argungu) River at Bunza and I have photos of the vehicle ferry. The river was 100 to 120 yards wide: the ferry was a flat platform set across the middle of three canoes, the platform being just big enough to take the kit car which was driven on up a ramp. We, i.e. me, Mijimbira my Government Messenger, the driver, my boys, then piled on and stood around the kit car. The whole affair was then poled or paddled across to the other bank. The canoes were 12 to 15 feet long with a beam of perhaps 3 feet: there were, needless to say, no sides or hand rails to the vehicle platform. I had used similar ferries at, for example, Katsina Ala in Tiv and over the river at Argungu itself so had complete faith in the arrangements!

The missionaries in a place like Kamba led a very remote and cut off life. Visitors like me were very infrequent. Their work would have been medical and educational as under the terms of treaties made between Colonel (later Lord) Lugard and the Emirs and other chiefs when we took over Northern Nigeria in the first years of the 20th century there was to be no proselytising by Christian missionaries: in other words no attempt to convert the moslem population.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Off to Frontier
The next day we, that is the Madawaki who had also come down from Argungu, Sarkin Shika the District Head of Kamba District, myself and Mijimbira and no doubt a few others, rode to the French border crossing doing a reconnaissance for a new road. I was lent a local horse as there was no point in bringing my own pony, Pride, all that way for only two days riding. The country down there would have been flat and, being so near the Niger, I probably very fertile so that road construction would have been fairly easy though finding good laterite with which to surface it may have been difficult.

The next day I moved again. I recorded: "Then next day to Dole Kaina, recceing another new road. Dole Kaina is a small canoe port on the bank of the Niger, 100 yards from the French border. A lot of local imports and exports come in and out and at present all goes by camel or donkey." Hence the need for a road to enable motor vehicles to get there. That evening I had "a pleasant but unsuccessful trip in a canoe (out on the Niger) after duck - too much water to get near any duck but it was a lovely trip out on the Niger in the evening."

The next day, Saturday "we sailed down the Niger in a canoe to Buma, a pleasant three hours trip". I was clearly impressed by the Niger: I recorded: "It certainly is a big river: the main channel 600 yards wide and each side of that up to 3 miles of waterlogged marsh." Buma was yet another village on or near the north bank of the river, and there I stayed the night.

The next day we left the river: I recorded: "18 miles today, ok on a horse but not quite so easy for the boys and the carriers on foot." This was written from Fanna in Dendi District which, like Kamba District was right down at the south end of the Emirate, 100 odd miles from Argungu. I recorded: "I had a good strong local horse - the nearer you get to the French border the better the horses seem to be!" I have no explanation for that: possibly the grazing was better being down in the Niger valley and the land generally more fertile.

On the Monday we went back to Kamba "over a pretty well unmade road but one which we want to improve." The kit car had got to Fanna to meet us - "much to our relief"! So we were now motorised again. I doubt if we would have exceeded 20 miles an hour: the road would have been a sandy track mostly used by horses, donkeys and people on foot: the kit car itself was not built for speed! It would have been well laden: driver, myself, Mijimbira in the front: my two boys, probably a servant of Mijimbira, all my camp kit, office and money boxes, cooks and food boxes and Mijimbira's and the drivers bits and pieces, all on the back: springs well tested on the rough road.

Then on the Tuesday back to Argungu "to the pile of files which will no doubt be waiting for me! And the mail which comes in on Tuesday evening!"

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Argungu House
Back at Argungu one bad and several good things came my way. I recorded: "Bad shock yesterday - a letter saying the price of the car (the new Morris Commercial truck) is £800, not £700 as in the telegram which I had. I fear that it is more likely to be a mistake in the telegram than the letter ... ... Anyway it is still worth it at £800." Then "Thank you for 4 pairs of socks. Abetse very pleased as he said he had darned until he was tired!" Then even the Public Works Department contributed: "The proper beds for this house have now arrived! Luxury after my camp bed though needless to say I sleep very soundly on that." That was the sort of problem which could arise if you were the first occupant of a brand new house.

Finally: "I moved into my new office on Wednesday in the new stone built building out of the old mud building which had done duty for 15 years and had been built many years before that. The new one is cleaner, airier and has glass in the windows - the first building built by the Native Authority to do so! The normal thing is wooden shutters. The only trouble is that only about two of the new offices - of which mine is one needless to say! - have glass in yet as the first lot broke in transit before it got here! That is the penalty of being 200 miles of bad roads from railhead." On the road from railhead at Gusau to Sokoto the corrugations were fearsome and the railway road services lorries old and rather primitive Albions.

One curiosity of the old D.O.'s house at Argungu, which had now become a Rest House for visitors on tour, was the bathroom: this was at one end of the house and therefore had an outside wall: the bath, made in situ out of fairly, but only fairly, smooth concrete, was against this outside wall: in the wall at the level of the top of the side of the bath against the outside wall was a hatch closed by a wooden door about 2 ft by 1 ft high which could be opened from outside. This arrangement had apparently been conceived by some previous D.O. so that the office messenger could bring files, etc., from the office and deliver them through the hatch to the D.O. who, while sitting and keeping cool in his bath, could read his files and draft his replies, etc.! Nothing if not practical, particularly as temperatures in Argungu could reach, I seem to remember, 105 c or more. However since the atmosphere in the hot periods was so bone dry this heat was not so unbearable as might be thought. Average annual rainfall was around 25 inches, all within 2 1/2 to 3 months.

Meanwhile I recorded (18th January 1953): "A nice' cool blustery day today without too much sand blowing: yesterday visibility was down to a mile. It is the time of year for the harmattan, the sand wind." This blew off the Sahara from the north and sent clouds of fine, fine sand along resulting in a fog effect. Fine dust everywhere but at least it brought some coolness.

An attempt at large scale modern mechanised agriculture now reached Argungu. This was a scheme for growing rice on a fairly large scale in the fadama, the flood plain, of the Argungu River. 12 vast 07 type Caterpillar tractors with African drivers with European supervision moved in to Gulma south of Argungu on 25th January 1953. There were initial difficulties: I recorded on 25th January: "Quite a long day today even though Sunday. A point cropped up about certain ploughing areas near Gulma which a personal visit was the best way to settle, particularly as the Resident reckoned it should not have arisen in the first place! So yesterday afternoon I went out to Gulma with the Madawaki and stayed the night there. This morning we were out for three hours on horses in the ploughing areas - very pleasant and, as the points were cleared up easily, no strain. Home to lunch."

The rice scheme was, I think, only a limited success. The soil was very light and, when ploughed quite deep with these vast tractors pulling five or six furrow ploughs, much of the soil blew away. Shades of the American dust bowls on the prairies.

That evening sport took over, albeit not successfully: I recorded: "This evening I went out shooting but got nothing though four times I had a shot at a goose, two of them point blank or nearly so! Very humbling. Then to crown it all my headlights failed coming back so I drove 4 miles back on my Sidelights! Luckily there was a moon, the road was a sandy track and I knew it well! But not helpful!" And of course no other traffic of any kind.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Argungu Fishing Festival
We now came to the busiest week of the year in Argungu, the week of the Argungu Fishing Festival, the last week in January 1953. The main feature was the ceremonial opening by the Emir of fishing on the Argungu River: this was supported by sports, an agricultural show and horse, donkey and camel races. It was also the occasion for the quarterly meeting of the Emirate Outer Council consisting of the District Heads some Village Heads and some villagers from all the Districts of the Emirate: this body met to discuss matters of policy and matters raised by the various District Councils.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Argungu Fishing Festival
This year the week was complicated by a visit by the Governor of all Nigeria, Sir John Macpherson, to see the Fishing Festival, the official opening of the new Senior Primary School by the Director of Education of the Northern Region and the visit of a film crew to film the Fishing Festival for incorporation in a film being made in Uganda about big game poaching called, luckily, "West of Zanzibar"!

The week attracted a great many visitors and therefore I had much entertaining to do. However help was at hand as I recorded: "Altogether quite a show: but at least we shan't lack food as the Emir sent up to me this evening 20 guinea fowl, 150 eggs and tomatoes and onions!" I had eventually three guests staying with me: Stewart Johnston, an A.D.O. from Sokoto doing the jobs which I had done earlier (Adult Education, etc.), Christopher HansonSmith, the A.D.O. dealing with the Fulani (the cattle owning tribe) in the Province and Guy Haslewood, a D.O. from Bornu who was involved in the film: all great fun.

The week started quietly: Stewart Johnson arrived on the Monday and I recorded that: "there were an hour or so's dancing, boxing, drumming, etc. in the town. Tuesday much the same except that the film people arrived and I took them round the place where the Festival is held and then to see the Emir."

This film, West of Zanzibar, starred Richard Todd, a well known film star of the time, as an intrepid white hunter who got involved in pursuing local big game poachers. Someone told the producer about the Argungu Fishing Festival and it was decided to incorporate in the film a sequence in which the poachers in one canoe were pursued down a river by the white hunter in another: the pursuit would come round a bend in the river upon the Fishing Festival which of course meant that the river was filled with the fishermen taking part in the Festival: into this crowd the poachers disappeared in their canoe with the white hunter in hot pursuit in his. All very thrilling!

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Filming the Fishing Festival
The party who arrived to do the filming and who stayed in the rest house (though who produced their camping equipment, servants, etc. I never knew!) were Terry Bishop, the Director from Ealing Studios who were making the film, Dave Mullen, Roscoe Burman and Ray?, all cameramen from South Africa and finally Guy Haslewood, the D.O. from Bornu: someone had decided that he would, when wearing a broad brimmed terai hat and presumably at a little distance, pass muster as a substitute for Richard Todd who was, presumably, too grand and important to come out to the Argungu bush for what was, in any case, going to be only a few moments in the final film.

On Wednesday the week began to get going with "Sports in the evening, mostly schoolboys but including camel and donkey races and a tug of war."

Thursday saw "a form of literacy competition" in the morning: this would have been in connection with the adult education programme which Stewart Johnston was overseeing. In the afternoon was the annual agricultural show. I remember being somewhat nonplusd when made to judge the Camel Class: I did not profess any knowledge of the points of a camel nor of what showed that a camel was top class and healthy! Luckily the other judges were a senior local Mallam and, I think, Desmond Bourke, the Provincial Agricultural Officer or the Provincial Veterinary Officer!

Friday, the Moslem Sabbath, was the great day of the Fishing Festival itself. For me it started with meeting H.E. the Governor, Sir John Macpherson, and the Resident, Tim Johnston and H.E.'s Private Secretary at 8.30 am a mile or so out of the station on the Birnin Kebbi road - they had stayed the night in Birnin Kebbi - and taking them down into the fadama beside the river to see the great big tractors and ploughs working on the Mechanised Rice Scheme. I described the trip out into the fadama as "a rough and bumpy ride"! Presumably it was in my vehicle as I doubt whether the gubernatorial saloon would have been allowed off piste!

Then we came back to breakfast at my house. I have a vivid memory of just avoiding at breakfast what could have been a career-destroying gaffe! I always had porridge and so porridge was served. My hand was just about to go out to offer H. E. the sugar when his hand went out and took the salt! He was, of course, a good Scot and anything but salt on porridge would have been anathema! I fear that it did not change my liking for sugar on mine.

After breakfast we went down to the town - about a mile away - for a formal interview between H.E. and the Emir and Council. My recollection is that this passed off alright: it could perhaps have been otherwise since the Emir himself was not in good odour as we had pretty good evidence already of instances of malpractice and misrule by him. One point of interest was that, at Tim Johnston's suggestion, the Emir had got out for us to see the last surviving suit of quilted cotton, arrow proof armour for horse and rider. Squadrons of mounted warriors wearing this protective armour formed the heavy cavalry in the wars between the moslem empires in the centuries before the British and other Europeans came on the scene. The answer to them, of course, would have been incendiary arrows though whether they were ever used I do not know.

We then went down to the river bank for the Fishing Festival itself. The basis of the Festival was that there was a close season for fishing in the Argungu or Sokoto River. The open fishing season began in January and the Festival was the official opening of it. To open it the Emir mounted a platform on a bluff above the river on the edge of the town and gave a signal: on the signal a large number of the local fishermen plunged into the river, each armed with a large round calabash perhaps 2 1/2 or 3 ft across with a round hole 5 or 6 inches in diameter at the top and one or two pole nets, the pole perhaps six feet long. They waded or swam or floated on their calabash and fished with the nets with a sweeping motion, putting the fish caught into the calabashes through the hole. The main quarry were niger perch, the same fish as the nile perch found in Egypt, the Sudan and East Africa: the Hausa name for them was giwan ruwa = elephant of the river: they grew to considerable size (I have seen a cast of one caught in Lake Albert in East Africa of some 240 Ibs). Here, so far as I know, they did not approach that size but at this festival one of about 40 Ibs was brought up for the Emir and the Governor to see. The stretch of river in which the Festival took place was not otherwise open to fishing by all the many fishermen who took part in the Festival so it was indeed a special occasion.

After the Festival H.E. the Governor and the Resident left and returned to Sokoto and I and the other visitors from Sokoto and Birnin Kebbi returned to my house for lunch. We were about 30 for lunch which our combined staff of my boys and those of my two visitors had laid on using, of course, the 20 guinea fowl and countless eggs etc., kindly sent up by the Emir. I could stay only a short time as I had to go back down to the town with a representative of the Director of Education (The Director himself being ill) to "open" a new Primary School (which had, of course, been in action for a month or so!). That done I was able to return and have my own lunch - including beer! I recorded that the consumption of beer in the three or so days was 70 or so bottles!

The film party meanwhile had had mixed success. Half way through the Festival their film camera jammed and was damaged, apparently beyond their ability to repair it. I believe that they had a spare but did not consider it satisfactory. There were still quite a few shots to be taken so they decided that they would send for another camera to be sent out from England and meanwhile stay on at Argungu.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Argungu Races
After lunch there were the Argungu Races. So back down to the town again and out to the traditional racecourse where a fine stand had been put up. These were entirely organised by the locals and I think that horses and jockeys were all local as well. I have a nice photograph among several of the races, of the Starter, a fine local in his full robes mounted on his own horse.

All however did not go totally smoothly: there was a Tote for betting: however I recorded: "I presumably made myself very unpopular by closing down the Tote as nobody bothered to ask the Lieutenant Governor for the necessary permission to run it!!" Presumably some form of licence was needed but I confess that it sounds as if I was being rather a spoil-sport in stopping a bit of fun in a remote bush meeting! However that did not deter the crowds as I have photos of a large crowd watching the finish.

All the visitors then dispersed and we could relax. I recorded: "Then the Birnin Kebbi party, Imbert Bourdillon and the two Education girls, Jean Kay and Diana Titley stayed to dinner - Christopher H-S was also staying the night. Imbert brought his guitar and we sang? - allegedly! And then the shouting died!"

One other fact. The mile or so of road between my house and the town was normally smooth laterite, the traffic on it being relatively light. The result of perhaps twenty or so vehicles going up and down to the town on the day of the Festival, some of them several times, left the road severely corrugated. So hard work for the road labourers getting a smooth surface again.

Then it was back to routine. In the week following the Fishing Festival I recorded on 8th February that I had "a Medical Adviser to the Secretary of State in yesterday, a bloke (presumably of the Agricultural Department) going to arrange a tractor ploughing test the day before, the Policeman (from Sokoto) John Harman to stay on Thursday night to take some statements and an Inspector of Education arrived today!" But it was not all hard work: "John Harman and I had a very pleasant evening's shooting on Thursday and came home with 5 whistling teal and 5 pygmy geese. I shot 7 the last one being in the pitch dark as we were walking home when some came over low and I could just see them against the stars. A pleasant evening and we walked about 5 good miles."

Meanwhile Guy Haslewood and the film crew were still with me awaiting a replacement camera. Guy H. had at some moment discovered that I had a single No 5 Iron golf club and a few balls., He himself was a more than competent player with a handicap of 5 at the Richmond Club (and a brother who played in the English amateur team). At least two of the South African cameramen played with handicaps in the twenties. So in the evenings golf was played and the self styled "Royal Argungu Golf Club" was born. International matches, England v South Africa, were played each day. There were, of course, some special rules to make up for the absence of greens, holes and green keepers. He who had the honour chose the next "hole", which tree or stump or survey beacon it should be that we had to hit. The one exception was the 18th which was by agreement the house well - holing out at that would, of course, have meant that we lost that ball and so it was fortunate that we never, I think, reached it. I, of course, had no handicap whatsoever and so was at all times under ribald instruction from Guy H. We played, I recorded, four sets of foursomes and England won them all, "in spite of me"! The President, to wit Guy H., instructed me to report in a letter home: "Iron play improving considerably, chip shots not very good"! So much fun was had by all.

About a week after the Festival the film crew got their replacement camera and completed their work with two further days filming. This was, of course, a bonus for the local fishermen as they had two extra days fishing in a good reach of the river. That was on the Monday and the Tuesday and on the Wednesday night we had a party. "Jean Kay, Diana Titley and Imbert Bourdillon came over from Birnin Kebbi and the locals put on some dances including wild nomad Fulani almost in a trance brandishing tough staves, suggestive young girls and a very gymnastic "Dance of the Young Men". My excellent Government Messenger, Mijimbira, laid this on and came up with them: I have a recollection of him having to calm them down with rather disapproving words: perhaps the young girls or the young men were being rather too suggestive! None of us spoke Fufulde so could not understand their songs!

Then at 9.30 we dined and afterwards one of the film men with his ukulele and Imbert B. with his guitar kept us going till 1.30am! The B-K party then drove off home. And on the Thursday the "filmers" left. I gather that in the final film (which I have never seen) their efforts appeared for about three minutes or so!

Life then quietened down. Tim Johnston, the Resident, had been intending to come and stay two nights with me en route to Birnin Kebbi on the occasion of their races and agricultural show but in the end merely came to breakfast on the day: but he did bring with him Peter Scott, the Financial Secretary from Kadina, who had been my boss when I was in the Secretariat some years before. I was to follow them later in the day but some five miles out of Argungu one of the wheels on my elderly Ford kit car came loose! The nuts holding it on got loose and although I tightened them up I decided that five miles back home was wiser than 25 miles on - and presumably 30 back laterand so came home. It transpired that there was nothing wrong but that an Emirate driver who had changed a wheel for me had not tightened the nuts sufficiently. When I reported this incident to Nancy in a letter her comment was that "the wheel must have made a very' loud noise for you to hear it"!

All this time I had been gradually building up enough evidence of the Emir's alleged misdoings to decide whether or not to recommend that he should be deposed or persuaded to resign. I now had an interview which provided some of the most telling evidence against him. On 15th February I went out on tour to Gwotomo some 15 miles south of Argungu, ostensibly to inspect an irrigation scheme. I arranged to coincide with the Chief Alkali from Argungu being there: he was a little man, in every sense, and much under the thumb of the Emir. Before I went out there I collected from the Prison in Argungu a sheaf of Prison Warrants from the Chief Alkali's Court, these being the authority signed by the Chief Alkali sentencing a person to imprisonment and authorising the Chief Warder to hold him in the prison.

Late in the evening when it was pretty dark and not too many people about I asked the Chief Alkali to come and see me in my rest house, a relatively small round mud and thatch house of the usual pattern. I can still visualise myself sitting in my camp chair, the tilley lamp on a table, Mijimbira sitting on the floor to my right and the Alkali to my left on a chair, all I think with a glass of "Iemo" (lemonade). I produced the sheaf of warrants one by one: "What can you tell me about this one, Alkali?" "I remember that, that man burgled a house." "What about this one?" "That man assaulted someone." "What about this one?" "Oh, the Emir told me to sign that one." I put it aside. "What about this one?" "Ah, that was stealing money from a trader." "What about this?" "Oh, the Emir told me to sign that one." And so it went on for quite some time. The Alkali was very quiet but did not, so far as I remember, attempt to prevaricate or deny anything. The result was quite a few of the "The Emir told me to sign that one." In other words blatant false imprisonment. We parted amicably and went our ways. What Mijimbira may have said to the Alkali I do not know nor how much was reported back to the Emir.

Back at Argungu I thought hard about whether it made sense to recommend that the Emir be sacked, not least of the problems being whether there was likely to be a better successor. Having decided that I should so recommend I recorded that "The last three nights and part of the morning I've been making up my mind and then typing it all out on six pages of foolscap." Whether it was the final factor or not but I also recorded that "An opportunity (to so recommend) has arisen when he locked a man up for 5 days in the prison because his son would not come and work on repairs to this (the Emir's) private house!" Meanwhile "The Emir is now at Kaduna visiting the Northern Regional Festival of Arts of which he is a Vice-President!" Having submitted my recommendations to the Resident I had to sit back and await the next move.

The next move was that on my next visit to Sokoto the Resident discussed the position with me and suggested that I should put these various accusation to the Emir directly and see what he said. So soon afterwards I asked the Emir to come up to my house one evening alone. There, with my Government Messenger, Mallam Mijimbira, but no one else present, I put to the Emir the suggestions that he had ordered the Chief Alkali to sign unjustified prison warrants and so had had innocent people put in prison, had had the father of a man who had refused to work on the Emir's private mosque imprisoned, etc. I think that I explained that the Resident was considering his, the Emir's, position and wished to know what the Emir's explanations were. What the Emir said I cannot now remember but I do remember that the meeting passed of calmly and that the Emir appeared rather subdued on leaving. I then reported the outcome to the Resident.

For some time I had been planning to replace my five year old Canadian Ford vehicle: it was periodically giving trouble and at 12 miles a gallon far from economical on petrol. Five years on Nigerian roads was indeed hard going. After some consideration I had accepted to buy a Morris Commercial truck for £800: in particular this had broad tyres - very suitable for the sandy tracks in bush over which much of my motoring was done. The new vehicle was now awaiting collection in Lagos and I had found a buyer, an African trader from Kamba in the south of Argungu Emirate, for myoid vehicle at £350. However, I did record that "I await the money and shan't be happy until I get it!"

Sure enough a week later I reported: "I've got myself into a bit of a mess as I haven't sold the old one yet! I had the sale all fixed up at £350, set off to Sokoto to hand over the car and collect the £350 - only to have the man turn up and say he couldn't get the money together yet after all. So much for African trading! So the car is in Sokoto awaiting a buyer! I know that this man has £500 coming to him from one of the companies in 6 weeks time so that if I don't get another buyer meanwhile I'll probably have him to fall back on. Meanwhile I can pay for the new one by taking the full Government advance of £850 and then paying off say £250 of it when I do sell the Ford ......... 1'11 be rather poor for a month or two meanwhile!"

So off I set to collect my new car from Lagos. By the shortest route Argungu to Lagos was a bit over 500 miles. By the route I had to take, by road and train, it was a great deal more. Starting from Sokoto where I left myoid car my planned journey was to a be: a lift in a Medical Department Ambulance returning to Gusau from Sokoto after repair on the Thursday afternoon: train from Gusau to Zaria on Friday morning where I would connect with the Limited train down to Lagos leaving Zaria at 5.30pm. However when the ambulance was started up at 2pm after its repair several other things were found to be wrong with it! So no lift to Gusau: and no catching the train to Zaria. I stayed I another night in Sokoto.

So on Friday morning I got a lift in a Sokoto N.A. vehicle to Gusau. There I found at 1 pm a Nigerian Railways road services 7 ton diesel lorry going to Zaria and the Railway engineer in charge let me ride to Zaria in that - most I comfortably. It was evidently a good vehicle as we rode well at 35 to 40 m.p.h. We picked up a load of cotton at Funtua, 2/3rds of the way to Zaria and "roared into Zaria (100 miles from Gusau) at 7pm - long after the train for I Lagos should have gone - to find it in the station running 2 hours late! So on I got!" I seem to remember that the African driver of the lorry had rather entered into the spirit of the chase! Luck occasionally favours one but it was I a great relief to catch it.

I have only faint recollections of travel on the Nigerian railways. The coaches were, of course, combined daytime and sleeping cars: a compartment could in theory sleep four with upper bunks let down over the daytime seats which themselves became lower bunks. A coach attendant made up the bunks late in the evening with pillow, sheets and blanket. The washing and lavatory facilities were, I think, only at each end of the corridor. A compartment to oneself was ideal: two in a compartment was comfortable: more was to be avoided. There would then be a restaurant/kitchen car with African staff who usually produced quite good food. The first class carriages were usually marshalled at the rear of the train, well away from the engine.

Speed was not great! A River Class 2-8-2 engine, steam of course then, would average perhaps 25 m.p.h. hauling 12 to 14 heavily filled carriages. On this trip I caught the train at Zaria at 7pm or so, we presumably left by 7.30pm and I recorded that I rang up Johny Wilkinson from the station at Kaduna, 50 miles or so from Zaria, at around 1 Opm: we had a cheerful chat and caught up on each other's news, notwithstanding that, as I reported in a letter home, he was "already asleep"! So on with the journey. At Offa in the Western Region some 150 miles north of Lagos "I had a moments chat with George Joscelyne who was the Railway Divisional Engineer at Makurdi when I was there in 1949. And so to Lagos on the Sunday morning to stay with Michael Varvill whom I had first met when he was seconded to be in charge of the Colonial Service course at Cambridge and then when I did a tour in Kaduna. He kindly put me up for four "very sticky days".

The contrast between Argungu, sandy coloured country, minimal rainfall (25 inches a year, all within 2 1/2 months or so) and high temperatures up to 105 degrees, and Lagos, lush green, 100 degrees and 100% humidity, was considerable. Having collected my new Morris Commercial truck I did some shopping, stocking up with household stores, crates of beer, tins of this and that, etc. When doing it I kept a towel on the seat of the truck and every time I came out of a shop or canteen (as we called a large shop) I had to mop gallons of sweat off face and arms! Drinks in the evening at the Yacht Club at Ikoye with a view over the harbour and a breeze off the water were a great reviver!

I survived "4 very sticky days in Lagos", including driving in heavy traffic with somewhat unpredictable drivers to which, of course, I was totally unaccustomed. I then set off to drive back to Argungu: I recorded that "after three days hard driving .... I got in last night.. .... on the way back I lunched in Ibadan with Don and Elizabeth Leich - an A.D.O. on our (Cambridge) course who has been attached to the University on the admin. side and slept that night at lIorin -220 miles. There I saw Alec Smith, a D.O. who was at Gboko when I first went there. Then on Friday 185 miles to Kontagora where I stayed with Dennis and Katura Glason - he was in the Secretariat at Kaduna when I was there. Then yesterday on here (Argungu) about 235 miles! I called on the Emir of Yauri - a grand old boy- and looked in at Birnin Kebbi in the evening. Got in about as it got dark."

Yelwa was a nice small town on the north bank of the River Niger: it was headquarters of the small Emirate of Yauri forming the most southern extremity of Gwandu Division with headquarters at Birnin Kebbi. The Emir was upright and efficient. His eldest son (and ultimately successor as Emir) was Mallam Tukur Yauri who had taught us Hausa at the School of Oriental and African Studies on the London part of our course. He was later, I think, the first Ambassador of an independent Nigeria in Washington before becoming Emir on the death of his father. One, rather sad, result of that was that his wife, who had lived a completely "European style" life in London and then in Washington, had to go back into comparative purdah as wife of the Emir to satisfy local more traditional prejudices.

Regarding my new truck, I recorded: "I like the car. Very solid, not very fast, and seems economical on petrol. And a reasonable grey colour. The driver's part of the (bench) seat is dunlopillo so very comfy. She seems to let a certain amount of dust in but no doubt I can find out where it comes from. On balance a reasonable investment. And the engine beautifully accessible compared with the old one."

So ended my trip to Lagos and back: but I also recorded: "The greatest bit of gossip that I got in Lagos was confirmation that Desmond MacBride (my Resident in Makurdi when I was in Benue Province on my first tour) is going to marry this young French widow whose husband, Paul Stoeffler (then agent in Makurdi of the Compagnie Francaise de I'Afrique Occidentale, a trading company) was killed in a motor accident in Benue. (This was shortly after I had left: apparently he drove into the smoke of a bush fire wafting across the road at the same time as a mammy-wagon did coming in the other direction). She, Giselle, is only about 26 now and Desmond must be 50 or 51. She is charming and we all loved her very much in Benue. But it does seem a bit incredible!" Indeed they did get married, it was a great success and they remained Nancy's and my friends until Desmond died: we stayed and lunched with them several times in France after we had all left Nigeria.

Then it was back to routine. "I went on tour on Wednesday and got in again yesterday (Saturday) morning. Nothing spectacular and all by road. Christopher Hanson-Smith shared the rest house at Lema with me one night en route to a place where he is having a dam built. Lema Rest House is very old - originally built in 1906 - in the early days when men were men!" Christopher H-S was looking after and becoming an expert on the nomad cattle-owning Fulani throughout the Province: he spoke their language, Fufulde, and the dams which he was having built were designed to create ponds and small lakes (tafuka) at which the Fulani could water their cattle, particularly during the dry season when the lesser streams dried up. He and I always said that we would on some occasion dine together way out in the bush having dressed for dinner properly in dinner jacket and black tie! But we never actually managed to do so! I recorded: "The car went well - 116 miles over rough unmade tracks needing low gear and didn't use more than 5 1/2 gallons of petrol! The Ford (my previous vehicle) would have used 8 to 9." One good feature was that the Morris had very broad tyres, a great help on soft sandy tracks.

Petrol supplies in a bush station like Argungu were a little complicated. There were, of course, no petrol stations of the kind to which we are accustomed.

Periodically when I was in Sokoto I went to the Government Public Works Department works yard and bought a 44 gallon drum of petrol. This would be put up into the back of my vehicle and, when I got back to Argungu, I would take it down to the N.A. Works department. Here it would be set up on a trestle and when I needed petrol in the vehicle I would go down to the N.A. Works department and one of the mechanics would fill my vehicle tank with some form of hand pump. It I was away from Argungu I would go to the local Government PWD yard (or the local N.A. yard if there was no Government one), explain who I was and, on payment, get a similar fill up from their supply.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Sokoto Rice Project
Life meanwhile went on. "About 10 this morning (which appears to have been Sunday) the Director of Agriculture for Northern Nigeria and our Provincial Agricultural Officer turned up - I'd only heard they were coming yesterday evening. They ate some sandwiches and I gave them coffee (their breakfast!) Then we had a useful discussion with the Emir and Council." I did not record the particular reason for this visit but suspect that it had to do with the mechanised rice project. The next day I went to Birnin Kebbi "to repay my government imprest at the end of the financial year." Being a relatively small Divisional H.Q. with only a small government office - at most two government clerks- there was no Government Treasury at Argungu. Therefore the government funds which I needed to hold for payment of government staff salaries, government building maintenance and similar government expenses were held in the form of an imprest. This should, of course, at anyone time amount in the form of cash and/or receipts or other evidence of payments to the total amount of the imprest. At the end of each financial year, I think 31 st March, the imprest had to be returned to a government treasury and a new imprest issued. Here the nearest government treasury was at Birnin Kebbi: hence the visit. I recorded: "I shall lunch with Imbert Bourdillon and stay and play some tennis. I shan't stay to dinner as I shall have some (Argungu) N.A. people with me." I was, apparently, quite sure of my welcome!

April was now coming up, a relatively quiet month in some ways. It was the first month of the financial year for both government and N.A. finance but, although the money for various works might be there, those concerned had probably not yet given the necessary (and probably written)authority to actually spend it. It was therefore a good time to go on tour and I recorded that "I hope to get out on tour quite a bit - 12 to 14 days, on my horse too." General touring involved going, probably by car, to one or other of the District Headquarters, the Emirate being divided into a dozen or so Districts, each with a District Head in charge. He presided over a District Council of elders which met periodically. There would usually be at each District Headquarters, a small town or large village, a government Rest House at which any touring D.O. or government departmental officer, be he agricultural, veterinary, forestry, etc., would stay. This would consist usually of a round mud built thatched building with a verandah round much of it and a single room inside. There might be the odd table or chair but basically it was unfurnished. At the back there would be the "bayan gida" = the "behind the house", i.e. a small round building containing a bucket latrine or may be only a hole in the ground! There would also be a small cook house with a primitive fireplace of some sort and one or two small huts for one's servants to sleep in. All would be in the care of the "Sarkin Barriki", the "Chief of the Rest House". The whole little enclave would be perhaps 500 yards outside the town or village and hopefully on any slight rise that there might be with some good trees for shade and under which your horse could be tethered. On your arrival the District Head would cause to be sent up a "present" of a chicken or two, some eggs and perhaps some pawpaw or other fruit: for this, of course, your servant would pay the appropriate price to whoever brought it up. Your servants having set up your camp furniture (bed with mosquito net, chair, table, wash basin on some improvised stand and bath) you were established. To sit outside in the cool of the evening, hopefully with a view over the adjoining farmland, first in the fading light and then with your Tilley (paraffin pressure) lamp beside your chair, could be very pleasant indeed. You would by then have had a bath (perhaps in rather cloudy water drawn from the local well by the Sarkin Barriki) and changed into long trousers and mosquito boots.

The work which one did on tour would vary. There might be some specific task like a meeting with the Provincial Agricultural Officer to discuss with him and the District Head the establishment of a citrus orchard, with the Provincial Education Officer the rebuilding of a school or with the Provincial Public Works Department Engineer some road works problem. Alternatively the trip might be routine touring: then one would have a general discussion with the District Head, check the District Scribe's records and local accounts and, if it was the season for collecting the poll tax (haraji) or cattle tax Uangali), tax collection records: next one would inspect the market (for general cleanliness, drainage, etc.), the school, the dispensary, the N .A. Police post (if any) and any other N .A. activity. Then a check on the local roads to encourage the road gangs and see that bridges and culverts were clear and drainage channels (known in Hausa as lumbato being onomatopoeic for "Number 2", this apparently having been the number of the paragraph dealing with drainage channels in some long forgotten book of instructions for road gangs!) maintained. One would try and assess the competence or otherwise of the school master, the dispensary attendant, the road headman, etc. so that one could report back to the relevant head of department in the N.A. back at Argungu. Individual local people might come up, guided by one's Governement Messenger, with some complaint: this one would hear and then either deal with on the spot or through the District Head or, if it was something serious, it might need to be discussed with the Emir or an N.A. official when one got back to Argungu. In all these activities the help of one's Government Messenger was invaluable. He knew the important local people, picked up information and gossip, told one any local customs and history, etc. As I have said earlier I was lucky to have a fine and experienced one in Mallam Mahommadu Mijimbira who was always a great help to me.

In the evening before sundown one might, if one had one's horse on tour and had not already ridden 20 miles that morning, have quiet hack round the local peasant farms. Alternatively there might be a local lake where, in the right season, one could go and flight some duck, perhaps with the District Head or other senior N.A. people. All in all touring could be both highly useful and very pleasant.

Meanwhile April brought Easter which should have meant a bit of a holiday over the weekend. However I failed to plan ahead. I recorded: "I arranged to spend Good Friday morning checking that a group of Village Heads and Mallams were properly instructed in how to check up on the ownership of the individual plots in those rice areas which have been ploughed up (in the Mechanised Rice Scheme). So I had a hot four hours tramping about on deep plough land! Saturday we had a Local Education Committee before breakfast and after breakfast a long Emir's Council meeting, first hearing all that had gone on in the Lagos (All Nigeria) House of Representatives which has just finished - told by our Argungu member - and then going on to finish a nasty case involving a District Head whom the Emir hates and periodically tries to frame and get rid of. He failed in 1951 and he failed again now! There were cheers in the town when it became known!"

After those bursts of energy I did better on Easter Sunday. No church to go to, I'm afraid. "I lunched with the Nicholsons (the doctor who was based in Argungu) and then drove over to Birnin Kebbi in time for a game of tennis. Then I stayed the night with Imbert Bourdillon and this - Monday - morning four of us went out shooting at 6am down in the (Sokoto River) valley. One chap had a 20 bore and only 4 cartridges left so he was not much use. We shot 36 duck of which I shot 11 and Oliver Hunt, the D.0., about 23! Not many left for Imbert to get! A pleasant morning indeed."

Queen Elizabeth's Coronation was due on 6th June and plans were already being made for celebrations. The date fell in the middle of Ramadan, the Moslem fasting month: no eating or drinking from dawn till dusk. Thus all celebrations had to be after dark and the evening meal. I got the N.A. to appoint a "Coronation Committee" to make out a programme. They proposed to get £50 worth of fireworks and I foresaw that I should probably be involved in letting them off. I also suggested planting ceremonial trees in the main square.

There were more parties at Birnin Kebbi, this time a farewell one for the two Lady Education Officers who ran the girls' secondary school at B. K., Jean Kay and Diana Titley, who were both off home on leave. Dinner, some dancing and finally at 3.30am bathing "in the reservoir of the Veterinary Department post outside B.K. which was built to serve as a swimming bath, only about 3 ft 6 ins deep." Jean Kay, a cheerful Scot from Aberdeen, came a few days later to lunch en route for Sokoto to go on leave: she puzzled me by saying that she was retiring from the Education Service but was putting her loads, furniture, etc., into store in Sokoto. The two did not make sense - until I learnt later that she and John Matthew, an A.D.O. at Gusau, were engaged and going to be married! They too remained our life long friends.

More touring. "I got in yesterday after three days in bush and go off again tomorrow for two nights. This week I was two nights in Augi (12 or so miles north of Argungu) "asking a lot of people questions about an inheritance case involving a man who died ten years ago and getting very firm but very different answers from everyone! Result mostly nil!" Then south to Sawwa "to look at a new Village Head and see whether he will be any good and to investigate a case in which a Fulani cattle owner had been fined £50 and ordered to pay £35 damages (by the Alkali's Court) for damage to a sugar cane farm by his cattle. The amounts looked large at first sight but the damages were assessed accurately and I don't think that I shall interfere." This would have been another case in which my Government Messener, M. Mijimbira, would have been helpful in suggesting who among the locals would give good advice on such things as valuing damage to sugar cane. Then after a day or two in Argungu it was off 100 miles south to Kamba near the Niger and the French border "to check up on Fulani complaints of corruption in the Alkali's pocket! So difficult to prove too!"

My new car was going well "but a bush on the narrow track to Augi took the mirror off on Friday! Broke a screw. Easily repairable." Hazards of bush driving!

I reported further on my visit to Kamba: "Monday after a morning in the office (at Argungu) I drove 100 rough miles to Kamba, lunching at Birnin Kebbi on the way. Tuesday 8 hours interrogating Fulani and others about the alleged misdeeds of the local Mahommadan judge (the Alkali). At 8pm we put him under arrest. Wednesday more interrogation before breakfast and then 4 hours going round the town (presumably inspecting and encouraging school, dispensary, N.A. police, market etc.) and some more work in the evening. Thursday two hours more questioning and then 100 miles back to Argungu with another lunch at B.K." I suspect that I had with me the Madawakin Argungu, one of the sound members of the Emir's Council, he and the District Head would have taken the active part in the interrogation. I would have sat in on it all to encourage and keep it going but, not speaking Fufulde, the Fulani language, could not have done it very easily on my own. It might have been logical to have the Chief Alkali from Argungu with us but he was a rather poor little man entirely under the Emir's doubtful thumb and himself not trustworthy. So I'm sure that he did not take part. Remember his signing prison warrants because the Emir told him to!

Then it was in to Sokoto on the Friday afternoon - after a morning in my office and in an Emir's Council meeting . "The last 25 miles of road into Sokoto from Argungu are now indescribable. You just have to crash from pot hole to pot hole." This stretch from Jaredi into Sokoto carried all the traffic out of Sokoto to the south - to Argungu, Birnin Kebbi, Yelwa and all the southern part of Sokoto Emirate. This was the rainy season and rain and mammy wagons on a laterite road inevitably produced pot holes, despite the efforts of the road maintenance gangs who pulled a V shaped brush with strong two foot bristles over the road each day to brush the loose laterite back into the wheel tracks.

A project which had been on-going for some time was now at last completed. My bungalow at Argungu was brand new when I moved in and had only the basic galvanised corrugated iron roof. This of course made the bungalow pretty hot. Accepted practice was to cover such roofs with a thatch. Over the last few weeks or so the necessary bundles of grass and the timber for the frame had been collected and delivered. The frame to hold the thatch was now built up on the corrugated iron and firmly fixed and the thatchers got to work and completed the thatching all over. Result, a cooler house: and (for those who were not deaf like me!) a quieter house when heavy rain came down!

The visit to Sokoto was a mixture of work and play. Having driven in on the Friday afternoon - 75 odd miles so it must have taken 2 hours or so - there was two hours cricket in the evening. On the Saturday" a visit with the Resident to an irrigation experiment at 7.15am": presumably this was an Agricultural Department trial of irrigating an area in the fadama, the marshy areas beside the Sokoto River, to increase the yield of various crops. Then a meeting of the Provincial Development Committee from 9am till 2pm. This would have been presided over by Tim Johnston, the Resident, and would have consisted of representatives of all the four Emirates (probably members in each case of the Emir's Council), the three District Officers and the Public Works Department Provincial Engineer and may be other Provincial Departmental Heads. We would have discussed future capital projects (new schools, roads, dispensaries, etc., etc.), the progress on existing projects, etc., how to arrange funding for them and generally how to bring them to fruition.

That evening there was more cricket. I recorded: "The cricket was very light hearted and with about the two worst balls I bowled I took two wickets "caught and bowled"! Much amazement! A matting wicket in a rough sandy field. Oliver Hunt (D.O. at Birnin Kebbi) has captained Nigeria so he added a little tone to the proceedings."

Other people's domestic arrangements were not always as good as one hoped one's own were. On this visit to Sokoto I stayed with Stanley Pollard who had been D.O. Argungu before I went there and was now D.O. Provincial Office in Sokoto. Before the last War he had been in the Burma Frontier Service, the equivalent of a D.O. there, and stationed in the Shan States in the north of Burma. When the Japanese invaded, Stanley had to retire out northwards into China to Chunking. He very correctly took the money in the Government Treasury with him, loaded on pack mules. Apparently one mule fell off some bush track down into a totally inaccessible ravine and Stanley always affected to fear that the British Government would be charging him for the lakh of rupees which the mule had been carrying! So far as I know his fear was groundless!

Stanley was not apparently greatly interested in the state of his house and house keeping and his servants were not of a very high standard. I recorded: "Stewart Johnson who is sharing Stanley's house has just persuaded Stanley to sack his two frightful boys so his house may be a bit cleaner and pleasanter in future! Stanley apparently just couldn't care less!"

On another domestic tack I recorded: "The Nicholson's (he was the doctor in Argungu) sacked a very young servant yesterday and found a few hours later that he'd pinched a few things and gone off with them - including a ring worth £70. They whipped down to the town, found the boy, he admitted taking it and led them to the house of the N.A. Chief Scribe (the head clerk in the N.A. offices) where there was another young boy whom he'd told to sell it for him - he was willing to accept 6d for it!! Happily enough all was recovered except a tin of pork which the boy had eaten! As he is a Moslem the wrath of Allah will no doubt be upon him!"

Meanwhile I returned to Argungu followed the next day by the Resident who was to spend a week touring round Argungu "investigating the "state of the nation" as he put it": i.e. to see whether we really ought to get rid of the Emir. He was not only very experienced but a brilliant Hausa speaker and far more able than I was to discover what the local people thought of the Emir.

He duly completed his tour, staying in various Districts, and I recorded: "He dug up a lot more dirt and reckons that only a quarter of the population now support the present Emir. So if they don't sack him now, well I shan't quite know what to make of it." It was, of course, in the power of the Governor of the Northern Region to remove him from office if, for example, he refused to retire. I also recorded that I had a considerable increase in complaints made to me, presumably as news of the Resident's enquiries got around. As a side issue the Chief Alkali, who was under the Emir's thumb, was given a month's leave "to spare his dignity a little while his part in the Court corruption is sorted out and assessed".

Following his tour, the Resident wrote a report recording all the evidence that we had collected over the past months and sent it in to the Governor in Kaduna with a firm recommendation that the Emir should be removed from office. There was then a long silence from Kaduna with no reply to the recommendation. What we, or at least I, did not know was that there was at this time great tension, in Kano in particular, between, I think, supporters of the two Northern Nigerian political parties which had developed. These were the conservative N.P.C. - Northern Peoples Congress, the party of the Emirs and the status quo - and N.E.P.U. - the Northern Elements Progressive Union, the pushing left wing aggressive party led by Mallam Aminu Kano. This tension apparently finally boiled over and resulted in serious riots in Kano City. Dealing with these problems was occupying all the attention of the Governor and the Secretariat in Kaduna. Hence the delay in dealing with our lesser problem.

The Resident's report and recommendation went in at the end of Mayor the beginning of June and, as .1 learnt when passing through Kaduna en route to go on leave, was not considered by the Executive Council in Kaduna until 3rd July. The result was, I think, that the Emir was summoned to Kaduna and 'persuaded" to resign and live outside the Emirate. The Chief Alkali was also, I gather, dismissed and may be others as well. All this took place after I had gone on leave.

Meanwhile the next event was the celebration of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. With us, it was the middle of Ramadan, the Moslem fasting month, which perhaps limited the possible festivities: I recorded that in my household only I and Pride, my horse, were allowed to eat or drink between sunrise and sunset! Nevertheless there were to be celebrations locally: a parade, tree planting and fireworks. I remember being somewhat concerned at how we could make an impressive parade out of 25 N.A. Police, 5 Prison Warders, 30 ex-soldiers (in civilian clothes) and 100 or so school boys, plus Emir's Councillors and District Heads. I was even more concerned at having to compose "a rousing and patriotic speech - in Hausa - for myself to deliver!" However it all took place early in the morning on the day with myself in full uniform and after the parade itself the Emir, Heather Nicholson (the doctor's wife) and I each planted a Coronation tree. I recorded: "I drew a giginya, a tall timber palm, to plant: it is a fine tree when fully grown but has it's drawback for ceremonial planting: whereas the others got a nice little tree to plant all I got was a large egg-shaped seed about 6 inches long!"

"In the evening I and the Nicholsons had a great deal of fun letting off fireworks! We went on for an hour and then rain showed up so we did not quite finish." Clearly some fun was had by all. I also recorded: "A lot of rain here and the corn well out of the ground which makes everyone happy."

For myself it was back to work as I went off on tour again "on the scent of a bit more embezzlement."

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Sallah Ceremonial
Ramadan, the Moslem holy and fasting month was now due to end. recorded: "Got back from tour on Friday afternoon to find that Saturday was the Sallah - the end of the fasting month and that I had to dress myself up (in full uniform) and go and watch them all pray. I had thought that it would be Sunday or Monday. Not much time to prepare. No one here is doing any work for almost a week: Thursday last, Queen's Birthday: Friday, Moslem "Sunday", (half day's work): Saturday, Sallah: Sunday: normal Sunday: Monday and Tuesday, public holiday's for Sallah ....... The ceremonial praying here a slipshod and sketchy affair - the locals are not as devout as all that! Most of the town was late or did not bother to come and the whole proceeding was half an hour late. My boys rather shocked!"

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Sultan on Sallah
On the morning after the Sallah the Emir, his Council and such District and Village Heads as were in town would come up - quite early, 8.15am - to the District Officer's house to pay their respects to him. The D.O. then takes the opportunity to "exhort" them, as I put it. The exhortation would have been on the lines of encouraging them to govern well, make sure they collected all taxes, see that the children all went to school, ensure that the farmers cultivated their farms properly, etc. etc. I hope that my Hausa was up to it!

In the midst of all this my pony, Pride, provided some excitement: "Pride, the pony, broke out of his stable yesterday, galloped off to the town and was I brought back covered in kicks and bites having had a fight with another horse about a mare! Appearance marred but nothing worse!" Presumably the I mare was on heat and it was a case of cherchez la femme! Pride was, during my leave which was due soon, to be looked after by the Veterinary Officer stationed at Birnin Kebbi which was in the circumstances perhaps a I good thing!

Then it was the turn of my car: "On Tuesday I went up to Sokoto for a night: it was the last of a series of 6 days of holidays, the road labourers had done no work and the road was frightful. When I had the car greased on Thursday I found that I had 6 out of the 8 leaves in one front spring assembly broken! So car immobilised while I send the complete spring assembly up to Sokoto for them to make me up a new one out of odd cut down springs! Luckily I have a spare main leaf, the top one which fixes on to the car and therefore must be the right length." I do not know whether the repairs were done by the Government P.W.D. workshops or the workshop of one of the trading companies which sold motor cars. Whoever did it seems to have been remarkably quick as I was not off the road for long.

I was now, June 1953, about to go on leave in the U.K. and so handed over Argungu division to Richard Barlow-Poole. The Resident, Tim Johnston, had in fact asked me to say on for another month until a D.O. called Williams came to take charge. However when I explained that I and Nancy were engaged and hoping to get married he did not press the point.

Meanwhile I recorded that I had one last job, "to run a two day course for District Scribes on a new form of financial accounting. I always seem to get back to finance!" This last comment was, of course, referring to my tour in Kaduna dealing with Native Authority finance and culminating in rewriting the rule book, "Financial Memoranda".

Then it was off and away: my timetable was:

June 28th: to Sokoto: stay with the Resident
June 29th: in Sokoto
June 30th: Sokoto to Gusau
July 1 st: Gusau to Kaduna: stay with Stuart MacCallum
July 2nd: in Kaduna
July 3rd to 5th: by train Kaduna to Lagos
July 6th: in Lagos
July 7th: Embark on M.V. Aureol, Elder Dempster Lines

It was very nice of the Resident to put me up in Sokoto. I stayed in a small detached annexe to the Residency so could come and go without disturbing anyone. I had to get my "loads", i.e. my furniture, household goods, pictures, kitchen stores, tropical clothes (in tin trunk!), etc. into the Government Public Works Department Store, arrange for the Ford agent in Sokoto to try and sell myoid Canadian Ford kit car which I had still not managed to get rid of, collect railway warrants for the trains to Lagos, etc.

Sokoto had one last trick to play on me. Driving down to Gusau the road was atrocious, it being the rainy season. I distinctly remember that I had several N.A. staff in the back of the truck and I pulled into the muddy forecourt of a bush rest house near the road to have a break. I remember turning the wheel to the right to go round in front of the rest house at all of 10 m.p.h. or so - and going straight on in the mud into a small tree. Result: a crumpled left front mudguard! Luckily it was not so bad that I could not drive the car but I could have done without that kind of problem. In fact what I eventually did was to get a new mudguard in England while on leave and bring it out with me when I began my next tour. It was then fitted to the car in Kaduna where I had left it while on leave.

I had a pleasant two days in Kaduna seeing friends and putting the car in store. However I did record: "I unwisely showed my nose in the Secretariat and got a job given me to do on the boat! To prepare a curriculum for a Diploma Course for higher grade Native Treasury staff! It will certainly pass the time a bit which won't be a bad thing". My alleged knowledge of Native Treasury finance cropping up again.

Then by train to Lagos which I recorded as being "completely different to what it was in March - a pleasant breeze everywhere." Not hot and sticky as before.

There I "rushed about collecting documents", presumably travel warrants, etc. I also had to collect three hams (12Ib, 111b, and 71b as I recorded!) which I had ordered from, probably, Chelleram's, a large Indian run food store. These were to be presents to branches of the family at home, food of that kind still being in fairly short supply in the U.K. Then it was on board M.V. Aureol, the larger of the three Elder Dempster ships which did the Liverpool to Lagos run.

Thus ended one of my tours of Northern Nigeria that I enjoyed most. I had my first experience of having a "command" of my own. I worked with a lot of nice people both European and African. I saw and helped to uncover a certain amount of skulduggery. I had various amusing incidents such as being shanghaied on one of my visits to Sokoto from Argungu to sit as a magistrate to try an African from, I think, the Gold Coast (and thus, as a nonNigerian, not subject to the Native Alkalai's Courts) for money-lending in Sokoto City without the appropriate licence - and no doubt at extortionate rates. There was no court room and no easily available empty room so a table and chair were set up under a tree across from the Provincial Offices. duly presided and, having had evidence from the N.A. Police, etc., convicted and fined the man. I have often bragged about having "sat as a magistrate under a tree": unfortunately it was an agoroba tree and not a palm tree so that I cannot say that I dispensed "palm tree justice"!

I was particularly lucky in some of the people with whom I was involved. First and probably foremost was Tim Johnston who for most of my tour and certainly all my time in Argungu was Resident ilc Sokoto Province. He was one of the outstanding administrators in the North during my time. Then there were Leith Watt, a charming New Zealander who was D.O. Sokoto Division for much of the time, Oliver Hunt who became D.O. Gwandu Division at Birnin Kebbi towards the end of my time, Imbert Bourdillon who held the fort at Birnin Kebbi for some time and Christopher Hanson-Smith who rapidly became an expert on the cattle owning nomad Fulani. Then in Argungu I got great help and support from Mallam Umaru, Madawakin in Argungu, the most upright of the Emir's Councillors, and from Ma"am Muhammodu Mijimbira, my Government Messenger.

So home on board M.V. Aureol.

Fourth Tour in Kaduna Again: January 1954 to January 1955
I started my next your in an unusual but quite interesting way by travelling back on an Elder Dempster cargo ship, M.V. Sangara of about 6,000 tons. This left from Tilbury and carried, I think, 12 to 16 passengers. It had, of course, none of the facilities of the mail boats and took longer, about 20\days instead of 14, depending on cargo requirements. It so happened that I had little in common with any of the other passengers but the Captain liked his sherry and I found myself asked up to his cabin most evenings to drink a glass! I was also allowed onto the bridge and had the radar demonstrated to me: range 30 miles and able to pick up a very small fishing boat at 5 miles. We passed within sight of Gran Canary and then at some point well off and out of sight of the coast of perhaps Mauretania we threaded through an area of rocky outcrops with rocks six or eight feet or less out of the water, totally bare, over an area of perhaps a square mile, presumably the peaks of some under water mountain. I do not remember that they had even any birds on them.

We called at Dakar for fuel and I recorded that it had "a rather fine bit of coastline - Cape Verde in the middle - quite tall grey cliffs with a white lighthouse on a hill top. "Also some fine modern buildings about - probably hideous close to." We were only there 2 or 3 hours so little chance to see anything - I also have a photo of a fortified island off shore. Dakar was of particular interest because it had been the scene of the abortive Free French orientated expedition to capture it during the war.

Then 12 hours round to Bathhurst in the Gambia where "we spent most of the day. We dropped two passengers, some sugar and some bales of empty sacks and took on some sections of metal aerodrome runway which Sierra Leone seems to have bought from the Gambia! A clean looking place but so low lying that it must be rather hot: though they've always got a breeze off the river".

Then it was Freetown in Sierra Leone where we layoff shore as there was no harbour for ships and all freight is taken ashore in lighters, the ship's derricks putting it over the side. There was one difficult job here, unloading a large 12 1/2 ton tank transporter type trailer over the side onto a lighter that was only just big enough to take it.

Then the next stop was Takoradi in the Gold Coast where we lay alongside unloading for two days. I recorded that "the Captain took me out in a launch one evening fishing - spinning for barracuda - a sort of saltwater pike - a pleasant cruise round outside and inside the harbour but not a single bite!"

So to Lagos on Sunday 12th January - 19 days from U.K. One problem I had was to get the large packing case containing the new front mudguard for my truck up to Kaduna as quickly as possible. Until that had got to Kaduna and the mudguard had been fitted to the vehicle and painted I could not get on to wherever I was to go. Whether I got it taken into the passenger train or whether it went by goods train I did not record but it seems to have got there quite quickly.

I spent no time in Lagos as having got in on the Sunday I was in Kaduna on the Tuesday, a two night train journey. There I had a shock! I had assumed that I would have been on my way back to Sokoto again: instead I recorded: "I arrived here in good order on Tuesday and on Wednesday was much shocked to be told that I was to stay here for the moment with a vile possibility of a posting to Lagos in three months time! All of which was Hell! They still haven't decided my fate finally. The job in Lagos is one which I am certain I cannot do - in the Office of the Council of Ministers (Cabinet Office) involving attending meetings, etc - at which I shouldn't hear anything! Meanwhile I am No. 2 to Victor Collison, a charming man, who is responsible for Intelligence, Security and Defence in the North - a thoroughly interesting job. I am rapidly digging myself in as much as possible in order to stay in it".

The threat of being sent down to Lagos persisted for a time but gradually receded. I only realised how lucky I had been when Michael Varvi 11, who was in charge of postings, i.e. deciding where we should go, told me that just about the time I had left Lagos on the train the Secretariat in Lagos telephoned him to say that I should stay down there and not come north at all: he, luckily for me, had to tell them that I was already in the train heading north. There were then apparently complaints about over-zealous young officers!" What a good thing I got away promptly!

The office which Victor Collison and I shared was a small room, perhaps 10 or 12 feet square, on the top or 3rd floor of the "Ivory Tower": this was the tower in the middle of the Secretariat office block which I have described much earlier in these notes. Being right at the top it was, I suppose, meant to be that much more "secure"! We sat side by side at relatively small desks and between us we had a stand with at least two levels on which stood at least four telephones. One was on a normal outside line: a second was a closed line to the Nigeria Police C.I.D. superintendent, Mr. O'Sullivan, in the Northern Region Police H.Q. in another part of Kaduna: a third was a closed line to, I think, the Brigadier in command of the West African Frontier Force in the North (or perhaps his staff officer) again in another part of Kaduna: and the fourth, which was coloured scarlet, was a scrambler telephone to the Security Office I in the Secretariat in Lagos. I think that there may also have been a closed line to Government Lodge for talking direct to H.E. or the Governor's A.D.C., another A.D.O. On the floor in the Tower immediately below us was the Security Registry in which were kept all the "Confidential" files and also some even more "secret" files which had scarlet covers and which no African, even senior civil servants, were meant to know existed! This registry was manned by two European lady confidential secretaries, usually wives of Administrative or Police officers.

Our work was varied and interesting but, at any rate so far as I was concerned, all "office" work. I recall drafting rules for the grant of firearms certificates, perusing several years of intelligence reports, newspapers and the like cataloguing the subversive and defamatory statements over several years attributed to one particular way-out political party, re-drafting Emergency Regulations, sifting through intelligence reports sent in by Residents, coding (and presumably also decoding) secret letters and telegrams, and such like. In other words we worked on the information, rumours and suspicions supplied to us by Residents and D.O. s, the Police C.I.D. and other sources.

There were occasional unexpected duties: I recorded in February 1954: "Last Monday afternoon I had a comic task. I was sitting here (the office) half asleep when the phone rang and it was the Lieutenant Governor (Sir Bryan Sharwood-Smith) from 200 miles away where he and Lady Sharwood-S had gone on tour by train (separately from his Private Secretary who had gone on to a point further on the tour), to say that Lady S had not packed any "cocktail dress"! He was really after Victor (Collison) whom he knows quite well but he was away: so I had to be trusted with the momentous task of going to Government Lodge, getting into their bedroom, finding a suitcase and the right two dresses, putting them in the case, going to the station and giving it to the guard of a goods train going down to Minna where the Lieutenant Governor was on tour!!!! I reckon I ought at least to get the M.V.O. 5th Class!!" H.E. was later on the phone to Victor Collison and asked him to thank me so the case got there OK. So "Security" covered a multitude of tasks!

As usual, acquiring a house in Kaduna took time. For the first fortnight or so I had to stay in the rather boring Catering Rest House. Then Victor Collison kindly allowed me to share his house for a time and finally after another month I got my own house, No 8 Cunliffe Close, a newly built and rather plain bungalow. Fairly small but quite adequate. Shortly after I moved in Victor Collison was turned out of his house so that it could be rebuilt: since he was going on leave in four weeks there was no point in his being given another house so he came and shared mine! At least it was repayment of his kindness to me. One benefit of having him about was that he was quite a keen gardener and encouraged me to have some flower beds and plant some trees and climbing plants - bourganvillea, morning glory, etc. I also recorded that I had: "planted 40 neem trees and a couple of eucalyptus. All will produce results in years to come - but not just yet. By next year the neems should be 4 feet tall"

Life outside the office was pretty full. Lunch and dinner parties, games of squash, including with Phiz Browne, the Colonial Secretary, shooting expeditions with John and Jean Matthew and of course polo which I was just beginning to play. The shooting expeditions were out into the bush surrounding Kaduna in search of bush fowl as we called the francolin: we would walk these up through long grass: the birds (if any!) would run ahead and get up a long shot ahead: I was at a disadvantage because, being deaf, I could not hear the rustle which they made when running and taking off so that the first that I knew of their presence was when they appeared above the grass a considerable distance ahead and almost out of shot. Only very rarely did I connect!

Meanwhile I had been awaiting my pony, Pride, whom I had left at the end of my tour in Argungu with the Vet at Birnin Kebbi. He and my horse boy, Gayya, now arrived after a 380 mile trek. I recorded: "Pride arrived on Monday: a bit lean after his 380 mile walk but otherwise fit. Gayya likewise. Pride is already filling out. I shall get the Vet to test his blood to make sure he's picked up no sleeping sickness as the last 120 miles are through tsetse country. He travelled by night which should prevent him catching it but you never know."

I now got properly started on playing polo. We played in the evenings three days a week. As had been the case when I was in Kaduna 2 years or so ago much depended on the Army and in particular the Gunner Battery but I recorded that "I don't think there are so many good players as two years ago but more altogether." I myself was evidently improving a little as I reported that "I was hitting the ball cleanly"!

Pride, my pony, having arrived after his trek from Gwandu in late February was in good form and seemed fine until late April when, despite having been tested for sleeping sickness on arrival and found to be free of it, he developed sleeping sickness. He was given the appropriate injections and appeared to be recovering but a fortnight later we had to put him down. Very sad as I had had him quite a time and he had done me well. I recorded that it was: "Right from every angle except the sentimental one." I gathered later that I should have had a second sleeping sickness test done a bit after the first.

That left me without a pony but I recorded that I immediately had "the Vet in Kano looking out for another one for me." The Vet in question was Derek Walker whom I had known well in Sokoto. Notwithstanding that I had no pony and so could not take part, I found myself made treasurer of the Polo Club and in due course found that the Club had been living above its means! The Polo Club was in fact a subsidiary of the main Kaduna Club so presumably somehow the main Club absorbed the loss!

I also found myself involved in our amateur race meetings: not, I hasten to record, riding but administering. A visit to the Zaria races led to me staying with Bill and Shiona Fargus: he was a Major in the Royal Scots and 2 ilc the Nigeria Regiment training Battalion at Zaria. I arrived from Kaduna about 3pm and found Shiona waiting for me, Bill having gone on to the racecourse: she had for me an Official Badge labelled "Judge"! In the event they were not as short of judges as they thought they were so I did not have many duties to perform: but I got in free!

Then at the end of May on Empire Day I was involved in our own race meeting in Kaduna. I recorded that "I had quite a lot to do in time though not in importance as I helped with the money and accounts at the "auction" of horses before each days racing (8-10pm on Friday and 10-12 noon on Sunday) and then was i/c the Paddock - 7 races beginning at 3pm each day. The auction on Sunday morning was enlivened by two Africans attending the auction quarrelling and one hitting the other with a chair. So James Greig (another A.D.O. ) and I firmly ran them out of the hall and gave them "in charge" of a policeman!"

I also recorded that "Martin Orde (another A.D.O. ) who was flying home tomorrow came off his horse pretty hard in a hurdle race, broke his collar bone and got a very hard blow on his temple - he was wearing no hard hat at all which was silly and had a heavy cold which was also silly!!"

At this moment Victor Collison went on leave leaving me on my own as 'Acting Security Officer" until his relief, David Roberts, then number two in the Security Office for the whole of Nigeria in Lagos could be released. In fact I was only on my own for about a month as Victor Collison left on 25th May and David Roberts arrived on 22nd June: and so far as I can remember there were no dramatic alarms for me to cope with! Most of the work was mundane: checking papers, etc., confiscated by the Police from persons charged with offences such as sedition, encoding or decoding messages from Residents in charge of Provinces, pursuing monthly intelligence reports, even planning new offices to be built near Government Lodge so that our office would not be so near those of the various Ministries which with Regional Independence looming would be in charge of African Ministers. All in a sense planning for the emergency or disaster which one hoped would never happen but which had to be contemplated. Notwithstanding that much of the work was interesting and that one knew things which others did not I periodically bemoaned my posting to the Secretariat and compared life in Kaduna unfavourably with life on my own in Argungu!

In June we had the Queen's Birthday Parade. We all put on our uniforms even if we were only spectators. I recorded: "The Queen's Birthday Parade went off well - all the guns fired and none of the towing vehicles broke down! Though one poor infantryman fired his rifle at the wrong moment in the feu de joie! And got his name took very quickly I noticed!"

I also asked "what the Sapper (Royal Engineers) colour is? Is it crimson?" I asked because "the Zouave jackets worn by the Field Squadron on the parade were quite different from the Infantry scarlet. The Gunners of course wore blue with red piping - the B.S.M. complete with gold frogging down the front. And the Infantry scarlet with gold piping. These are worn over the khaki - shirt and shorts - and really give a very good effect indeed particularly with two battalions in line."

The only other "incident" was that when His Honour gave away some Long Service Medals at the end of the parade he evidently found one of the pins blunt as the poor man's medal fell off his chest as he clattered down off the dais!

A lighter moment occurred when we realised that one of our friends senior to me who had been awarded the O.B.E. in the Queen's Birthday Honours and who was therefore wearing his insignia for the first time on his uniform as a spectator at the parade had been sent a lady's version of the insignia Orl his chest (I think with some wartime medals) the order suspended from a rather large pinkish coloured bow! Not quite what was intended!

Meanwhile, encouraged before he left by Victor Collison who was a bit of a gardener, I had been improving the surroundings of my brand new bungalow. As I have said I recorded that "I have planted 40 Neem trees and a couple of eucalyptus - all will produce results in years to come, though not just yet. By the next year the Neems should be 4 or 5 feet taiL" The neem was an Indian tree introduced to Northern Nigeria in the early years of our occupation. It was, I think evergreen (but I may be wrong), very quick growing and stood the dry climate. It was said that you could sit in its shade in five years or so due to its quick growth and it went on growing to considerable size. I particularly remember the excellent avenues of big neem trees down the main streets of Maiduguri, the capital of Bornu Emirate.

The next event was that I acquired another pony to replace Pride, "bought for me by a committee of friends in Kano! Which may seem an odd way to buy one but I can't get up there and anyway my judgement of a horse from the point of view of buying would not give me all that confidence." He was a roan with a pronounced roman nose from what was considered the best area, the 8ahr-el-Gazal in the north west part of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan beyond Lake Chad. He cost me £32. Horse traders would bring a posse of horses the 500 miles or so west to Kano to sell. The long trek of course weeded out any which might be weak. At Kano they would go first to the racecourse where the Lebanese, Syrian and African racing people would take those which showed a promise of speed. Then they would come down to the polo lines where those who played polo would choose the next most promising. For some reason a roan colour and a roman nose were a sign of strength and quality. A "big" pony would be 14.3 hands and I always described their forelegs as coming out of one hole: in other words they were very narrow. They were all stallions which, of course, gave them the strength and stamina to carry us Europeans who tended to ride heavier than the Africans. My chief contact in Kano had been Dennis Walker, the Veterinary Officer in Kano whom I had known well as the Veterinary Officer in Sokoto. The next problem was getting the pony down from Kano to Kaduna. I found that someone in the army also had ponies to bring down and so our ponies shared a cattle truck. Even that had problems because I recorded: "Just been on to the station master (at Kaduna station) about the horses and he is now starting to ring up Zaria, fifty miles up the line, to find out where they are!" Happily they arrived in due course.

I called my pony Law (or Sharia in Hausa or Arabic) but I have little recollection of him and I sold him six months later when about to go on leave. That suggests that he cannot have been very good.

There then occurred an event in my life which was truly dramatic. It all started with my coming back to my house from polo one evening to find Abetse, my boy, saying: "Ran ka ya dade, ga wuya": "Sir, here's a telegram ("wuya" being the onomatopoeic Hausa word for what came along a wire). "Arriving Kano Airport 6am Sunday (in about 10 days time) Nancy." This was my first warning that we were at last to get married! Nancy was Nancy Gatehouse: we had first met when she had stayed for two months or so with Tarn and Wendy Nash in Kaduna over Christmas in 1950. Tarn Nash was Director of the West African Institute of Tryponosomiasis Research, i.e. all about tsetse flies and sleeping sickness, both human and bovine. We had got engaged in 1951 but had never got round to getting married on my last leave in 1953 after my tour in Sokoto. Now Nancy had, as you might say, taken the bull by the horns and was on her way. So I had much to plan and do!

First, a Special Licence to get married: these were issued by the Local Authority, the District Officer responsible for the Kaduna area: he was Stuart McCallum: Stuart and Anne, his wife, had, as it happened, had Nancy to stay a night during her previous visit when she and I had gone to the Zaria races and Stuart was then serving there. I rather tentatively went and asked Stuart (whom I had known since we were both on the Cambridge course before we came out to Nigeria) for a Special Licence: Stuart asked for whom I needed it: I rather quietly said I did: "Yes but who is getting married?" I said I was and that it was to Nancy who had stayed with them: "Not Blue Grass!" said Stuart in amazement. Nancy had used a nice scent named Blue Grass and it had evidently impressed Stuart! A Licence was duly forthcoming.

There was a Church in Kaduna, St. Christopher's, of which the local Army padre, a Mr. Davey, was as it were Vicar. So I made contact with him and he agreed to officiate.

Then where was Nancy to stay? She obviously could not stay with me. I in fact enlisted the help of Catherine Dinnick-Parr, a Women's Education Officer who had been in Makurdi during my first tour and was now in Kaduna and she kindly had Nancy to stay.

Then who would be my Best Man? And keep me up to the mark? So I contacted Tony Ditcham who had been at St. John's College, Cambridge, with me on the Colonial Service Course in 1946/47 and had become a close friend. He was now in Katsina. He agreed to take on that duty.

Then who would give Nancy away? TAM Nash who would probably have done it was on leave in the U.K. So Stewart McCallum agreed to do it having at least met her before.

Then where should we go for at least a short honeymoon? The obvious place was the Hill Station at Jos, the best imitation of a luxury hotel in the North. This was run by an elderly retired District Officer called Bolo Maddox. And could I have a little local leave for a week away from the office? So I applied to Gordon Wilson the Senior District Officer responsible for all postings and personnel administration in the North. On hearing what was afoot he not only granted me a week's leave but also most kindly rang up Bolo Maddox, whom he knew well, and got us the one vacant room in Hill Station, No. 12A (avoiding a No. 13!)

Then Stewart and Anne McCallum woke up to the fact that I only had my Morris Commercial truck and said firmly: "You can't go and meet Nancy in that!" - said with considerable emphasis! They insisted that I went in their Opel saloon!

To wind up the arrangements Catherine Dinnick-Parr said that we could have the reception at her house.

So off I set the next weekend to meet Nancy at Kano - in Stuart and Anne's Ope!. I stayed the night in Kano with Norman and Unity Odgers - I had stayed with him on my first arrival at Gboko on first appointment in January 1948! Then early on the Sunday morning in the dark I set off for the airport some distance (?6 miles) north of Kano. Then disaster struck! A puncture half-way there: it was dark: the car was not mine and so I knew nothing about it. Was there a spare wheel? Where was the jack? Where were tools?etc. Luckily Abetse was with me and between us we changed the wheel! This of course left me with oily, filthy hands: and of course we were late at the somewhat primitive buildings of the airport. I remember, rather disheveled and with filthy hands, bursting in at the door of the reception area to find a worried Nancy waiting! Much relief all round!

There were two little side issues: first, on the flight Nancy had shared a wide row of seats with a charming young man who confessed that he had never flown before: so she had briefed him and given him guidance. He, in turn, on arrival in Kano (where he was getting off too) and noticing that there was no one to meet her had waited in case he could help: he quietly disappeared when I arrived! Second, the Nigeria Police Officer doing immigration, i.e. passport control, was a Mr. Papadopolous from, I think, Cyprus, whom Nancy remembered from her previous visit with the Nashes for some reason and she was not going to tell him that she had come out to get married and had apparently been let down by me!!

After that alarm all went more smoothly. I had booked a room at the Kano Catering Rest House so that Nancy could wash and brush up and we had breakfast there. We enquired around for the nice young man on the flight hoping to be able to thank him for his kindness but could find no trace of him.

So, after getting the puncture mended we then drove the long way back to Kaduna.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Our Wedding Day
The next week passed with a rush. People were very kind and produced a cake, a bouquet for Nancy and flowers for the Church. Tony Ditcham came down from Katsina to be my Best Man and keep me up to the mark! Stuart McCallum agreed to give Nancy away - he had at least met her before! Christopher Hanson-Smith and John and Jean Matthew all came down from Sokoto.

The wedding was on the Saturday, 21 st July 1954, quite short and simple which the Army Padre took very nicely. One interesting feature was that Stuart McC having lost his right arm above the elbow in the war in Burma, Nancy had to come up the aisle on his left arm and then Stuart had to do a chasse round her to get her next to me in front of the altar! I reported home that there were "Just about 15 people - all close friends and most having known N before - in fact I think half sat on each side of the church. Hymns "Praise my soul the King of Heaven" and (mainly because the dentist/organist knew it best!) "Lead us, Heavenly Father, lead us"! N. had to pretend to cut the cake with my sword - not very effective as it has a point but no edge!" Tony, Stuart, John Matthew and I wore uniform though I think that I was the only one wearing my (entirely ceremonial) sword!!

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
The Wedding Party
The wedding was in the morning and after a cheerful reception Nancy and I returned to what was now "our" house and changed into more practical clothes and set off in my big truck for Jos about 1.30pm. We were not quite out of the wood yet! A mile or two out of Kaduna on the road north towards Zaria a bush track diverged to the right! Some of our more cheerful guests - I think Christopher H-S and John and Jean Matthew - had covered the proper road with some brushings and grass hoping that we would follow the diverging track!! However luckily I saw this ploy and so we sailed triumphantly on our way! I reported: "a nasty drive with bad bits of road for which my large truck was really very much the best vehicle!" We had a nice quiet walk at the Hill Station: as I have said this was the nearest thing to a luxury hotel in the North, run to a high standard by Bolo Maddox and his head boy who was, as it were, major domo: e.g. you had to have at least coat and tie at dinner! The only downside which I remember was that there were no quarters for visitors' servants so Abetse who had come with us had to find lodging in the town where there was, I think, a small Tiv colony. The country round Jos was quite attractive, uphill and down dale with large rocky outcrops, good for picnics. And of course we enjoyed each other's company!

Then it was back to Kaduna and back to work and play there.

One problem was my large truck. In particular when Nancy drove it anywhere and put the handbrake on her hand was not large enough to release the catch at the top of the brake lever which released the brake. So Mbuivungu, the "small boy", had to go with her to do it for her! Furthermore the truck was not a suitable Kaduna vehicle so we looked to sell it. The buyer was Kaduna Native Town Council - to use as a dust cart! This, of course, was the excuse for some ribaldry from our friends! We then put our name down for an Opel saloon. I recorded that an Opel was "virtually a Chevrolet, the best American cars here." The Union Trading Co. agent for Opels, was in Kano so we would have to go up there to collect it in a few weeks time.

One early dinner invitation which we had was to dinner, on our own, with Phiz Browne, the Chief Secretary (and so No. 2 to the Lieutenant Governor) and his wife. Both were charming and popular. There was a reason behind this. Phiz Browne was grandson of the Victorian cartoonist, also Phiz Browne, and son of Doctor Hablot Browne, a G.P' in the Wirral where, of course, Nancy's family lived, at Thornton Hough, before Nancy and her Mother moved down to Byworth in West Sussex. In fact Or. Browne was their G.P. More to the point, there had been an occasion when Dr. Browne was driving to see Nancy at their house, Raby Vale, about some ailment when he was stung on the hand by a bee, jerked his steering wheel at the sting and turned his car over in the ditch. All this was, of course, back in the late 1920s or early 1930s. Phiz Browne had seen that Nancy's surname was Gatehouse and therefore was interested in finding out whether it was she whom his father had been visiting. Sure enough it, of course, had been her. So we had a nice dinner as a result and some laughter at the coincidence. There was in fact a further coincidence which was that Petra Browne had come from Chester and at one time had run a dancing class to which Nancy went as a young girl at the Grosvenor Hotel in Chester which had a sprung floor in its ballroom!

Meanwhile the running of our house continued much as before Nancy's arrival. Both Abetse and Ayaka had of course met her before when she had stayed with the Nashes and so she was not a total stranger. It was always said that when a batchelor got married there was upheaval in the house. While he was a batchelor his head boy ran the house, had the keys to the store cupboards etc., dished out the sugar, etc., and was total boss. On his getting married his wife wanted to lay down the rules, give all the orders, hold the keys and dish out the sugar - head boy was no longer so important a person. After a bit he and may be the others could stand it no longer and would leave. With us, I am glad to say, none of that happened. The last thing Nancy wanted to do was hold the keys and dish out sugar! She was more than happy with the status quo. If there was any problem which led to any discussion she invariably took the boys' side and I would find myself one side of the table in a minority of one with Nancy at the other supported by a quietly pleased Abetse and a grinning Ayaka in the background. Everyone was happy. And there was no question of anyone leaving.

Our next excitement was to acquire our new car, the Opel saloon. This we had to collect from Kano from the Union Trading Company, a Swiss outfit which was the Opel agent. I reported: "About 2nd September we go up to Kano for me to meet a man from Lagos about the security etc., of Kano International Airport and we hope to take delivery of our Opel there then." Quite what I knew about security of international airports I know not: perhaps "the man from Lagos did!" The trip to Kano was by train overnight, leaving Kaduna very late at night and arriving at Kano at 6.30am the next morning.

However all was not plain sailing: I reported from the Airport Hotel at Kano where we evidently stayed: "We have been having a frustrating time up here as we have still not got our new car! The reason is entirely bad luck - four days or so before we came up last Wednesday a goods train got derailed 8 miles out of Kano and we on Wednesday morning were the first train to get past the scene - and our car was behind us on a goods train which had got delayed. It finally got here on Friday morning but the Kano rail yards are so full and the railway men so idle and inept that they only got the wagons up against the unloading ramp yesterday (?Saturday) and then some other car was on the front truck and no one had any keys for it. ...... The Swiss Manager (of U.T.C.) has done pretty well nothing in the last two days except chivvy all and sundry about our car (and the five others for his firm that are with it) ........ The rail crash when we came by it having spent the morning sitting around in our train within 20 miles of Kano! was an incredible sight. A goods train full of groundnuts had derailed on a curve and there was a pile of smashed goods trucks as high as a house. They say that the driver of the train ran away into the bush and hasn't been seen again! I don't think anyone was hurt. It was on a downhill stretch so was probably going too fast.. ... They had built a short diversion over which we crept at one mile an hour!" The goods trucks would have been bogie covered vans containing groundnuts in hessian bags. I cannot remember whether Nigerian Railway goods trains had continuous brakes but I think that they did. If not rain could well have reduced the braking power of just the engine and brake van.

Without a car we were handicapped as on this occasion we stayed at the Kano Airport Hotel and the airport was, as I have said earlier, some way out from Kano itself.

Anyway we duly got our new car in due course and proceeded to drive about in great comfort. But all was still not quite plain sailing. I reported: "We had a good drive from Kano except that when we came to have (a picnic) lunch half of it was in the boot and the lock jammed! A (touring) U.T.C. engineer at Zaria was much puzzled what to do as the lock is all inside the boot until I looked underneath and saw that by unscrewing and taking out the complete petrol tank you can get into the boot from underneath! So that was done and it was found that a small washer, obviously lost by a man in the factory when making the car, had dropped into and jammed the lock!" That cured the car was a great success. We thought nothing, it seems, of the 50 odd miles to Zaria, whether for work or play. "We are spending Monday night in Zaria as I have to see a senior railway officer there about various things. A pleasant trip now that we have a pleasant car!!" While there we had a drink with John Lenox-Conyngham, a very old friend of my cousin, Jane Walford. He was a (rather passed over) Senior District Officer who had earlier been in the Secretariat. When he was being brought round to meet the other people in the various offices, I had politely said that I thought I had met him on my first tour in Benue: to this his cheerful reply was: "And the time before that was when you were in your pram1" Much hilarity! But it was true because he had back in the 1920s come to Mompesson House in Salisbury Close at some time when we were staying there! He had great charm and was most amusing.

Meanwhile life continued in Kaduna. "Yesterday at Jean Matthew's suggestion we went to a roundabouts, etc., fair in the (native) town - a most shoddy dirty affair but quite amusing to see the locals' reaction to such things which they can never have seen before." Whether we rode the roundabouts I do not know but we may well have done because "John and Jean went home and had Dettol in their baths! And N. and I went to the swimming pool and had a glorious bathe in the semi-darkness - the water lovely and warm and no one else there."

The next day "we've been to a triple christening of the McCallum, Greig and Arnold children! The Bishop - not a very prepossessing type, I thought! - and about sixty of us there. Very cheerful and a good white wine cup. And none of the infants murmured which was remarkable." That was 19th September 1954. The Bishop would have been the "Bishop on the Niger" as the see was called: whether it was the whole of the North I do not know but I think it likely.

On 1 st October 1954 "we have parades and speechifying and oath-taking to inaugurate yet another "New Constitution". "Lieutenant-Governor" becomes "Governor": the Sardauna becomes "Premier" (not Prime Minister though what "Premier" means I don't really know.)" This was the inauguration of a new arrangement of regional independence, the three regions being the Northern Provinces, the Western Region, predominantly Yoruba peoples and the Eastern Region, predominantly Ibo. I was too junior an officer to be involved in or have any detailed knowledge of the policies and politics involved. Suffice to say that the North acquired much more control over its regional affairs, administered through Ministries with African Ministers in charge, coordinated by the Regional Assembly consisting, if my memory is correct at this stage, of an Assembly and a separate House of Chiefs, the whole free-er of control from the centre of Lagos. So far as I personally was concerned it made little difference to the detail of my work.

I reported on all the actual events: "Friday here was quite fun: parade 8.45am, a good one spoilt only by the angle of Phiz Browne, the (acting) Governor's hat!! Our frightful topis must be worn square and well down in front if they are to be bearable and Phiz wore his at a rakish angle and well up in front. But, as someone put it, he'll soon be cured when he sees himself in photos!"

"Then at 11 am there was a ceremony on the front balcony of the Lugard Hall - the Parliament Building - at which H.E. installed the Sardauna of Sokoto as the first "Premier" of the Region. Not Prime Minister, presumably because he is not the senior member of the Executive Council (the cabinet) but only the leading African member, there being still 3 European Members (and the Governor presiding). Hence the subtle distinction in terms. This was a good ceremony in a pleasant setting and everyone clearly heard and seen. Then in the evening the Premier gave a "reception" - all the world and his wife - unfortunately inside the Lugard Hall and not in the grounds as had been hoped. Some of the Members from Sokoto were there which was nice as I am always pleased to see them and N. was intrigued to meet them."

To help out and to occupy herself Nancy took a job in the Security Registry in the Secretariat. This registry held first the files on which we in the Security Section worked and second various files which had to be kept secret, including some coloured scarlet which no African, however, senior, was meant to know even existed. This registry was run by two wives of Europeans, at this time by Mrs. Gidley, the wife of a Police Officer, and now Nancy. It was situated in the "Ivory Tower" in the middle of the Secretariat block, immediately below our own Security Section Office.

Her presence there led to one amusing incident. I have said that one of the six telephones in our Security Section office was a scarlet instrument with a scrambler on it. On some occasion when the heat had naturally caused us to open the windows, I was yelling down this scrambled telephone to the equivalent office in Lagos when Nancy came pounding up the stairs, having just been down outside the building for a breath of fresh air, to say "Do you realise that every word which you are yelling down that scrambled telephone can be heard perfectly clearly at ground level outside the building!" So much for secrecy!! It was evidently echoing down outside the Ivory Tower, all of four stories down!

Another problem arose one day when Alhaji Umaru Gwandu, the Clerk to the House of Assembly, highly respected and ultra reliable, came to collect the Great Seal so that he could seal some legislation. This also was kept in the Security Registry and was far too heavy for the women to lift. But of course Alhaji Umaru Gwanda could not enter the Registry! One of us had to go down and lift it the necessary ten feet or so to get it out of the Registry into the corridor for Alhaji Umaru to take it over!

All this time I had been on my own in the Security Section. David Roberts who had come up from Lagos in June to succeed Victor Collison in charge of the section had been temporarily diverted to another job in the Secretariat and so did not take over until late October. I seem to have survived without, so far as I remember, any great disaster or triumph. So I reverted to being the number 2.

In fact, as I reported: "I seem to have handed my job back to David Roberts just about the right time as a minor riot blew up in Bauchi which kept people up till 2 am on Thursday - I slept soundly! Nothing much to be done except try and find out what was happening which was not at all clear. No telephone to Bauchi and no wireless either. The Residency got some windows broken and an A.D.O. got a brick in the face! All over the choice of a new Emir."

My somewhat basic house and furnishings had of course felt the female touch since Nancy's arrival. She had made curtains and cushion covers, the latter for the quite good arm chairs and sofa that I had had made at Gboko on my first tour. Abetse and Ayaka were so impressed that they intimated that they would like curtains in the kitchen and pantry. However Nancy did not have time now that she was working so they were given the material to make up with guidance. Amusingly the best expert with the needle turned out to be the garden boy!

About now I was beginning to play some polo fairly seriously. I had the one pony and thought of getting another but in fact never actually did so. The polo in Kaduna was all European since there were no Africans interested.

We also found ourselves going racing quite a bit. On 13th November I reported: "Zaria races tomorrow (Sunday) and we are going over so I'm writing on Saturday night. The races have been on today but we thought one day enough! Particularly as we shall have one day at Katsina races next weekend and then Kaduna races the weekend after. We go to Katsina on the Thursday and return on Sunday morning - very early as we must be back here by midday as David Roberts (now my boss in the Security Section) is driving to Kano that afternoon and one or other of us must be here in Kaduna. So a before-dawn start - the best time for driving here really." Our new car was clearly being put to good use and was enabling us to do our driving in comfort. I later recorded re our trip to Katsina: "Back from Katsina today - 230 miles before 10.15am, started at 4.15 am ....... Katsina was a pleasant break and a breath of fresh air after Kaduna. I got a little work done and had a game of polo ....... Nancy enjoyed it - seeing one of the best and least spoilt of the old Hausa towns. There was one days racing - not highly organised but great fun."

These race meetings, both flat and steeplechase, were run by amateur volunteers. For example during my tours in Kaduna I was at various times treasurer, organiser of the paddock and judge at the finish. Many of the races were for amateur riders but some were for professional or at least semiprofessional riders on horses owned by African, Syrian or Lebanese owners who took their racing seriously. The mounts were the same local or Bahr el Ghazal "ponies" as we used for polo. The course was quite often a circuit, outside the perimeter of the local polo fields, the surface grass mown and perhaps watered but in the local sandy soil not particularly high class. Usually all concerned, African, European, Syrian, Lebanese, combined to make it a cheerful day out. There were occasional bookies and I have a recollection of a tote at a Kano meeting but I don't recall betting being taken very seriously, at least among our friends.

In December I had contact with Argungu again in the form of entertaining the new Emir to dinner. I cannot be certain but I think that the Madawaki, the most upright of the old Emir's Council and a firm opponent of the old Emir, became the new Emir and I had, of course, known him and worked with him a great deal when at Argungu. He was in Kaduna for some course of lectures so we asked him to dinner. The first thing that happened Was that one day before the party "a vast Pontiac rolled up to the door and out got two spur wing geese (live), 69 eggs and a bucket of rice! Greetings from the Emir."

Then a few days later we had the party: Emir of Argungu, Alhaji Umaru Gwandu (Clerk to the House of Assembly for whom when in England doing an attachment at the Houses of Parliament in London I had got an introduction to John Morrison, M.P. and later Lord Margadale), and David and Caroline Roberts (he was my boss in the Security Section). It was evidently a cheerful evening: I recorded: "The Emir not too sure of his knives and forks but full of conversation. Alhaji Umaru told us a bit more about his time in the U.K. He had obviously enjoyed himself a lot."

Then it was Christmas with a round of parties though I reported: "Christmas here pleasantly quiet and restful. Odd visits and out to lunch but nothing very dashing."

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Kaduna Polo Tournament
Next came the annual Kaduna Polo Tournament. I had not been playing long enough to reach a standard at which I could take part in a team. But we were all roped in in some capacity and Nancy reported home that she was to be a timekeeper and I was to sell programmes!

Then our plans were all upset. As I reported home: "I have managed to do something which I haven't managed to do for a long time and that is to be ill - even then not very ill and only felt ill for one day. And am perfectly OK again now." Briefly my "good" ear misbehaved itself and caused my face to swell up: obviously some infection: antifligistine and two penicillin injections calmed it down but the Kaduna doctors, told about the history of my radical mastoid in the other ear and the scarred eardrum in the infected one, took the view that since it had shown signs of being angry it had better be looked at by those who a) knew about it and b) could do anything necessary, i.e. Mr. Scott-Brown, my E.N.T. specialist in London. So I was to be sent on leave early. Since neither of us really enjoyed Kaduna and being in the Secretariat there were certain advantages!

Meanwhile the polo tournament took place. I reported: "Katsina were given the impossible task of giving Kaduna 1110 goals (on handicap)! In spite of Kaduna lI's poor ponies - the best had gone to the 1st team - they could only get 7 of them (in the 4 chukkas which were all that we played) so were knocked out (of that cup)." Katsina was the "home" of polo in Nigeria and tended to produce the best teams. In the open tournament for the Georgian Cup Kano with a handicap total of 15 rightly beat Kaduna I, handicap total 8.

There were some moments of ceremonial. Sir Brian Sharwood-Smith, now under the recent new federal constitution Governor rather than Lieutenant Governor, returned from leave and was sworn in as Governor. I recorded: "There was a big ceremony for him to take the oath. All went well and he looked very well in his full Governor's blue uniform - with plumes of red and white and plenty of gold braid and red stripes down his trousers! But no one turned the loud speakers up so no one could hear what he said!"

Then after Christmas "we all went up to the airport to see off Phiz and Mrs. (Petra) Browne - he has been acting Governor and is now retiring." They were both charming and popular and, as I have said earlier, there was the coincidence that Phiz Browne's father had been Nancy's family's G.P. in the Wirral and Petra Browne, before she was married, had taught Nancy at dancing classes in Chester.

Then mid January we left Kaduna by train to Lagos and went back to England on MV Apapa, apparently the least good of the three Elder Dempster mail boats although perfectly satisfactory. Our train journey down from Kaduna was evidently fraught: I reported: "We had a bad train journey - an old coach - just bad luck by very' bad luck! We stayed (in Lagos) with the Highetts - charming people with a nice house. So all was well directly we got here!"

Fifth Tour: lIorin and Kano - June 1955 to Summer 1956
My previous tour in Kaduna ended abruptly with my right ear giving trouble. cannot remember what, if anything my E.N.T. specialist in London found to be wrong with it but, after a lovely trip to Spain, including Easter week in Jerez, we duly returned by sea to Lagos and went up by train to Kaduna not knowing where we were then to be posted. I had hoped for a return to Sokoto but on going to see Gordon Wilson, the Senior District Officer responsible for postings, I was told, much to my disappointment, that he wanted me to stay in the Secretariat and to work in what I think was called "Native Affairs". My reply, perhaps somewhat pompous; was "But surely, Sir, before I go telling Residents what to do, I ought to have some more bush experience?" His reply, not quite what I had hoped for, was: "Well, you could go to lIorin~' Having made one protest I did not feel that I could make another and, although not really wanting to go back south to the "Middle Belt", meekly accepted.

So, having collected our car, we drove back south. I reported: "Had quite a reasonable drive down (to lIorin) though some parts of the road were pretty bad. We stayed the night in Bida (in the catering rest house, one of a series of Government run "hotels" in major stations) but no one in Bida that I knew. Then on to lIorin - crossing the Kaduna river near Bida on a poling ferry. The country round here (lIorin) is nice - uphill and down dale and parts of it open farms with trees scattered about like a park - the forestry term for it is "parkland"."

I was to work in the lIorin Division under Alec Smith, the D.O. Ilorin, who had for a few weeks until he went on leave been at Gboko when I first came out in 1948. We were allocated a house in lIorin but it needed repainting and repairs to the roof so for what was intended to be only three weeks or so we were allocated a very basic and hot tin roofed bungalow. At least it enabled us to unpack our loads but I do not have happy recollections of it! lIorin was a Moslem Emirate but the people were more akin to the Yoruba people of Western Nigeria than to the Hausa of the North. I remember being taken to meet the Emir of lIorin and attending an Emir's Council meeting but have no recollection of the Native Authority set up at all.

The D.O. Provincial Office! was a rather untaking D.O. called Wailer Wood and I lay at his door about the only example of bad man management that I suffered during all my time in Northern Nigeria. The supervisor of that part of the Colonial Service Course that we had spent in London in 1947 was R.E. Wraith, a ? professor at the London School of Economics, a person of great charm. He was dOing some survey in Nigeria and was in lIorin for a day or two in our first few weeks there. He discovered that I was there and came round to have a drink with us one evening. He incidentally brought with him a small wooden stool which the Emir of Pategi, a small Emirate on the banks of the Niger, had given him and which he couldn't (or didn't want!) to cart around with him (and which I still have). It so happened that the Resident, a rather dour Scot called Charles Michie, was that evening giving a drinks party in honour of Mr. Wraith at the Residency and so after he had had a drink with us I drove him round to the Residency to the party. What I thought was not quite right was that we were the only people in the station who were not asked to the party! I didn't give Wailer Wood, who had arranged it all, high marks. A small thing and perhaps magnified by memory!

Another unpleasantness while we were in this poor quality bungalow was that we both had our regular, I think annual, T.A.B. injections and I in particular was badly affected by it: so much so that I fainted and fell flat on the concrete floor! Nancy learnt a lesson because Abetse and Ayaka wisely took a leg each and Nancy was left carrying me to my bed by the head end, much the heavier part!

However our time in lIorin itself was shorter than we expected because within a fortnight or so of our arrival it was decided that I should relieve Martin Orde as D.O. Lafiagi and he should come into lIorin and work in lIorin Division so that he could take over that Division from Alec Smith who was shortly due to go on leave. Lafiagi was fairly remote down a dead end road leading only to Lafiagi and on to Pategi. I described it as "even busher than Argungu as it is on the way to nowhere and the only other Europeans are 2 missionaries - old English people whom Jane Orde likes. I fear that the mosquitoes are bad!" I also reported: "Lots of good milk locally and fish from the Niger at Pategi I which one visits frequently but meat scarce and vegetables too."

So before going out to Lafiagi we went down to Ibadan, 160 odd miles south of lIorin and in the Western Region, to stock up with provisions and, incidentally, to attend a race meeting and see various friends. Among other things we bought a roof rack for our Opel car (£10 cost, I recorded!) and evidently had the car serviced as I also recorded that the Union Trading Company's Swiss engineers found that our brake master cylinder was rusty and needed replacing: how a cylinder full of brake fluid got rusty I never understood!

Ibadan was a vast place, reputed to be the largest African city south of the Sahara, and had a good university. The local people were Yorubawa, intelligent and highly successful traders and businessmen. We went to the races and found the meeting much more formal and organised and the quality of the horses much higher than our relatively amateur efforts up north. This reflected the considerably richer and more organised race horse owners.

On the Sunday we lunched with Donald Leich (who had been on the Cambridge course) and his wife, Liz, and he then took us round the modern University buildings which impressed us. I recorded: "A very good Assembly Hall and two interesting churches, one not finished. The finished one is an R.C. one - facing west and with a great wooden cross suspended at the crossing inside - as Liz Leich put it, "Rather like the sword of Damocles!" Especially as the bottom of the shaft is pointed. And no pulpit in either church!" This church was a single span concrete (\ shaped building some 60 feet high with the high altar end in rough irregular masonry and the entrance end closed only by a wrought iron grill. Clearly an interesting building. My recollection of the majority of the University buildings is that they were built of red brick.

Incidentally I also recorded that at the races Liz Leich "rode very well in a five furlong polo pony race to win on a very small but good pony"!

We then had "a very nice drive back (to lIorin) through the evening sun. Some very nice light on the trees - quite thick forest for the last 20 miles to Ibadan (Le. the first 20 on the way back)".

So then (18th July 1955) to Lafiagi. We actually took Jane Orde out with us as she had come into lIorin with some fever a few days before but had recovered. Martin, having brought her in, had gone back the day before. I recorded that we stayed with them for a few days and then Martin took me off on tour for two days to visit Sharagi, Shonga and Pategi, the other places of any importance in the Division.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Shonga
Sharagi I cannot remember but Shonga was H.Q. of a District on the banks of the Niger about nine miles north of LafiagL At Shonga the mosquitoes had the reputation of being large enough to wear their own mosquito boots (the soft leather calf length boots which we all wore after dark) and strong enough to bite you through the canvas of your deck chair! There was, of course, fish to be had at Shonga but with no regular motor transport any fish for sale in Lafiagi was "off" after having been carried for 9 or so miles in a jar of water on someone's head! The D.O.'s poling barge was kept at Shonga.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Lt. Cdr. Bellairs
A slightly sad reminder of hardships long ago at Shonga was the grave in the level bit of ground a hundred yards from the river bank of a Royal Navy officer, Lieutenant Commander G.St.J. Bellairs, died 22nd May 1888. I imagine that he was commanding a river gunboat or some such craft and probably died of malaria or some such fever. Quite what his gunboat was doing so far up river and as early as that I would not know. The concrete slab with a bronze plate recording his name, etc., must have been put down much later, probably by the government P.W.D.

Pategi, 45 miles east of Lafiagi, was also near the Niger being on a high bluff above the river. The government Rest House was on the top of the bluff with a fine view down the River Niger eastwards, a fine setting (but the sandflies in millions tended to spoil it!). Pategi was a small but nice Emirate, always chronically short of money.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Our Lafiagi House
Having taken me round the Division, Martin handed over to me and he and Jane left for lIorin. We then moved into the D.O.'s house, a nice thatched bungalow with a verandah along the front and quite a nice view.

The G.R.A. at Lafiagi was a pleasant but quite small area on a bit of a rise a short way from the town. It only had the D.O.'s house, a Rest House and the Divisional Office. However it had a slightly sinister reputation in one way. It was said that no local African would come up to the G.R.A. after dark. This was because back in 1925 the then District Officer had been accustomed each evening to play dice with his cook, the winner to have the pleasures of the cook's wife that night. Unfortunately the D.O. evidently won too often because his cook, clearly having had enough of it, one night took his master's shotgun and shot him. He did not apparently kill him but wounded him severely. The locals apparently put him in a hammock and set off to carry him to lIorin. They only got some ten miles or so when the D.O. died and there certainly was a European grave just beside the road. Certainly I do not remember people from the town coming up to the G.R.A. late in the day.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Our Servants
The D.O.'s house at Lafiagi was a nice bungalow with a good thatched roof (I think on top of corrugated iron so keeping it cool and deadening the noise of rain) and a pleasant verandah all the way along the front. It looked out onto a lawn and a view out to the bush, the G.R.A. being on a bit of a hill. We even had a proper 'loo and a ?septic tank (of which more anon!) though the water came from a well. My office was just walking distance away past, if I remember rightly, the rest house in which visitors camped.

There was a bit of a garden and a nice compound with pretty trees. Jane Orde had left us quite a good lot of growing vegetables in the back of the house for which we were very grateful as there were few obtainable locally.

We had one instructive and pleasant surprise in the compound. Sitting out one evening we were suddenly assailed by a wonderful waft of scent. On investigating what was producing this we found in the far corner of the compound behind the house a couple of grapefruit trees in full flower. Later when we came to eat the ripe fruit they were delicious, tasting just about as sweet as muscatel grapes. This taught us why they were called "grapefruit". I have never had such fine ones since.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Pategi Rest House
Meanwhile I seem to have been rather less than enthusiastic about Lafiagi: Nancy reported: "Robert finds his work here very petty and dull after Argungu and there is not much else to make up for it like riding or shooting." And shortage of fresh food did not help. Trips on tour to Pategi, the small emirate 45 odd miles further east, were pleasant. I recorded when on tour there: "We stay in a big round thatched rest house with a nice view over the Niger and the Kaduna River flowing in to it. Sand flies very bad - N puts on her gloves to read a book!! to stop them getting at her hands and they even trouble me a bit! The local Native Authority is very small, has no money in the Treasury but is rather nice - a much cleaner atmosphere than that at Lafiagi which is rather sordid!" Regarding the Emirate Treasury, I do remember that at one point the total reserves fell to £1,500, a dangerously small sum for a public authority even in 1955: I was waiting, cynically, for them to fall even lower so that I could one day go in with, say £25 in my pocket and give it to the Ma'aji (the Native Treasurer) and say "There, I've doubled your reserves!". I'm glad to say it never got as bad as that!

Whatever my feelings about Lafiagi may have been and despite it's meaning in the local Nupe language of "Little hill of health", Lafiagi did not appear to like us! Having come out there in mid July in late August it made me as ill as I have ever been and Nancy far from well. I reported home: "In lIorin as the result of alarms and excursions now over! On Saturday I didn't feel well, had a temperature of 100 at 3pm and 101.5 at 7pm and then in the night was iller internally that I have ever been or ever want to be: N. had the most frightful and frightening time with me as I was fainting about the place and being abominably ill in the lavatory held up by Abetse and co. - really a vile proceeding. The Mission pair were fetched by Ayaka and came up and dosed me a bit and we got through the night. Then in to lIorin the next morning early - me lying flat in the back of the missionaries' Dormobile: Nancy set off driving our car but was of course quite exhausted and not very fit herself and only got part way - we left the car at another mission station - and then joined me for the last 40 miles. Thus we rolled up to the Residency, where we have been in bed since! Bacillary dysentery! Most nasty. However we have both had the course of drugs (Thalazole) and are now OK though very washed out!.. ... The germ was apparently about in Lafiagi recently - I'll say! It was really the most unpleasant experience I have ever had and I know poor N. was horrified though coped wonderfully - even though she was not fit herself ..... The Resident who met us on arrival was most shaken by our appearance and he and his wife have been most kind. And without the Jones's, the Mission pair at Lafiagi - we'd never have got anywhere."

We had hardly met the Resident, Charles Michie, a rather dry Scot, before this undignified appearance and in a sense it took this rather bizarre arrival to break the ice. I can still recall being driven in under the archway porch at the front door of the Residency, the Resident appearing rather puzzled at this unexpected incursion and my holding up a weak hand with the keys of the Divisional Office safe and saying: "I think that I've got to go to hospital, Sir, and here are the keys of the safe." Quite how I got there I cannot recall but I spent the next ten days in the Residency spare room in bed with Nancy in bed there also for four or five days, both being dosed with Thalazole by the station medical officer. Nancy luckily was only mildly affected and was up and about quite a time before me.

There were two lighter elements to this affair. The first was that, to add to the bizarre arrival at the Residency front door, Mrs Jones had a small pet monkey on her knee. The second was that at some moment after giving me the injection in the night at Lafiagi she remarked: "It was such a nice change to inject a soft skin!" I was evidently not blessed with so tough a hide as the locals! My thought was that perhaps she had put a new needle on for the occasion!

So much for the "Little hill of health".

There were two follow ups to all this. First we had at our house in Lafiagi some sort of foul drainage system which was at a slightly higher level than the well from which we drew our water. On investigation there was found to be, I think, a minute seepage into the well. Whether that was the source of the infection we never knew. There was, as I have said, the germ about. The second was this: all water that we drank was both boiled and filtered and then kept in corked bottles in the refrigerator (oil powered since there was no electricity): the bottles and the corks or caps were themselves washed in treated water. We found on checking with Abetse that where as he was certain that all bottles were so washed he was not certain that all corks or caps had been. Another possible gap in our defences. Anyway, we survived: and got to know the Resident, Charles Michie, and his wife much better.

Then back to Lafiagi, as I reported: "both feeling better than we have done for weeks: and since our return we have done nothing but receive polite callers after our health, - my clerk, my Government Messenger, the Corporal of Police, the Chief Scribe of the Native Authority and this morning the Chief of Lafiagi! All very pOlite." We found the house, left in the care of Ayaka, the \ cook, and the Small Boy, in excellent order. The Small Boy had even had all the windows open each day in case we came back so that we would not find the house stuffy. I also reported that: "Another Fridge had been delivered in our absence - still an old one but it appears to work properly which is good."

A last present from Mrs. Resident was three rose cuttings for us to plant out- "bush roses, gay, but not particularly elite! And some stuff called Ice Plant which makes a low hedge and has leaves which turn a sort of pinky white which are its charm." So we were evidently becoming gardeners.

I also reported: "You'll be glad to hear that the M.O. has given us an iron tonic! N. who has had them before says it is a very strong one! It is "put up" in a beer bottle!" Whatever it was it evidently did us some good!

Having got back to Lafiagi we went, after a few days, on tour to Pategi for nearly a week. I recorded: "Remarkably enough the mosquitoes and sandflies have been less tiresome than before." I had to supervise the preparation of the next year's estimates of the Emirate and then attend a meeting of the Native Authority Council. Whether this was the Emir and his immediate councillors or a wider body including District and some Village Heads I cannot recall.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Building a Bridge
During this visit we also coincided with two Public Works Department Foremen of Works who were based there. Mr. Willis was building a road including a fairly big steel girder and concrete bridge over one particular stream which ran strongly in the rainy season. The other, Walter Masterson and his wife Olive, was installing a water supply and was also a skilled well sinker. We got to know Waiter and Olive well and they were a great support. They came from Lancashire and Nancy described them as "jannock", a word from that part of the country meaning salt of the earth and totally reliable. Waiter had been a Chief Petty Officer in the Navy in the War and had been not only fly or bantam weight boxing champion of the Home Fleet but also cribbage champion! They were always cheerful and practical. Waiter told us that the deepest well which his team had sunk, somewhere in the dry country of Bornu Province, was about 215 feet deep: this was dug by hand: to provide air for the workers to breath they blew up lorry inner tubes, sent them down on the bucket by the winch and opened the valve at the bottom. By the time the next tube was pumped full at the surface and sent down on the bucket the one at the bottom had been used up. Waiter had, on the principle that where his men went he went too, gone down to the bottom: he said that it was so hot and airless that he could not have worked there. At that depth they at last struck water. I recorded that during this stay at Pategi we all played Ludo: apparently this was a popular gambling game on the lower deck!

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
roadsigns
Nancy had an amusing moment with Waiter on a later visit by him to us in Lafiagi. Nancy had taken up dressmaking and had had a dressmaker's dummy body sent out. Keen to show off what she was making she apparently said to Waiter: "Come into the bedroom and see my body!" Open to misinterpretation?

Another visitor to Lafiagi was Mr Hayler, otherwise known as Hayler the Jailor, the Chief Inspector of Prisons for the whole of Nigeria. I always considered that he did us great honour in coming to our backwater as the maximum capacity of the, no doubt important, Lafiagi N.A. Prison was 4 prisoners! He taught me two things, nothing to do with work. The first was that, hearing that we had not been too well at times, he pointed out that we ought to be eating the wild garlic of which there was quite a lot growing locally: he told me that he had been a Japanese P.O.W. on the notorious railway and that eating wild garlic there had helped them survive. The second exposed my ignorance of good drink: he and I were sitting on the lawn drinking whisky and water: the whisky bottle ran out: Abetse brought the next bottle on the shelf and started to pour some into Mr. Hayler's glass and was about to add water when Mr. Hayler stopped him and asked to see the bottle. This was a new whisky which I had seen on a shelf when last shopping in Lagos and which I did not know but which looked interesting, Laphroaigh. Mr. Hayler came from the Orkneys and the idea of adding water to this was anathema. He then instructed me in the difference between blended and malt whisky which in my innocence I had not known! A highly useful visitor! And so far as I remember our primitive prisons passed muster!

Our trip to Pategi did not end quite according to plan. One mile from home at Lafiagi we stopped because we thought that we had hit a rabbit or similar. No rabbit but when we tried to start again the gear lever was completely floppy and no gear would engage. We had in fact hit an ant hill in the road and had damaged the linkage from the gear lever, mounted on the steering wheel, which went into the actual gear box underneath it. The N.A. lorry which had carried our loads back from Pategi ahead of us was still up at our house (we could see its lights it being 8pm or so) and continual flashing of our lights brought it out to us and so it towed us the last mile home. The next day I and our kind missionary friend, Mr. Jones, found after apparently 8 hours work that something was wrong with the selector arms inside the gear box. We eventually got it into bottom gear - but could not then get it out again: so we could not drive any distance and nor could we be towed! All most annoying but lucky it happened so near home. Any further action would have to wait until one of the mechanics from the Public Works Department in lIorin could come out and fix it.

Meanwhile I had to go in to lIorin to discuss with the Resident the Pategi Emirate estimates which had been prepared during my visit there. So in to lIorin in the N.A. lorry to stay with Martin and Jane Orde and, among other things, arrange for the P.W.D. mechanic to come out and, hopefully, fix our car. We also visited the station doctor (himself ill with bronchitis, I reported) as a follow up to our last visit when he took a blood count of each of us. We were apparently anaemic and so were put on iron pills again. We were meant to be in for the week-end only but in fact had to stay until the Tuesday so that I and some councillors from Pategi and Lafiagi could meet Peter Scott, the Financial Secretary for Northern Nigeria and they could tell him about their need for financial help for various projects.

As a result we left for Lafiagi at 3.30pm in the N.A. lorry which was heavily laden with timber - planks for making school desks! - and suffering from petrol feed trouble. This was eventually traced to a leaking joint which was letting air into the pipe! So not home till 11 pm - but we did call at the American Baptist Mission at Sharagi, about halfway, just as they were having supper so we got some too! Eventually (? a fortnight or so) a European mechanical Foreman of Works came out from the P.W.D. in Ilorin and after much fiddling from underneath the car's gearbox managed to get the gears out of bottom gear and into top gear, again fixed and, of course, not connected to the gear lever: but at least it was now in a gear that, once started, would enable us to drive a distance. The next problem was to get it into lIorin! 80 odd miles fixed in top gear.

So the next Friday we set off for lIorin able to use only clutch and brake to control and the horn to warn! I see that I reported: "We had a policeman in a Landrover behind and we had a tow-rope so we would have been alright". Presumably this was a Lafiagi N.A. policeman but I have no recollection of his presence nor of Lafiagi N.A having a Landrover! One major hazard was an escarpment which the road mounted in a series of zigzags. I knew that if I met a mammy wagon or any other vehicle and, the road being single track, had to stop I would never get going again on the steep gradient (and nor could I reverse out of the other vehicle's way!). So at the bottom of the hill Nancy had to get out and walk the half mile or so to the top of the hill to stop any other vehicle from coming down. After some agreed time, 20 minutes or so, I started up: I reported: "The steep hill. .... turned out to be not so steep and we roared up in best Monte Carlo rally style with horn blaring and came in well"! In lIorin the P.W.D. workshop did some welding on the linkage going into the gearbox and all was well. And we went safely to Lagos and back the following weekend.

Meanwhile I did do some work! I reported: "On Wednesday evening in comes the District Head of Sharagi to report two killed in a motor accident - a kit car went off a straight bit of road and hit a car. No Europeans involved and all coped with effectively by him and the Sharagi Mission~ Nothing for me to do except get a letter into lIorin to the Nigeria Police. First accident at all bad for several years in the Division."

Then on tour to Shonga on the banks of the Niger, "55 miles by road but only about 9 miles up the valley from Lafiagi." This was the H.Q. of the third District in the Lafiagi Chiefdom. I recorded that "it was the only one where there is any active politics - a rather half-baked agent of the Action Group, the Western Region (Le. Yoruba) political party headed by Awolowo. All they do is to hold occasional public meetings and think themselves grand and annoy the reactionary old District Head." I also recorded that the latter "wears the biggest head dress - an unusual kind of turban looking very like a mitre - that I have ever seen!"

Nigerian politics hardly affected me or what I did at any stage in my time in Northern Nigeria. Throughout the North almost all were happy to accept the status quo of the Native Authority, Emirate or Council, as supervised by the Resident and District Officer, at any rate during the years to 1960 when I was there. However political parties were arising, the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons or N.C.N.C. led by the Ibo Or. Azikiwe or Zik, and active in the Eastern Region, the Action Group led by Awolowo, a Yoruba, and active in the Yoruba Western Region and the anti-establishment Northern Elements Progressive Union or N.E.P.U. led by Dr. Aminu Kano the members of which were mainly what I have seen described as "market rabble". In effect in self protection, the Northern Emirs and manya manya (or great and good) formed the Northern Peoples' Congress or N.P.C. which was effectively the Conservative Party of the North and which, when regional self government came, formed the government of Northern Nigeria. As I have said, at my junior level politics and political parties hardly impinged upon my work.

On another occasion I reported: "A comic day yesterday at Shonga: a Village Head (petty chief), aided and abetted by some of the village elders, had been rather truculently flouting the authority of the District Head's court and so had to be brought in and tried for "Contempt of Court". As it happened he and the two elders came like lambs when summonsed but it was possible that they might not come and that the villagers might resist their arrest: so a "strong force" (8 out of 10 available) of the N.A. Police went off in the lorry - complete with tin hats and truncheons! - to do or die!! As it happened they were not needed but they probably did the local populace and their own morale a lot of good! I had already, in the office, given my clerk more work than he could cope with so we took our lunch over to Shonga (55 miles) and arrived just when all was over and in time for me to increase the Village Head's sentence from 3 months to 6 months in prison - being the Village Head his crime was that much greater than the others who were only private persons (the original sentences being 3 months each). Then three rather angry old gentlemen went off with the Police in the lorry: Dumagi, their village, is on the road from Shonga so they had the added ignominy of being driven past it!" To my recollection, this was one of the very few occasion on which I used my D.O.'s power of "review" of a Native Court's decision!

The court in question was a Moslem court presided over by an alkali. This reminds me of some interesting statistics which have stuck in my memory. Lafiagi was in what was called "The Middle 8elt", the area each side of the Niger River and to the south of the traditionally Moslem North. As such the prohibition on attempts by Christian Missionaries to convert the locals to Christianity did not apply and there were quite a few missionaries in the area. The statistics in question were that in 1925 the population was roughly 25% Moslem and 75% animist. In 1955 it was 75% Moslem, 25% animist and one single individual was known to have converted to Christianity. Moslem missionaries were evidently more effective than Christian ones!

On one occasion about now I actually had some sport and shot a (Le.one!) duck. I reported: "Yesterday we actually shot a duck and should have shot a few more. Only the common whistling teal (wishy wishy in Hausa) but nevertheless duck. We went out with Jones the Mission after some bush fowl down near the edge of the local Egwa River rice land: found no bush fowl and went to look out over the paddy fields: we then saw some duck out in the middle so went after them: very perilous as you walk along little bunds 1 foot to 8 inches wide, 2 feet high with 18 inches of mud and water in the paddy each side! Nobody fell though we slipped about a bit and ended up sloshing through the water. Jones only had a rifle, a .22: even so he hit a bird in the air though he didn't get it down - just a stagger. I had them over me twice but only got one! I had never been down in paddy fields before - most interesting." My Mother queried whether Nancy came out with us: I replied: "N. certainly came out on the paddy field excursion! Going back she got valuable help from one of the N.A. messengers who was guiding us! So she never slipped up, even on her own on the outward journey!"

We were also doing some basic gardening: we apparently had a duruku hedge round the garden which would get tall and spindly if not cut down. It had soft wood which I recorded was "easy cutting with a sharp machete and the best thing is that if you stick the bits that you cut off in the ground they immediately take and grow and so you thicken up the hedge with them."

At various times we had trips down to Lagos, principally to stock up with provisions and anything else needed. At the end of October 1955 we had one particular trip when we stayed with John Williams whose house I had been allowed to share for the last two months of my first tour in Kaduna in 1950 and on whose dining room table I had done much of my revision and re-writing of Financial Memoranda. He was now working in the Secretariat in Lagos. He had a boat and our life during our visit centred around the Lagos Yacht Club which had a lovely club house on the banks of the Lagos Lagoon. A pleasant surprise was that Tony Ditcham turned up, posted down from the North to work in Lagos and staying with John as well. I reported: "John has a boat and (with an inner tube as a "Longmore Preserver" available!) we had two glorious afternoon's sailing - over to a beach the far side of Lagos harbour and then back again." One day we lunched in the boat and on another on the Yacht Club lawn. Most refreshing - but it had repercussions!

Nancy had apparently had "the merest tap on the back of her head from the boom of John's boat.. ... not even while we were sailing but after we had come in and were putting the boat away ..... So light that she didn't even cry out.. ... no after effects till Wednesday (back at lIorin) when she had a bit of an egg ...... we went back to Lafiagi and on Thursday she had some pain, a 99 degree temperature and a slight gland swelling in her neck. We gave it a couple of days to settle but both pain and temperature continued." So another trip to the hospital in Ibadan: an X-ray showed no bone, i.e. skull, fracture. Final diagnosis - a bruised nerve which set up a glandular inflammation.

Meanwhile the Resident was going on tour to Pategi and I was not there to go out with him. So once I had heard that there was nothing seriously wrong I hastened back and got myself out to Pategi while he was still there.

Also at this time the P.W.D. got going on refurbishing our house at Lafiagi. They had earlier at last supplied a brand new refrigerator that worked properly. This was, of course, a paraffin operated one - no electricity in bush: if they failed to work properly the first thing to do was to turn the flame off and turn the whole 'frig upside down, standing on its head, for a day or so. This apparently loosened the chemical which caused the freezing and which solidified over time.

The whole house was then redecorated. We chose to have all the rooms painted eau de nil, "a most pleasant shade of cool pale green, light and airy and yet restful to the eyes after sun glare." We had all woodwork, doors and window frames the same colour and rather unkindy contrasted it with "the usual P.W.D. Building Foreman's ideas of wainscotting in a different colour and perhaps a line where a curtain rail might be!"

November saw the end of the rainy season. I recorded: "The rains have now ended and the country is already looking a bit brown. The grass is very high - 5 feet or more - and there will soon be terrific fires as this is all burnt off. Meanwhile everyone is busy using the long dry grass for rethatching their houses. The Nupe people - the tribe in Lafiagi Division - are good thatchers."

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
D.O's Poling Barge
During one of our visits to Shonga, the District Headquarters on the banks of the Niger where the mosquitoes had a fearsome reputation, we had a most interesting side expedition. This was to the small hamlet of Tada, some miles up the river and also right on the river bank, to see the "Tada bronzes" about which I had heard. To get there we were poled for four hours up river in the D.O.'s poling barge, taking most of the morning over it. Then we pulled into a backwater on the south bank where we found a small and rather primitive little village. News of our visit had preceded us as we were received by a group of the village elders led by the Village Head.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Tada Village Elders
After appropriate greetings they led us to an oblong mud hut with a thatched roof which I remember looked a little derelict. Out of this they produced the Tada Bronzes and allowed me to take several photographs. For this they propped the bronze figures up against the wall of their hut. Most of them were damaged.

There were four human figures, an elephant and two ostriches. The human figures were the most striking particularly a male figure about 3 ft 6 inches tall with an elaborate hairdo of ringlets with a disc-shaped head dress sloping forwards and an elaborate tunic with embossing representing embroidery. Then there was a striking nearly naked female figure about two feet high sitting with the left leg crossed under the right: this figure had lost both arms and the right foot but nevertheless was most striking. There was then a small standing male figure about 18 inches tall and a smaller female figure chastely clad in a net skirt draped round her waist.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Tada Bronzes
The elephant about two foot tall, had clearly been modelled by someone who had never seen a live elephant but had had one described to him. The proportions were roughly right although the legs were too long. For some reason it had a row of small spikes along the top of its back. The most striking feature was that the maker had clearly had described to him how the elephant picked things up with its trunk because at the end of a slightly wrinkled trunk projecting forward between two sharp and slightly curved tusks was what I can only describe as a stylised version of a human hand, fingers outstretched below and a thumb a little opened out above. Part of one fore leg was broken off and there was a hole in the right hand side of the body.

The two ostriches had long straight necks, rather flat bodies with a clear representation of a folded wing and legs which, when complete, were also long, the whole standing some four feet. One had a single long leg with a form of foot having lost the other one and the other two legs but both broken off.

We asked the village elders how they came to have these interesting bronzes in their care and what they knew of their history. They told us that they had had them at Tada for some 100 years or so, that they had been part of the regalia of the Jukun Empire based on Wukari, a town some 30 miles south of Ibi, a place on the south bank of the Benue River, the main tributary of the Niger running north east approximately from its junction with the Niger at Lokoja. Ibi in turn was some two hundred miles up the Benue from Lokoja. Some time in ? the 18th century there had been troubles among the Jukuns and the regalia had been taken way down river to Idah, a town on the Niger south of Lokoja. More troubles later at Idah led to the regalia, or at least this part of it, being brought back up the Niger to Tada where it had remained. How and why these spectacular items had come to and remained at so small and undistinguished a village as Tada was not explained and remains a mystery.

After a most interesting day we re-embarked in the barge and poled back down river to Shonga, taking about one hour travelling with the current to cover what had taken four hours against it!

Interestingly this visit to Tada had repercussions in 2010, fifty five years later. Opening the Spring 2010 edition of the "Art Quarterly", the magazine of the charity, "The National Art Collections Fund", I found an article on the "Ife Enigma", about Ife Bronzes of which there was to be that year an exhibition in the British Museum. Ife I had heard of as a smallish town in Southern Nigeria some distance east of Lagos. What shook me was to find on the first page a photo of the standing male figure from Tada and on the next the female sitting figure. Dated to between the 12th and 15th centuries AD no one apparently knows who taught the people of Ife at that time to make sophisticated bronze mixtures of metals and to perfect the lost wax system of casting sculptures.

I went to see the exhibition and beforehand contacted the curator at the British Museum offering to bring my photographs taken at Tada. She politely showed interest and when at the Museum I produced my quite good photographs was much more interested. I was hauled off to the offices of the Anthropology and Archaeology section of the Museum and some 20 of my photographs were "scanned" onto the records of the Museum. I then greeted my friends from Tada set out in the exhibition.

Life at Lafiagi continued with it once again failing to live up to its meaning in Nupe of "little hill of health"! Nancy had a fever, not really identified but might have been dengue fever, and my right (or allegedly "good") ear got another infection. The latter involved eventually a visit to the E.N.T. specialist Mr. Hackett, in Lagos, who confirmed that the infection had cleared but, importantly, gave me a chit recommending that I should be posted to "the driest climate possible." This was in November 1955, the dry season. This chit I had to present to Charles Michie, the Resident, feeling (as I recorded) "rather awkward at making life just more awkward for him." The upshot was that I was posted to Kano Province, the change to take place in March/April, i.e. before the next rainy season.

This posting was excellent news: the Resident was Tim Johnston and the D.0. Kano Oliver Hunt, both of whom had been in Sokoto when I was there and both of whom I had liked very much and respected very much.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
The Mastersons
Christmas was now upon us and we went into IIorin and stayed with Martin and Jane Orde. I have a photo of their drawing room decorated with strings of paper bunting, etc., and Jane sitting reading to one of their daughters, all very domesticated. I recorded that on Christmas Eve we had supper and danced at "the Club", that on Christmas Day we dined at the Residency, the next day the Ordes gave a party and the day after we were to dine with "John Bettley who runs the Bank here." It was then back to work as I recorded that "I want to discuss various things with various people when the offices open up again." Then back to Lafiagi where our recently redecorated house was giving us pleasure. Apparently we also had a new well, presumably sunk under Walter Masterson's supervision following my unpleasant dysentery.

Whether it was while this work was going on or on some other occasion I cannot remember but as I have already mentioned Nancy had a cheerful moment with Waiter which could have been misinterpreted. Nancy had taken up dress-making and had obtained a dress-maker's dummy body of which she was evidently proud. On some visit by Waiter soon after its arrival Nancy hailed him with: "Waiter, come into the bedroom and see my body!": Luckily there were, I understand, no witnesses!

One of the peculiarities of Lafiagi was that it was not even on a telegraph (as distinct from telephone) line. The nearest line was some 20 miles away: any telegram for us was printed out there and came the last 20 miles by bicycle messenger! This led to one amusing occasion on the London Stock Exchange when Nancy sent a telegram about a Rights Issue on one of her shareholdings to her stockbroker explaining that it was a late reply and that the telegram started for 20 miles on a bicycle: apparently Tony Ethelston, her stockbroker, showed off to his friends the "bicycle telegram" and, although technically she was late in applying, Nancy was allowed her Rights Issue entitlement.

One nice gesture was that in early January I received a letter from Nicky McClintock, who had now taken over from Oliver Hunt as D.O. Kano, welcoming me to Kano and asking what sort of work I would like to do and what sort of house we would like. This was most welcoming and rather a contrast to our treatment on arrival in IIorin!

The next annoyance for me was that the "little hill of health" proceeded to give me some nasty boils! These resisted treatment by kaolin poultice so that we had to go in to lIorin so that I could show them to the M.O. As it happened the last one finally burst when we went to see him and two penicillin injections which he gave me cleared them up. However one bonus was that we stayed at the Residency with John Purdy who had come from Kano to be acting Resident while Charles Michie was on leave. He had great charm and was able to brief us about Kano.

Meanwhile everyone was busy preparing for Her Majesty the Queen's visit to Nigeria. There was to be a great Durbar in Kaduna to which every Emirate and Native Authority was to send a contingent. I recorded that my office file on the subject had already reached 200 pages! The nearest that we got to all the celebrations was to see Her Majesty's aircraft flyover Pategi en route from Lagos to Kaduna and to listen on our friends the Missionaries' wireless to the commentaries on her arrival in Lagos and on the Durbar in Kaduna!

We periodically did a little touring, all by car so far as I remember. To Sharagi west of Lafiagi to check on road works being done by contractors. Sharagi was "1,000 feet up and the Rest House on a cliff overlooking the town. No insects and beautifully cool. Unfortunately never much (work) to do there so not much excuse for going." Then to Pategi with its nice Rest House on a bluff looking down on the River Niger.

John Purdy, the Acting Resident, came out on tour and stayed with us. One incident I still remember: I drove him over to Shonga on the banks of the Niger, a fifty mile trip by road. On the return journey I noted that he was studying the Times Crossword and so kept quiet. When we got home he called for a pen and filled in all but one of the clues - and between the three of us we got the answer to the missing one in five minutes. What was remarkable was that he had been able to complete all bar the one without writing anything in! Some brain and memory.

The rainy season was now beginning with the odd minor annoyance. reported: "A very hectic night on Wednesday - we have been sleeping out with our beds partly under the eves of the roof. Wednesday night looked a bit stormy but we decided to risk it: but of course the storm (the first of the year) duly came! We didn't get wet because a dust storm came before the rain but got filthy instead moving the beds in ...... and Abetse loomed up through the wind just as we had begun to struggle! All about midnight. And we are now sleeping indoors!" It has to be remembered that our beds had mosquito nets on a frame over them which complicated carrying them about!

Meanwhile the date for our leaving Lafiagi was approaching - but with all sorts of alarms and excursions. In between leaving lIorin and starting in Kano I was to attend a conference in Jos of District Officers, one from each Province. I was apparently to represent Kano even though I had not yet got there! It seems that the Financial Secretary wanted me to attend because there were to be some discussions about Financial Memoranda, the vast Native Treasury accounting manual which I had re-written when in the Secretariat in Kaduna in 1951 . This conference coincided with the annual Residents' Conference, also in Jos.

So we were to have a pleasant break in the cool climate of Jos en route to Kano. The plan was to leave Lafiagi on 26th March, have a few days in lIorin doing various things and then drive by stages to Jos for the conference and after the conference drive on to Kano. The D.O. who was to be my successor at Lafiagi was not due to arrive until late April: meanwhile one of the A.D.O.'s from lIorin was to come out on tour periodically. This meant that I had to write copious handing over notes in rather more detailed form than would have been the case if I had been able to do a personal hand over on the spot.

So mid March we got our boxes out and began to think of packing. However about 21 st March we received a letter by special messenger from lIorin to say that we were not able to leave until 10th May: we were to go to the conference in Jos but to return afterwards to Lafiagi. So we stopped packing. Then on Saturday morning, 24th March, my temporary relief, John Musson, arrived unexpectedly saying "All cancelled, you're off on Monday". So all Saturday I wrote handing over notes and explained things to him: all Sunday I and Nancy and the boys packed, working till last light. And on Monday we left - "with few regrets."

We then had three days in lIorin staying at the Residency where John Purdy kindly put us up. We consigned our "loads" (i.e. all our household goods and chattels) to Kano by the P.W.D. and the railway - a series of strong wooden crates and boxes. Abetse would travel with us in our car but Ayaka, the cook, and Mbuivungu, the small bOY,and Abetse and Ayaka's wives presumably also went ahead by train to Kano. Meanwhile I had the car checked over and it was lucky that I did so as one shock absorber was "loose and bent"! So a replacement had to be fetched from Ibadan, 100 miles away, and fitted. I also heard that in Kano I was to take over as Local Authority, being effectively D.0. in charge of the area comprising the Government, Commercial and other European residential area, the banking and trading areas etc., which was excluded from Kano Emirate control. I commented: "This will be quite different from anything I've done before and rather interesting."

It was now Easter week and so we could take our time travelling up to Jos for the D.Os'. conference. We got away early on Thursday to do 190 miles to Kontagora. I recorded: "We got away from lIorin early on Thursday - and 20 miles out a bit of our silencer fell off! So we have been making a noise like a young racing car ever since! But she still goes o.k. The first day to Kontagora was over some frightful roads - for about 65 miles we went at 20 m.p .h..!"

At Kontagora we stayed with Christopher and Jennifer Hanson-Smith and: "our stay was great fun. Christopher and Jennifer were in great form and she had made their house lovely - English curtains, etc. We played tennis and rode early on Friday morning - all of which made me surprisingly tired!"

After two nights in Kontagora we drove on to Kaduna where we stayed with Stuart and Anne McCallum. I recorded: "Kaduna has spread vastly - even in the last 1 0 months! I'm glad that we don't live here as all the spread is just more and more rows of government bungalows ..... Stewart McC is in the process of setting up Kaduna as a 'Capital Territory" like Canberra!! He probably gets a nice rise of payout of it - for doing more or less the same job as he did before as "Local Authority" but he is no longer responsible to anyone below the Governor and therefore presumably does more himself."

I also recorded that "it is a great pleasure to be out of the stickiness and the mosquitoes and general nastiness and to know that I can never be posted back to those particular areas. The boys hated it as much as we did!" My thoughts were already turning to having ponies again but "The Price of ponies seems to have risen again if what one hears is to be believed! However I am determined to buy one!"

So, after a pleasant time in Kaduna over Easter Day, to Jos for the D.Os' conference. I recorded from Jos: "Came up here on Tuesday to find a lot of people whom I knew and Nancy knew of were here. All the nice D.O. s, one from each Province, seem to have been asked to the conference! Leith Watt who was in Sokoto and his wife Peggy (with whom Nancy has done a lot) - Norman Odgers (who was in Gboko when I first came out) - Barry Nicholas (who was on our course at Cambridge and with whom I shared a house in Kaduna), David Roberts (who was in Kaduna and my boss in the Security Office), Richard and Lucy Barlow-Poole (from Sokoto) and of course Martin Orde. And, of course, a lot of the Residents whom Nancy had not met."

The posh Hill Station was occupied by the 12 Residents and other manya manya (great and good!) running the conferences so we lesser beings had to stay in the "slightly barrack like Army leave camp: but we have been lunching and dining at the Hill Station."

On the Wednesday, before the conference began, I recorded that "we went out and had a picnic lunch with Martin Orde and Norman Odgers up in the hills outside Jos. Lovely to sit under a tree with a glorious view of miles of mountains across a valley some 800 ft deep right at our feet with a cool breeze on us. A terrific tonic." Another surprising little benefit which I reported was: "One of the greatest tonics has been the way my hearing has increased coming up from the humidity of lIorin to the clear dry air up here. Quite incredible!" Jos at 4,000 ft plus was, of course, about the highest part of all Nigeria. It's main distinction was to be the centre of the tin mining industry.

The D.O. s' conference then started: I reported: "We "conferred" very hard for 2 1/2 days - from early morning until 6 p.m.! We ought to have been given at least one more day. It was all interesting and worthwhile - all looking forward to the days when there are no Divisional Officers out in the Divisions, the reasons for that being both political and plain shortage of Administrative Officers." In other words, Independence (Mulkin Kai) loomed ahead - the ultimate objective of all our work. What, if anything, my knowledge of Financial Memoranda (allegedly the reason why the Financial Secretary wished me to attend the conference) contributed to the deliberations I cannot now remember.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Kano City
Then on to Kano staying a night in Bauchi with Stanley Pollard from whom I had taken over Argungu Division a year or two before. I reported: "We enjoyed our drive from Jos to Bauchi (about 100 miles or so) very much - hilly country and a tarmac road. Stanley Pollard was in good form and his house -mu-ch more civilised and comfortable than it used to be in Sokoto! We left early - 6.45 am - and got into Kano by 1.30 pm." (about 200 miles or so). We were evidently using the "dry season roads" as I recorded that we were to use "one bit of road which a rainstorm would make impassable!" Clearly there was no rainstorm that day. Then in Kano we found that we were to stay initially with Roger Morley who had been in Gboko when I first came out in 1948.

So on 15th April 1956 I reported home: "Well, we are here and into our mud house called "Gidan mata" = "House of the Women". Not a bad house though needing re-white-washing which is to be done shortly ..... This house is small - no spare room and not enough hanging etc., space which is a nuisance."

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Kano Mosque
These "mud" houses were houses built in the style and materials of those in which the local Hausawa of all classes lived but with the layout and facilities adapted to European use. The one feature which they all shared was that the main rooms were domed. The frame of the dome was built up of overlapping azara timbers which met at the top. These were the split trunks of palm trees, the wood of which was so hard that not even the white ants, the scourge of anything fibrous, could eat it. Being so hard and so rough it was impossible to plane them or make them smooth in any other way. This frame was then plastered in "mud": this was in fact a mixture of earth and blood from the slaughter houses reinforced with hair removed from the hides of cattle, sheep (in the tropics sheep have hair, not wool) and goats in the tanning process. Finally every domed room had a round plate, usually of tin and brightly coloured, stuck in the apex of the dome: this acted as a tell-tale in the sense that if it came loose and fell it meant that the structure of the dome was collapsing and one had half a minute to get out from under!

The mud mixture was pretty waterproof although in Kano at least it was customary for the mud houses to have a thin external rendering of cement all over to make them even more waterproof. The roofs were usually flat - with a slight slope to each side: on the edge there would be a miniature parapet with wooden shutes at intervals to carry the rain water clear of the outer wall which itself probably had a slight bather, being wider at ground level than higher up.

With this construction the walls were thick, perhaps two feet or so, and the windows often mere openings with wooden shutters. Inside there would be a lot of plain whitewash with sometimes a pale blue or similar coloured dome. These houses were remarkably cool during the daytime in the hot season, being well insulated by the thick walls: however in the evening they tended to hold the heat in so that one was happy to sit outside until dark and to sleep outside at night, on the flat roof if there was access to it.

Above all they had character being so different from the standard government house or bungalow built of concrete blocks. They were all, in terms of our presence in Northern Nigeria, quite old: many dated to the 1920s and some to before the first World War. One of the finest was Gidan Dan Hausa (the House of the Son of a Hausa, the nickname given to Sir Hanns Vischer, a naturalised Swiss of great distinction who was the first Director of Education in Northern Nigeria, I think before the first World War and for many years after it). It was a fine two storey house, traditionally in my time occupied by the District Officer, Kano. Gidan Mata, the one which we occupied on first arrival, had certainly been built before the first World War because it was, we were told, used by the wives of the European teachers of the first European style school set up in Kano by Sir Hanns in which to do weaving and other handicrafts, hence the name, "House of the Women."

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Groundnut Oil Mill
I now took over as "Local Authority, Kano" from Richard Adams, a slightly larger than life character, a bit bombastic but nice with all. This would be while he was on leave for about three months. The Local Authority was responsible for administering the Township: this was the area containing the European, etc. residential areas, the commercial and business areas and the area containing such non native industry as groundnut oil mills. As such I was a legal entity, a "Corporation Sole" and had my own large official seal: I was ruler of that area rather than, as was my technical position as D.O. of a Division, adviser to the Native Authority, be it Emir or some form of tribal council, who was the ruler there.

As Local Authority I would be dealing much more with the European, Lebanese, Syrian, etc. business and commercial people and not with the local Hausawa. I reported: "Richard Adams, from whom I took over, is having a large drinks party tomorrow "to meet Mr and Mrs Longmore"! All the tycoons with whom I shall have to deal as Local Authority." Then there were various parties to bid Richard farewell to which we were asked. I also recorded: "I believe people think it is hot here now but to us it is just warm - and so dry!" Shades of Lafiagi! We were obviously feeling fitter already."

The round of parties enabled me to meet the many business and commercial people with whom I should be dealing as Local Authority. Kano was the largest commercial centre of Northern Nigeria. It housed the regional headquarters of countless European firms operating in the North: Bank of British West Africa, Barclays and other banks: firms such as the United Africa Company, London and Kano Trading Corporation, Paterson Zochonis, Union Trading Corporation (Swiss), Compagnie Francaise de l"Afrique Occidentale (French): several companies run by Lebanese and Syrians such as the Raccah, Maroun and Karouni families: and then a few trading firms run by enterprising Africans.

My work as Local Authority covered just about everything that you can think of. I don't remember having many staff other than clerks and messengers in my office: my duties involved seeing that other government departments or perhaps contractors did what they had to do, whether it was maintaining the roads, clearing the refuse or providing the water supply. Nor can I remember the area involved but it must have been quite a few square miles. There were of course estimates of expenditure and revenue to prepare and follow, accounts to be kept and over-expenditure to be avoided. There must also have been revenue to collect though whether this was rates on property or some other form of levy I cannot remember.

There were then ancillary duties. I found that I was the Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths. I do not remember births and deaths figuring much but soon after my arrival I conducted a civil marriage under the Nigerian Marriage Ordinance and recorded that I found it "rather sordid"!

I was, of course, a Magistrate and found that I held Court several times though I do not recall the cases.

Another duty was to a certify that young men applying to join the Nigeria Regiment in the Army were over the minimum permitted age. There was no registration of births in the bush nor, I think; Kano city. The procedure therefore was that the applicant had to appear before me with a relative who could confirm at least the year in which the applicant was born. I could then sign the appropriate form confirming that he was eligible. I do remember one occasion when perhaps I was overzealous and a little unkind: two young men appeared: one was the applicant and the other, who was to confirm his age, was his younger brother. I took the view that a younger brother could not from his own knowledge confirm when his elder brother was born. I hope I did not deprive the army of a brilliant soldier!

The residential area in the Township in which members of the commercial, i.e. non-government, community lived was being increased at this time. The Government Survey Department therefore laid out a considerable number of building plots and they were allocated to the various applicants by lot: this involved my drawing their names out of a hat and allocating the plots to them in numerical order. This was, as you might say, strictly according to the book and avoided any suggestions of favouritism. However it did have the disadvantage that a "best" plot, e.g. one on top of a rise, might go to a comparatively small-scale operator who could only afford to build an undistinguished house in what was perhaps a rather prominent position. However there appeared to be no other "fair" way to do it.

Another responsibility was the Fire Brigade. I recorded that it had two motor fire engines, one quite modern. Apparently every time it was called out I was telephoned and on at least one occasion, being rung up at 2.30 am, Nancy and I got up and went out to see the fun. However by the time we got to the scene they had already put the fire out!

As a magistrate I had powers of up to two year's imprisonment though I don't remember ever having to give a sentence of more than a few months. Nor did I adopt the practice of one ex District Officer turned permanent magistrate: this was that in every court in which he sat he had the bottom 12 inches or so of the panels surrounding the witness stand, usually a small dais perhaps 6 inches off the ground, cut off: this enabled him to see the feet of the witness as he gave evidence. Bearing in mind that most African witnesses would be either bare footed or wearing sandals, his theory was that if they gave false evidence or otherwise lied they would instinctively wiggle their toes! An amusing theory and perhaps true.

As Local Authority I was responsible directly to the Resident of Kano Province. At this time he was Tim Johnston, one of the most able men in the North and nice with all. He had won a D.F.C. flying fighters, in particular over Malta, during the war and had been Resident Sokoto when I was D.O. Argungu. So I knew him well.

My office was the usual single storey building and there must have been probably three rooms, one for me and the others for my clerks. One unusual detail which I do remember was a switch underneath the edge of my desk. When switched on this had the effect of keeping at bay anyone who tried to telephone me by making the telephone give the "engaged" tone! This was useful when trying to concentrate on some problem or interview a caller. It could also make it appear that one was extremely busy! How it worked I never discovered!

Kano having a large expatriate population, both European and Middle Eastern, there was a lot of social life: plenty of drinks and lunch and supper parties. Also the international airport being at Kano and people now going and returning to and from the U.K. on leave by air rather than by ship, there were always friends from other parts of the North staying the night with us before flying out or after flying in. Another group who occasionally stayed with us were students, usually colonels or brigadiers, from the Imperial Defence College who as part of their course visited various colonies, etc., in groups. These groups sometimes included officers from other nations, particularly the U.S.A.

We were lucky enough to have contacts in the Lebanese community and to be asked quite often to week-end lunch parties by the Minaise, Maroun and other families. There we would have excellent Middle Eastern dishes and cheerful conversation. I remember one lunch where I found myself sitting opposite a London barrister who was visiting Kano, Edward Atiyah. He noticed, or perhaps in explaining my deafness it was mentioned, that my ears were different in that the left, deaf one which had been covered by a bandage round my head for a whole year after the operation on it when I was 4 months old, was flat against my head and a little smaller than my right ear. His quick intellect promptly composed a little limerick:-

"There was a young man from Devizes
Whose ears were different sizes.
The one that was small
Was no good at all,
But the big one won several prizes!"

And Devizes was not all that far from Salisbury where I was brought up!

Office hours here were 7am to 9am: then an hour for breakfast at home: then 10am to 2pm - or later if required. Then came a siesta or just being quiet until about 5pm when it was time for a ride out into the farms round the city or a few I practice polo chukkas or a set of tennis or a little squash. Then, in the cool of the evening after a bath and change into long trousers or, for the ladies, long skirts or light trousers and mosquito boots, a few drinks sitting outside one's house - or someone else's house - before dinner.

I always regarded one of the most responsible jobs that I ever did in the two hours before breakfast was a Board of Survey on the currency reserves of the West African Currency Board which were kept at Kano. The four West African territories all used the same currency which was inscribed "British West Africa" and not with the names of the individual territories. There were the usual pounds, shillings and pence and in addition an anini coin worth one tenth of a penny. The pounds were paper but all the remainder were coin, each coin circular with a hole through the middle. Paper money was used mainly in official and trading transactions. One main reason for this was that, living in mud houses, the local population would, if they left money in a cupboard or on a shelf against a mud wall, find that the notes had been eaten away by the white ants which were rampant everywhere. This currency was administered by the West African Currency Board which, in Nigeria at least, employed the Bank of British West Africa as it's local agent. Each of the three Regions of Nigeria had a depository where an amount of reserve currency was kept. That for the Northern Region was in Kano. Every, I think, three months a Board of Survey had to certify that the reserve amount was actually present and correct. As Local Authority I was chairman of the Board consisting of myself and two other members.

On the occasion when I chaired the Board I and, I think, a Government Veterinary Officer and a Public Works Department engineer reported soon after 7am to the Manager of the B.B.W.A. in Kano: he led us to the depository which was a series of concrete bunkers sunk into the ground near the Bank approached by a ramp leading to a strong room door leading into the bunker. This was guarded by a Nigeria Police constable armed with his rifle: whether he was permanently on guard or only there because we were going to open up the bunkers I do not know. Underground the bunker had head room of perhaps 8 to 10 feet and was perhaps, guessing, 50 feet by 30 feet. The main contents were stacks, at least head high, of bags of coin, 1/- coins in bags of £100, etc. I cannot recall how the paper money was stored, presumably in boxes. The total was something over £2,000,000. How could we certify that such an amount was indeed present? I seem to remember that for the piles of coin we counted the number of rows of bags of each denomination there were, first lengthwise along the side of each pile, then across each pile and then from the floor to the top of the pile. We then in one or two places pulled the first bag out of the side of the pile, then the next inside bag and so on until we had pulled out the furthest to which we could reach, probably six or seven bags in: having not at that depth in each pile found sand or similar but only a solid block of bags we felt it safe to assume that the piles were in fact solid bags of coin, we then did a rough calculation of the number of bags and since this totalled approximately the £2,000,000 or so said to be in store we felt safe signing on the dotted line to certify that the stated Reserves were indeed present. We heard no more about it so I have always assumed that all was well! And so to breakfast.

Much of our social recreation and sporting activity centred on polo. I had ridden since I was a child and had enjoyed touring on a horse during my time in Argungu. I cannot now remember who first tried to teach me the rudiments of polo when in Kaduna in early 1950, probably Ronnie Caselton or Donald Foulds, two of the subalterns in the Gunner Battery who were very keen, but it was during my years in Kano that I got really keen and moderately (by Nigerian standards) skilled. My abiding memory is of the fun and pleasure of a game in which African and European joined on level terms and in cheerful rivalry, Emir to police constable and veterinary mallam, Resident to commercial manager and Army subaltern. It was relatively cheap (I never paid more than £35 for a pony) and it was never taken too seriously. Aim to win certainly, but no anger and little dejection if unsuccessful. Teams, well organised and those less so, all came to the periodic tournaments: at Katsina where the Emir, Alhaji Usuman Nagogo, was President of the Nigeria Polo Association and an excellent player himself, young members of the N.A. staff were summoned for aikin polo (polo work): at Kaduna the Gunner Battery team no doubt drilled with military precision: I doubt whether all that much tactical practice went on in Daura or Kazaure: but Kano and Katsina tournaments had them all. The Nigeria Polo Association, affiliated to the Hurlingham Polo Association, governed the game.

As I have mentioned earlier when writing about my time in Kaduna where I first tried to learn to play, the ponies that we played on were all "country ponies" : these came from two main sources: first rather tall, rangy and mainly black ponies from Katsina, Sokoto and the north west and tougher looking ones from the Bahr-el-Ghazal, far away in the Western Sudan: these latter were almost all roman-nosed and for some reason those that were roan in colour seemed to be best. At 6'4" I had "big" ponies, all of 14.3 hands! As all these ponies were very narrow it always looked as if both forelegs came out of one hole: all were entire - (stallions) and so able to carry weight, particularly the Europeans who, by and large, rode much heavier than the Africans. Those from the Bahr-el-Ghazal were trekked across to Kano periodically by groups of horse traders: they went first to the racecourse where the African, Syrian and Lebanese racing fraternity would select the potentially fastest. Then the posse would be brought to the polo lines where we selected those which looked promising: I had been told: "Never buy a local pony unless it attempts to bolt when you try it" : a pony which had to be kicked into action was not going to be any use. Then a "green" pony had to be schooled. I cannot pretend that I knew how to do it properly but we all tried. Another source would be to buy one from someone retiring or being posted to the Middle Belt where tsetse fly and therefore sleeping sickness prevented the keeping of horses. If you were really lucky and favoured you might be offered a pony from the Emir of Katsina's stable.

Each pony had its own groom or mai doki (horse boy). One thing every horse boy had was an independent spirit. The good ones were very good and knowledgeable about equine ailments in the dry and hot climate. They had to overcome one possible temptation which was that both pony and horse boy ate the same food - guinea corn! The government veterinary officers included looking after our ponies' health in their duties but there were also the African "horse doctors", often capable of curing a condition which beat the European vet. An example was tijiya, used for curing a shoulder strain: briefly it involved the doctor pressing the sore shoulder muscles with light fingers until the pony winced: that meant that he had located the torn muscle and now had to release the globule of blood that would have collected at the tear and which by obstructing movement of the muscle caused the pony pain. When he had located the place, the horse doctor would prepare a sharp six inch long needle (for a European's horse he would cauterise it in a flame to disinfect it but if the horse was African owned he would not bother!). He would then jab the needle in with a strong smooth movement where he had located the tear in the muscle: if a gout of black blood came out he had hit the globule exactly: if not it just bled slowly. You then walked the pony round gently for ten to fifteen minutes to loosen everything up and rested it for a week or so. Nine times out of ten the strain would be cured.

Stables were loose boxes, square or round, built of mud brick in the local style. In a bush station it would be somewhere in the compound near the D.O.'s or other officer's house (I remember building one in Argungu in such a position that I could see my pony having his feed from my own breakfast table!). In large stations like Kano and Kaduna they were communal, a line of loose boxes in front and a line of small huts behind for the horse boys and their families.

The grounds on which we played varied: I always said that I never played on good grass. The grounds varied from dusty tussocky grass to laterite to sand. The Kaduna ground was grass and sited inside the racecourse near the Club and with a background of mango trees. Kano's dry season ground was just outside the city walls near the Tudun Wada gate into the city and the wet season ground was the old Mounted Infantry parade ground, made of laterite.

At each tournament, which usually lasted a week, there would be two knockout competitions: all except that for the Georgian Cup at Kaduna were played on handicap. In addition there were one or two special matches such as that at Zaria for the Empire Cup between teams representing the Army and the Civilians respectively.

Play, even in tournament matches, was limited to four chukkas. The principal reason for this was that any team playing was limited to nine ponies, two for each player and one spare: one pony played the first and third chukka, the other the second and fourth. This limit to nine ponies resulted from the capacity of a cattle truck on the Nigerian Railway being comfortably nine ponies complete with horse boys, saddlery and some fodder. There were no motor horse boxes or trailers in my time. Travel to the Kano, Zaria and Kaduna tournaments Would, for the ponies, be by train. To Katsina they had to trek, at least from Kano.

The number of teams competing at the various tournaments varied. At Kaduna there would usually be at least two Kaduna teams, two from Kano and probably two from Katsina, one from Zaria and occasionally one all the way from Lagos. Zaria was never so popular and indeed in April 1960 I recorded that there were only five teams all told. Kano would attract teams from Kaduna (usually two), Zaria (one), Katsina (two), Daura (one), Kazaure (one), Jos (probably one) and even rarely Maiduguri. There might then even be three local Kano teams. Katsina would attract probably two Kano teams, at least one from Kaduna, one each from Daura and Kazaure and perhaps one from Zaria: there would then be at least two from Katsina itself.

The overall administration of the game was by the Nigeria Polo Association which was affiliated to the Hurlingham Polo Association whose rules we followed. As I have said, the Emir of Katsina, Alhaji Usuman Nagogo, was President and there was a Secretary, usually a member of one of the larger polo clubs. The Committee, which doubled as the Handicap Committee, would meet during each tournament to conduct any necessary business and review the handicaps of everyone who had played in that tournament. I was myself Secretary for about my last two years in Nigeria and was in fact the last European Secretary as in 1960 when I retired I handed over to Alhaji Hassan Katsina, one of the sons of the Emir of Katsina. One of the Secretary's more vital duties was to ensure a supply at each tournament of the pewter tankards or, in the case of the Georgian Cup the miniature cups, given to the winners of each cup and of the rosettes given to the ponies of each team in the final, red for the winners and blue for the runners up. These were presented at the end of each final and then handed back for engraving with the names of the winning team. Where we got them from and who did the engraving I cannot and dead level though a little small in size: it was backed by the 50 foot or so groundnut pyramids, great pyramidical stacks of bagged groundnuts, the main staple crop of the true North: the groundnuts were harvested in, if I remember correctly, November or December and stacked up in great pyramids covered with tarpaulins awaiting clearance by rail to Lagos or Port Harcourt for export. Because of the limited capacity of the single line railway this took most of the succeeding year and there were always some still there in the next rainy season when we could use the M.1. ground. One problem with this ground was that, being made of laterite, a fine grit, literally decomposed iron-stone, it wore down the ponies' hooves leading to frequent application of an oil called "Reducine", emanating I think from Ireland, to encourage growth: no ponies were shod, the Indian farriers of the Mounted Infantry days of the 1920s being only a memory. The M.1. ground being hard and level encouraged accurate hitting but neither it nor the rather rough grass grounds, let alone anything sandy, were conducive to hitting a lofted shot. The ground at Katsina was near the red City walls and was surrounded by a low euphorbia hedge, topped at the right time of year by countless pink flowers: it also boasted a substantial permanent mud brick stand: the ground at Daura was, I think mainly of sand. That at Ikoyi in Lagos which I only saw once was alone a proper grassy green. In Kano in my last year there we started to make a new ground inside the racecourse: optimistically we divided up the full 300 x 100 yards into squares perhaps 20 yards square, allocated variously to the Administration, the Vets, the African members, even the prisoners, all to be hand planted with clumps of Bermuda grass or kirikiri, at six inch intervals: this was then supposed to spread and give an uninterrupted covering. Whether it succeeded I never knew.

Maintenance was always a problem: gang movers were far from common and tractors to pull them even less so. Bear in mind that all local agriculture was peasant farming with hand cultivation. We would drive endlessly round the Kano ground in a kit car with a rather small mover on behind, four of us (myself, the United Africa Company chairman Gordon Wilson, Dennis Walker a Vet, and an airways engineer whose name I regrettably forget) in shifts from 10am to 6.30pm to get it fit for play.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Polo at M.I. Ground
The great gatherings were for the four tournaments which were held in the North: Katsina in November after the rains, Kaduna in January, Zaria in April or May and Kano in July when play on the M.I. ground was possible as it had been softened by the rainy season. Organising a tournament was quite a task for the local club: the ground to be mown and freshly marked out: except at Katsina a temporary stand to be built: stabling for visiting teams' ponies to be provided: timekeepers, programmes, commentators, goal judges, referees, umpires (and ponies for them), etc. to be arranged: and, of course, their own teams to be selected and mounted.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Polo at M.I. Ground
now remember but I do remember that when on leave I went to a firm in Aldershot to buy a stock of polo sticks for the Kano club players.

During each tournament week there would be a series of evening drinks parties in various European players houses to which all the players and others taking part, European and African, would come and "fraternise", the Europeans with beer, wine and spirits, the Muslim Africans hopefully only with soft drinks!

Of the people who played in my time I have many happy memories. From Katsina there was the Emir himself who had given up playing in tournaments but still played extremely well in practice chukkas: then there were his two sons, Alhaji Mamman Kabir and Alhaji Hassan Katsina, and M.Maman D., a charming member of the Emir's household, virtually his Master of Horse, an excellent player and always helpful to us visitors and lesser players. On ceremonial occasions he appeared in chain mail dating from crusader times as a member of the Emir's bodyguard: he always said that the weight of it gave him fever for several days afterwards! Finally there were Oliver Hunt, Resident Katsina latterly and certainly the best of all the European players, and, during his time there, Tony Ditcham, a District Officer.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Main Stand
In Kaduna there was always great support from the Army, particularly the Gunner battery. When I was stationed in Kaduna in 1950 the Battery commander, Major Sir Henry Farrington, Bt., and two of the subalterns, Ronnie Caselton and Donald Foulds were regular players: then there was Bill Fargus from one of the Nigeria Regiment Battalions. Later there was Brigadier Dominic Browne, Commander of all troops in the North whom I chiefly remember as an umpire. On the Civilian side there were the two Irish administrative officers, Ronnie Bird and Sam Moore: the latter had a habit of taking the ball fast down the left touch line (we did not have boards) and, when he wanted to centre it, swinging out slightly to his left and then curving in onto the line of the ball as he centred it: this of course constituted a cross on any opposing player following him up, aiming to hook his stick or take the ball away! When umpiring one instinctively put the whistle to one's lips knowing exactly what he was going to do! There was also John Williams, another D.0.: it was into the back of his pony that, during the ninth (I think) minute of a seven minute practice chukka in my early and fairly incompetent days of playing, that I rode, looking over my shoulder thinking I was going to receive the ball passed to me from behind: result, from not looking where I was going, a crashing fall, a broken collar bone and a night in hospital! My pony, I'm glad to say, was unhurt. However, notwithstanding this carelessness, he allowed me to share his house for two months as I have recorded earlier when writing about my first tour in Kaduna. There were no African players in Kaduna so far as I can remember during my time though I do recall some Northerner from Kaduna Town coming to play in a practice chukka mounted on a mare: this, of course, was disastrous as all the other ponies were stallions! I don't think he came again.

In Zaria there was Tom Ainsworth, a D.O. - a cheerful character and a good horseman - and John Songhurst serving with the Nigeria Regiment (who years later lived 300 yards away from us in Byworth, West Sussex!).

It was in Kano that I played almost all my polo while stationed there between 1956 and 1960 and so it is of Kano players that I have most recollection. Several distinguished players had given up before I arrived, notably Alhaji Rabiu, head of the N.A. Hospital, Paddy Harper of the United Africa Company and Bob Greenep, manager of another of the big trading companies. M. Maje Magajin Mallam, a relation of the Emir and I think a District Head, played in the Kaduna tournament in January 1957 but I do not remember him playing after that. The regular players in my time whom I remember best were M. Shirama, a big man from the N.A. Veterinary department, M. Wada from the N.A. Prisons department, Corporal Garba of the Kano N.A. Mounted Police, Gardon Wilson, Managing Director of the U.A.C., Toddy Arnold, while D.0. Kano Division, Rex Raccah from the Lebanese community and John Hughes, an independent solicitor practising in Kano. There were others, both African and European, whose names I have forgotten. All had their own characteristics. By and large the Africans had a good eye but were inclined to be ball chasers: in a mixed team the European members had a better sense of positioning themselves. M.Wada, a neat small man, rode ponies as small as 13.2 hands and could duck under one's attempt to ride him off. John Hughes was big and a bit ponderous but a solid back. Of Cpl. Garba I have one nice memory: we were playing in a match at the Kaduna Tournament and I was about to take a 40 yard penalty: as I was lining up to take it I was interrupted by a yell from Garba: when I glared round he grinned largely and called: "Steady, ran ka ya dade" (Steady, may your life be long)! We got the goal. Good man management by the N.C.O. and, on another count, an example of how uninhibited relations were between us all.

As I have said, I did not play serious polo until I moved to Kano in April 1956. From then I played more or less continuously until I left Kano on retirement in August 1960. There were two breaks when I was on leave in late 1956 and again in 1958: the 1958 break was for over six months because a week after coming off the ship I found myself one evening walking round the garden at our house, Gofts House in Byworth, West Sussex, six inches off the ground! Next morning I was bright yellow - jaundice. It was evidently a bad go of it because a check by a Colonial Office doctor resulted in my leave being extended on the grounds that I was not fit enough to go back.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Kano Ponies
During that time I had three ponies. Hakimi (which meant a District Head in Hausa) was a bay, about 14.2 hands, with the roman nose which showed that he came from the Bahr-el-Gazal. He had the interesting trait that he seemed to sense when we were playing in a tournament and go that little bit better: whether it was his own instinct or whether I tensed up and communicated it to him I do not know. Then there was Wakili (which meant Village Head in Hausa): he was a tall black pony, probably from Katsina or further west: he was, if I remember correctly, quite fast but not brave in a melee and I eventually sold him to the Kano N.A. Police Mounted Section. Then there was Gaira (a wedding present in Hausa): he was a roan, well built and with a quite pronounced roman nose showing his origin in the Bahr-el-Gazal. He belonged to Nancy as he was a wedding present from her older sister, Mary Schumann, in America who had when younger in England hunted with the Leconfield and Cowdray hounds. Gaira was strong and a bit much for Nancy so that if we went hacking in the evening outside Kano Nancy rode the better behaved Hakimi and I rode Gaira!

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Transporting Ponies
Having really only started playing seriously in May 1956 I seem rapidly to have become a member of various Kano teams and to have remained a regular member until I retired in August 1960 subject to the two periods of leave that I have mentioned. During that time I played in five teams which won the relevant cup and in two which were runners up. The most prestigiOUS win was, I think, the first one in which I played: at the Kaduna tournament in January 1957 I found myself in the first Kano team entered for the Georgian Cup, the one competition which was not played on handicap. The team was M.Wada (1), M. Shirama (2), myself (3) and M.Magajin Mallam (4). I cannot remember much about it but in the final against a Kaduna team I do remember a defender hitting the ball straight in my direction some 30 yards out from their goal: for once I met the ball cleanly and lofted it straight back high between the goal posts to score! I gathered that it pleased the charming Brigadier O'Brian Twohig, Chairman of the London and Kano Trading Company who had been coaching us! The ponies I rode in that tournament were Gaira and Wakili, Hakimi being I seem to remember lame at the time. This win gave rise to one amusing minor incident: by tradition each member of the team had the Georgian Cup itself, a big silver cup dated by its hallmark to somewhere around 1800, in his house for three months in the following year. When we had it in our house I showed it with pride to Abetse, my head boy, pointing out that it was well over 150 years old and expecting him to be impressed accordingly: however his reply was merely: "Ba kome" = "No matter"!

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Emir of Katsina
Other competitions in which I was in the winning team were the Emir of Katsina's Cup at the Kano tournament on the M.1. ground in 1957, the team being Mervyn Hiskett of, I think, the Education Department (1), M. Sani, another Kano N.A. employee (2), myself (3) and Rex Raccah of the Lebanese community (4): then there were wins in the Katsina Cup at, I think, Katsina in 1959, the Signals Cup at Zaria in 1960 and the Empire Day Cup (between "Civilians" and "The Army"!) at, I think, Zaria in 1960. On the other side of the coin I have a photograph of myself and Richard Adams on the grandstand at the Katsina ground during a tournament there showing abject depression after losing a match which we should definitely have won!

I do not recall many injuries to either players or ponies. Europeans played in pith helmets (I remember buying mine at Lock's in St. James's Street for £2 in a sale, cheap even in ?1952!) but the Africans all played in their soft felt round hats. I have already mentioned having a broken collar bone in my early playing days in Kaduna and I do remember the acute pain of a ball hit hard from behind me hitting my funny bone. I also see that I reported home in 1960 that I had a ball hit me below the knee cap and had then had one third of a pint of blood drawn off from the bruise by Frank Bryson, a cheerful Kano surgeon!

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Kano Lizards
A final nice flourish was that at the end of the Kano tournament in August 1960 very shortly before I retired they organised a one off match as it were in my honour. I was allowed to play and scored, I think, the only goal which our scratch team got. Nancy with a perhaps biased view reported that I played "remarkably well"! And that evening Rex Raccah organised a dinner for us at the Central Hotel to which a lot of the polo players came. So ended my polo in Nigeria - the greatest possible fun.

As a postscript I record that at the Zaria tournament in April 1960 our team found itself required to play in the Empire Day Cup on the Friday and in the final of the Signals Cup on the Saturday: to boost the strength of our ponies each was given on Friday night a pint of stout with an egg in it! The medicine evidently worked as our team duly won the Signals Cup, getting the winning goal in the last minute of the last chukka! And we had also won the Empire Day Cup the previous day.

Another sporting activity which occupied us quite a lot during my time in Kano was shooting. I have written earlier about odd shooting expeditions during my times in Argungu, Kaduna and Lafiagi. Around Argungu it was mainly duck that we were after and around Kaduna francolin (bush fowl) and guinea fowl. But in none of those three places were the expeditions as frequent or organised as they were from Kano.

Here the quarry were almost entirely duck and geese. As I have mentioned earlier the resident duck on the various lakes or tafuka were the wishy wishy or white faced tree duck. Then there were countless migratory duck such as garganey, teal, ferruginous duck, pintail and geese such as knob nose geese (which was technically, I believe, a duck rather than a goose) spur wing geese (which had a bony spur sticking out of the "elbow" of their wings), Egyptian geese and, very occasionally, the desperately attractive and teal-sized pygmy geese.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Kazaure Expedition
For an afternoon or evening expedition we would go to various local lakes, most of which were permanent and not the result of rivers flooding. There was one set of small lakes at Dabi, about 35 miles east of Kano on the road to Wudil. Then there were others in the direction of Kazaure, north west of Kano. These normally had the local wishy wishy in residence all through the year and migratory duck during the dry season of late December, January and February.

My recollection of these lakes is of them being surrounded by trees so that we were able to approach carefully and stand at least partly concealed among the trees. The duck, if any, would get up and circle and we could shoot them (or at least at them) as they went round. Our arrival always attracted a few young boys from the local village who rushed about (and if necessary swam) retrieving the bag. Retrieving dogs were rare, if only because the risk of any dog getting rabies was too high to risk having one. Typical bags of which I have record as shot by me were seven garaganey on one occasion and two knob nose geese, two garganey and a wishy wishy on another.

These lakes could provide surprises. I remember coming to one, not all that big and surrounded by some form of pine trees: the surface of the water was totally obscured by long grass or fine reeds growing in it and it looked completely empty of duck. Suddenly a hundred or so garganey erupted: so much for it being empty.

There were occasional peripheral amusements. On one occasion when Nancy had come out with us to see the fun we were walking out across a dried up bit of marsh with a thoroughly muddy water hole in the middle. In this water hole a young camel which had presumably gone in for a drink had got thoroughly bogged and two young Africans were trying in vain to pull it out. It had a rope halter on it and the two boys were tugging and straining at it. All that did, of course, was to extend its neck and make it resist. I think that we tried to get them to get behind it and push, etc., on its hind quarters rather than pull. Anyway we had to get on and somehow we left Nancy on her own to supervise the efforts. She duly joined up with us by the lake and was able to report that when she had got the boys to push and pull the young camel from behind the poor animal had at last come unstuck. So she got a reputation as a saver of camels!

The main leaders of these forays were John Hughes and Toddy Arnold. John Hughes came from Haverfordwest in the west of Wales: he was a big slow spoken man, a good shot with shotgun or rifle and a rarity, a solicitor in private practice in Kano. I believe that his practice consisted mainly in collecting debts and dealing with commercial disputes among the African and European and Middle Eastern trading community. He had one other mission in life: he had apparently once been chased by a bush cow, the West African buffalo, a bit smaller but just as active and angry as the bigger version in East and Central Africa. Intent on getting his own back, he would occasionally go off on a long trek up north into French Niger in search of revenge but I never heard of his having any success! But he did report having seen what I believe is relatively rare, a secretary bird. (I hasten to make clear that it was an avian kind and not a human one!)

Toddy Arnold was an Irish D.O. brought up to fish and shoot from a young age in Ireland. Among those who came after the duck he was the exception in that he had a black labrador who came on all our shooting forays and retrieved. He had damaged back legs, the result I think of being bitten by a snake but got about without much difficulty.

Meanwhile both I and Nancy did some work. Of my work as Local Authority I do not have many memories. As I have said I periodically sat as a Magistrate trying petty cases but I do not remember any cause celebre. Nancy joined Pam McClintock, wife of Nicky McClintock the D.O. Kano Division, as secretaries to the Manager of, I think, Barclays Bank in Kano.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Monkey Rock
One duty I do remember was having to escort a U.S.A. Senator (? a Rockafeller) round Kano and out to Wudil, one of the District Headquarters closest to Kano. The Senator was touring on behalf of some Development Corporation, I think connected to the United Nations organisation. I have a photograph of the District Head of Wudil District, the Senator, Tim Johnston, St Elmo Nelson an Australian A.D.O. from Kaduna who was escorting the Senator and two others looking up at the Monkey rock near Wudil: this was a rocky outcrop perhaps 100 feet high which, viewed from the right angle, looked at the top exactly like the face of a baboon. What, if anything, came out of his visit I do not recall.

In the autumn of 1956 Richard Adams came back from his leave and took over again as Local Authority. It was then our turn to go on leave. I have no recollection nor any letters, etc., to remind me of who we stayed with in Lagos or which Elder Dempster ship we travelled home in. So ended my first period in Kano where I was in fact to serve for the rest of my time in Northern Nigeria.

Sixth and Seventh Tours: Kano
February 1957 - August 1958 and April 1959 - August 1960
We duly returned to Nigeria in the early months of 1957 and found ourselves happily back in Kano where I was in fact to remain until I finally retired in August 1960. This tour I was back in dealing with the Kano Native Administration as D.O. City (i.e. the native city of Kano) and D.O. Finance (i.e. supervising the finances of Kano Emirate and, to a lesser degree, the finances of the other three smaller Emirates in Kano Province, Hadejia, Gumel and Kazaure). It also, of course, meant advising on and practising the rules set out in "Financial Memoranda for use in Native Treasuries" which I had rewritten a few years before in Kaduna!

Kano City was big: its fairly jumbled melange of streets, some drivable and some not, was surrounded by the centuries old mud brick defensive walls, still twenty or so feet high and pierced by arched gateways giving access from outside: the walls extended to, if I remember correctly, about 13 miles. The houses were mostly built of mud brick in the traditional style with a series of small courtyards within a surrounding wall and with small pinnacles at each corner of every building, quite effective in deflecting rain from the walls. Some had elegant painted decoration over the main doorway. I do not remember them being numbered or named and I never learnt any names of streets and alleys. At intervals there were market places, some quite small, with a least one very large main market place, I think in the eastern part of the city.

In an area, again I think in the eastern part of the city were the Emir of Kano's palace, the Central Mosque and the offices of the Kano Native Administration. The Emir's Palace was a large group of buildings, including a Council Chamber, a mixture I think of traditional and modern buildings.

Adjoining the Palace was the Central Mosque, a vast domed white building the main features of which were the two minarets, one at each end of the main facade. From one the muezzin would call the faithful to prayer several times a day: the other, known cheerfully as "the Infidels' Minaret" was open to tourists and others, moslem or not, to go up the circular stair and have a panoramic view over the city from perhaps 80 feet up. It was well worth the climb.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Dye Pits in Kano
Various areas in the city specialised in different trades or occupations. The most colourful was the area of the dye pits. These were a series of round pits in the ground like wells. They would be perhaps three feet or so in diameter and going down twenty or perhaps more feet. By my time the traditional dyes made from plants like indigo (which I do remember still being grown) were superseded by artificial dyes out of drums but the traditional way of dyeing, filling a pit with the liquid dye and suspending lengths of cloth in the pit, and then spreading them out to dry, still continued.

One area of the city, up in the northern part, had at certain times of the dry season a particular hazard. This was the area where the dealers in salt had their premises. During the dry season, say December to February, camel caravans would come down from the Sahara bringing salt from the salt pans up there worked by the Touareg. In charge of the caravans were Bouzai, the slaves of the Touareg. They were apparently rather vain and proud of their appearance. Motor cars of this period often had wing mirrors on their front mudguards over the front wheels, mounted on short metal stalks. If you were unwise enough to leave your car unattended in this part of the city when a caravan was in you would probably find on your return that it was bent round or broken: a Bouzu, wanting to admire his beautiful face, had bent it round to see his reflection in the mirror!

Interspersed around the city were old borrow pits from which the earth had been dug to make mud bricks. These inevitably filled with water in the rainy season and became gradually stagnant pools. Apparently the townsfolk used them for their water supply and liked the taste! Later in my time in Kano a piped water supply was installed throughout the city. This was supplied with water from a reservoir built on Dalla Hill, a mile or two out of Kano to the north beside the road to Katsina. A system of pipes led to standpipes throughout the city: for, I think, one penny in a slot a person could get from the standpipe four gallons of water which filled the ubiquitous four gallon kerosene tin, the universal urban water container. However, as proof of the cynical saying that "you can make anything foolproof but nothing black man proof", within a week or so the locals had short circuited the penny in the slot mechanism and were getting their water free! There were also complaints that it did not taste as nice as that which they were accustomed to get from the borrow pits!

Another institution which came within my jurisdiction was the Kano Prison. This was quite large and consisted so far as I remember of a walled and fenced compound with single storey barrack room type buildings. I do not remember single man cells. Nor do I remember any provision for women prisoners though I suppose that there must have been some in a separate institution. I inspected the prison regularly, checking prison warrants and other records. Mallam Wada, one of the leading polo players was the chief clerk and evidently quite efficient.

My responsibility for supervising the Prison led me to be involved at one moment in a quite high profile court case. A very rich and prominent African business man, possibly a member of the Dantata family, was being prosecuted for some offence before the stipendiary Magistrate, in this case David Bate. The government prosecutor applied for the accused to be remanded in custody in the Government prison in Kaduna, perhaps 100 miles from Kano where the accused lived and had his business and contacts. The defence barrister, an African from Lagos, applied for him to be remanded to the Native Authority prison in Kano. Presumably fearing that illicit contacts with the outside world would be more likely if held in the N.A. prison where standards of security and supervision would not be as high as in the Government prison, the prosecutor resisted this. The defence argued that since I, the 0 .0 . City, was in charge of the N.A. prison security etc. would be just as good as in the Government prison. I was called as a witness as to my control over the prison and I remember explaining firmly that in connection with the prison I had no power to give orders about what should be done: I merely advised the Chief Warder and others about the best way to proceed: if they then did otherwise I did not have power to countermand their orders. I think that the accused went to Kaduna!

Another minor duty which I remember fell my way was authorising loans of, I think, £100 to market traders with which to buy a particular form of, I think, Swiss sewing machine which, among other things, produced the embroidery which figured on a lot of traditional Hausa rigas and jackets. One embroidery design produced quite often was one I understood to be based on the leaves of the acanthus plant: this plant was found in Greece and Eqypt and the design had presumably been brought to Northern Nigeria by pilgrims returning from Mecca.

A further useful institution was the Kano N.A. Textile and Weaving Centre where locals were taught to produce cloth and other materials. I took the opportunity to buy some good cavalry twill type material and have it made into shorts for my own use by a market tailor. If the weather is suitable I still wear them!

In various parts of the city were the depots of the various N.A. organisations: a Roads and Works department and N.A. transport (lorries, cars, etc.) garages and workshops: these all supervised by a Government Public Works Department engineer: the N.A. Hospital and various medical centres, supervised by Government doctors and run by Alhaji Rabiu, the head of the N.A. medical department: the H.Q. and barracks of the Yandoka, the Emirate police, supervised by a Superintendent of the Nigeria Police: he in turn reported to the Senior Superintendent in Kano who in my time in Kano was first a quite excellent man, Bill Ford, an upstanding ex. Metropolitan Police offer, and later Courtney Gidley whom I had first met in Makurdi during my first tour in 1948.

In all these matters relating to Kano City I dealt with the Sarkin Shanu (literally "the Chief of the Cattle") who was the member of the Emir of Kano's Council with responsibility for the City. I remember him as an able administrator, a solidly built man and easy to work with.

My other responsibility, as D.O. Finance, was to advise on and supervise the finances of Kano Emirate and, to a lesser degree, those of the other three smaller Emirates in Kano Province, the Emirates of Gumel, Hadejia and Kazaure.

In connection with the Kano Emirate finances I dealt first with the Mutawali, the member of the Emir's Council responsible for all financial matters and for economic institutions such as the Textile and Weaving Centre. He was an enigmatic little man, able but, if I remember right, a shade unpredictable in reaction to consultation, albeit perfectly nice. Then there was the Ma'aji, the Native Treasurer, in charge of the Beit-al-Mal, the Treasury with its staff of perhaps twenty or so scribes (or clerks). He was a tall upstanding man and easy to get on with.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Fulani Driving Cattle
The main ways in which I contributed to running the Emirate finances were on paper as it were. I would help the Ma'aji prepare and then check the Annual Estimates of revenue, largely the Haraji or poll tax and Jangali or cattle tax on the Fulani cattle people, and expenditure under heads ranging from the salaries of all the Emirate employees in every Emirate department to maintenance of roads, upkeep of schools, etc. There would then be applications to incur Supplementary Expenditure when the amount under a particular head in the Estimates proved insufficient. There would be amounts available for investment which was arranged by the Crown Agents in London, mainly in Government bonds, if I remember correctly. Finally at the end of each financial year there would be Annual Accounts to be prepared and, most importantly, balanced and reconciled with bank accounts, cash balances, revenue receipts, and Estimates and authorisations of Supplementary Expenditure. All involved a lot of paper work: I did the paper work!

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Fulani Women
Annual Estimates and Annual Accounts were submitted for ultimate approval as far as the Financial Secretary in Kaduna (where of course I had seen earlier versions pass across my desk when serving as Assistant Secretary, N.A. Finance during my tour in Kaduna in 1950-51). Applications to incur Supplementary Expenditure, depending on the amount involved, required approval by the Resident Kano or the District Officer, Kano. I cannot, writing sixty years later, record the total amounts of revenue and expenditure involved but a figure approaching £2million for total annual revenue keeps suggesting itself.

There were occasional instances of losses of money due to theft or fraud. Each required an investigation and a report and a review by me. I got well practised in ending my comments with the words: "No checks can prevent deliberate dishonesty" or words to that effect!

Periodically I would have some important enough matter to discuss with Madakin Kano, the Chief Minister, as it were, in the Emir's Council. He was an able administrator, had great charm and a good sense of humour, a twinkle in his eye. He was not one to push himself forward but had earned an M.B.E. for his courage. Some years before I was in Kano there had erupted in the area of Kano round the Sabon Gari, the New Town, an area where the vast majority of the Southern Nigerian (i.e. Ibo, Yoruba, etc.,) population of Kano lived, a serious race riot. This was between the local Moslem Hausa population of Kano City and the Southerner, non-Moslem population of the Sabon Gari. What started it I do not know but it got to the stage where the Officer in command of the Nigeria Police, i.e. the government constabulary as distinct from the Emirate police, reported to the Resident that the only way he could stop the riot was by having his police, who were armed and some of whom were themselves Southerners, open fire. In a last desperate attempt to avoid this and after consulting the Emir and Council, the then D.O. Kano, John Purdy, the Madaki and, I believe, another member of the Emir's Council drove in their cars quietly and slowly in between the two rioting sides and then got out and walked calmly into the middle of the crowd. Apparently their calm and measured approach immediately calmed the situation and the crowds quietly dispersed. John Purdy received an O.B.E. and, as I have said, the Madaki an M.B.E.

I had one experience of the Madaki's sense of humour which I treasure to this day. Quite often when I had sorted out in my mind some piece of advice or solution to a problem I would set it out in the form of a letter or memo to the Mutawali or the Ma'aji and send or give it to them. This evidently got me a bit of a reputation for writing too much! One day when I had been to see the Madaki in his office and we had finished whatever was the immediate business which we had been discussing in English of which he was a complete master, he asked me, with a definite twinkle, "Do you know what we call you?!" Cautiously I replied "Well, no Madaki". "We call you Mallam Wutsu Wutsu". "Oh Madaki". "Do you know what a wutsu wutsu is?" "Well, no Madaki, I don't think I do." "Well its the little water beetle that goes buzz, buzz all over a pool of water." "Oh, is it, Madaki." And we parted cheerfully.

Only as I drove back to our Divisional Office in Nasarawa a mile or so outside the City did I twig what he was saying. "Don't write all these damnably long letters and memos, come and talk about these matters." Probably the most subtle rocket I have ever had! But also, perhaps, evidence of how good relations were between us and them!

In all these matters I was answerable to the D.O. Kano who was in charge of the large Kano Division and who in turn answered to the Resident, Kano Province. During most of my time as D.O. City and D.O. Finance, the D.0. Kano was Nicky McClintock, an extremely able and charming man. He was followed by John Britton, also able and nice to work for. Both carried their very considerable responsibilities lightly - or at least appeared to do so! The Residents for most of my time were Tim Johnston, another exceptionally talented person who had been Resident Sokoto when I was there, and Bruce Greatbach, subsequently Governor of, I think, Mauritius. One example of their responsibility was the rule that, because the possibility of trouble of one sort or another in Kano City was reckoned to be quite high one or other of them had to be in Kano at all times: they could never both go on tour or local leave at the same time.

Our Kano Divisional and Provincial Offices were, as I have said, in Nasarawa about a mile outside the walled city. They were a long two storied building with verandah along at ground level and equivalent balcony above. The Provincial Office was, for most of my time in Kano, presided over by North Carter, a retired Air Commodore, R.A.F., one of a few retired officers doing this sort of office job on contract and known cheerfully as a "retread". Our Divisional Offices were on the first floor: North Carter, the Government Treasury and, I think, all the clerks were on the ground floor. Outside was the inevitable gravelled area for parking cars and along the ground floor verandah were benches where the Government Messengers and other locals waiting for attention sat. I remember one amusing moment: someone had parked a Citroen Deesse car which had a form of compressed air suspension, incidentally quite good for riding the rough Nigerian roads. When he got back in to drive away and switched on the engine the compressor activated the air suspension and the car body rose a few inches. This prompted cries from, / those sitting on the verandah of : "Mota ta yi press up!" (The car is doing press ups!")

Across the way from the offices under a tall silk cotton tree there was always a horse hobbled and eating a little hay. This was the horse of Mallam Inuwa, an elderly member of the Dogarai (the Emir's ceremonial bodyguard) who's duty was to take personal messages between the Emir and D.O. Kano. I remember him in particular for two reasons. The first was his appearance: he had some skin complaint which resulted in his black face being blotched with quite large white patches. Much more important was that he was a survivor of the attack on Kano in 1902 by Colonel Lugard (or it may have been Colonel Morland, one of Lugard's officers). On one occasion M. Inuwa told me personally how when he was a very young member of the Dogarai, perhaps in his late teens, there had been an alarm call and they were sent to man the great mud walled ramparts. Armed no doubt with primitive muzzle loading muskets and spears, they could see some 500 yards away from the walls in the farmlands surrounding the city a force of men dressed in drab clothes. It was said that they had come to conquer Kano. However they did not move to attack or advance and so the defenders began to think that they were frightened and would go away. Then suddenly there was pop, pop, pop from out in front: Audu along to the left fell dead, Mohamadu on the right had a broken arm and Rabiu further along was hit in the chest. This was their first experience of a Gatling gun, an early form of machine gun. They did in fact put up some sort of a fight but were soon put to flight and Kano was captured. To have all this reported to me from one who had survived the fight himself was fascinating and emphasised for how short a time our occupation of Northern Nigeria had lasted.

Another curiosity to me at any rate, was this: quite a few of the clerks could take dictation using shorthand: one young man, however, used palantyping which I have never met before or since. He would come and sit beside my desk with a black box-shaped instrument on his knees. This had about 15 keys covering its upper face, not all the same size, if I remember rightly. I would dictate, his fingers would press the keys and he would look vacantly into space! Presumably it was in some way onomatopoeic. Where he had learnt this rare skill I never heard but from it he produced excellent documents.

There was of course as in all Divisional Offices a safe. In this were kept confidential files and any other oddments that required safe keeping. This one was more sophisticated than some in that it had a numerical combination lock. Nicky McClintock had set the combination as 1789, the year of the storming of the 8astille. I could never remember the number and my knowledge of European history was nil: so, in order to get the number when I needed to open it without disclosing it to too many people who were not meant to know it, I was for ever looking into Nicky's office with a plaintive request: "Which year was the storming of the Bastille?"! On being told, no doubt with a superior smile, I could get what I wanted.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Jos plateau
My work varied from time to time. In November 1957 I reported that: "I've been writing a paper showing that if Kano Native Authority (Le. the Emirate) does not change its financial policy it will be bankrupt to all intents and purposes by 1961. Rather fascinating to do." I wonder what was wrong! As a result of discussing that with Tim Johnston who had been our Resident but had then gone off to Kaduna to be Permanent Secretary to the Sardauna of Sokoto, the first Premier (Le. Prime Minister) of Northern Nigeria under the new 1957 constitution giving Regional Independence to the North, I found myself directed to write a similar review of the finances of Jos Native Authority: that meant a nice few days in Jos up on the cool Jos plateau. Another trip was to Zaria apparently for a conference on printing presses. I cannot believe that I knew anything about them but no doubt Kano N.A. was intending to acquire one. Then from time to time I had to go out to Gumel, Hadejia and Kazaure, the other three Emirates in Kano Province in connection with their financial and accounting affairs. These trips provided a welcome change and usually involved staying with friends such was the general climate of hospitality. The long hot drives over corrugated roads were always worth it.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Flame of the Forest
During these two tours we lived in various houses in the Kano G.R.A., a nice area east of the City and near the Emir's summer palace at Nasarawa. The various houses each had a surrounding compound of perhaps an acre or so. There was no over-formal grid layout but a series of laterite roads shaded by neem, locust bean, flame of the forest and other trees. I have clear recollections of only two of our houses. The first, which I think that we had for much of our 1957 to 1958 tour, was a modern bungalow, built on the site of an old mud house. It's name was Gidan Campbell and it was particularly bright and airy, finished outside in a cream wash and inside in an attractive yellow. It had a large sitting cum dining room and bedrooms, etc. opening off a passage which ran from a door off the big room. Being a bungalow the windows were protected against burglars by being covered on the outside by XPM or expanded metal, a strong metal mesh. There was even a garage with a door, an up and over one I think.

The second house, which we had for most of our last 1959 to 1960 tour, was quite different. This was Gidan Beminster, the house of Mr. Beminster, an Education officer (I think) who had had it built before the First War. It was a mud house in the traditional style with a lovely domed sitting room some 20 feet square, the dome coloured pale blue with the usual coloured tin plate fixed in its apex. If the plate fell the dome was about to collapse! Upstairs were bedrooms, etc., and a flat area of roof on which we slept in the dry season. After we had been there a whole year I realised that it was the first time that I had lived in the same house for a continuous year: either I had moved from one place to another on a change of posting or, having come back from leave and got whatever house was available, I had moved into a better house in the same station when someone else went on leave.

Gidan Beminster had a large compound. It had always been customary for a gang of prisoners from the Kano N .A. prison to come periodically and cut the grass in D.Os. compounds: long grass of course bred mosquitoes which caused malaria. However by the time we had the house and with the approach of independence this had become politically frowned upon. So we decided to put the major part down to groundnuts. We ate groundnuts, our staff ate groundnuts, the ponies ate groundnuts, groundnut plants were tidy, attractive and did not breed mosquitoes. The groundnuts were grown in ridged rows like potatoes: they had a dark green haulm with leaves like clover and, for a short time, a small blue flower. They were sown after the first rains in the Spring and harvested in September or so. The plot which was, of course, very sandy soil, was first hoed all over, this being done by Gayya, my head horse boy, and the other horse boy: when the moment came to sow, Nancy and I thought to take part. With a calabash or bag of decorticated groundnuts, i.e. the rough husk had been removed, in one's left hand, you made an indentation in the loose soil with one's right foot, dropped one groundnut into the indentation with your right hand and covered the indentation over with your left foot. Needless to say not as easy to do as it sounds. I think that Nancy and I started at the same end of the plot alongside the horse boys: they of course had done this for years and so roared ahead. We soon learnt to start the other end from them and work towards them. They did eighty yards: we did twenty! When the first of the haulms came above ground the rows were ridged with hoes by, I think, the horse boys. As I have said, they produced a pretty little blue flower which lasted, I think, only a few days. The nuts formed in a rough pale brown husk in the ground. The harvest came in the beginning of the dry season. It was men's work to pull the haulms, complete with nuts attached, out of the ground. It was women's work to strip the nuts, in their husks, off the haulms. So when we harvested the horse boys' wives and, I think, some of our boys' wives came and sat under a tree at the corner of our plot and stripped the nuts off with much chatter. The produce was then divided up, some for us, some for the ponies (who had theirs undecorticated, i.e. in the husk, in the same way as you would give them sugar here) some for our boys and a generous lot for the horse boys. The oil in the nuts and the husks was, of course, good for the ponies' coats. So all parties benefited and no doubt there was a bit of humour at our expense when we tried to take part!

Round the front of Gidan Beminster there was a sort of a garden. There was morning glory creeper up the building and established trees, including my favourite flame of the forest, in front. There were also some flowers, tulips, etc, mainly in earthenware pots and metal half forty four gallon drums. I remember the latter particularly because on one occasion when I and Abetse were trying to move one I let the rim of it come down on my thumb: being full of earth it was, of course, rather heavy: the final act was the removal under local anaesthetic of my severely damaged thumb nail by our charming neighbour, Or Bulwar Senapati, a highly efficient Indian doctor. On another occasion he turned dentist and extracted a tooth that had gone wrong: this was because the Government dentist in Kaduna, the only one in the North, had gone on leave and his successor had not yet come back.

Visitors were frequent. With the airport being at Kano there was a stream of our friends going on leave or returning from it. Then there were relations or friends coming to visit our friends: Michael Sandwith, a naval friend of Tony Ditcham, an elderly aunt of Leith Watt all the way from New Zealand and others. On at least two occasions there were members of the Imperial Defence College touring Africa. These were serving officers of Colonel, Brigadier or Major General rank in all three services and including foreign services who, as part of their course, did a tour of foreign parts. I remember one particularly charming Colonel in the American Army from Virginia and the occasional Old Wellingtonian in our services.

Two visits I remember particularly, both when we were living in the modern bungalow which I have mentioned. The first was when Dominic Browne, the Brigadier commanding the troops in Northern Nigeria, Pat his wife and Hugh their son aged perhaps nine or ten stayed the night before catching their plane home. We took them up to the airport in the evening (departure was always in the evening as the trip across the Sahara was done at night) and when we got back found that the door from the big room into the passage to our bedrooms, etc. was locked and there was no sign of the key, usually kept in the door. The key was then finally seen to be lying on the floor on the passage side of the door. Since, as I have said, there was XPM on the windows it was not possible to climb in and recover it. However with great patience and application Abetse was able with a long piece of wire to hook the key off the floor and extract it through the passage window nearest the door. After much puzzlement we worked out that young Hugh, no doubt bored with grown-ups' talk, had quietly locked the door and gone outside and thrown the key into the passage through the XPM. So far as I can remember I have never met Hugh again and been able to share the ?joke with him!

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Roger du Boulay
The other visit was rather more dramatic for it involved Eliza, the lioness. Roger du Boulay, a D.O. who had come out a year after I did, had been D.0. Gwandu at Birnin Kebbi in Sokoto Province, next door to Argungu where I had been a few years before. Apparently some hunters had trapped and killed a lioness and had brought her very young cub in to the D.O. Elizabeth, his wife, had hand reared her and treated her as you would a pet dog. They were now going on leave and had arranged a permanent home for her in Dublin Zoo. She was known as Eliza. They were to stay the night with us.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Eliza
So that evening into the drive came a landrover, Roger driving, Elizabeth in the passenger seat and in between, sitting up where you might expect to see a labrador and looking round, was Eliza. She was they calculated about six months old, the size of a grown labrador, still had faint spots but had outsize feet. She had a lead and a collar. After they had unpacked, etc. we sat around in the sitting room and had a drink, Eliza lying like a dog at Elizabeth's feet. Abetse brought the drinks in and observed about Eliza that he had seen a bigger one in Lokoja and clearly had no fear of her. She lay quiet. However when Mbuivungu, the "small boy" came in to lay the table for dinner he was clearly a bit apprehensive of her: and she sensed it: up came the head and there was a quiet low growl! And a bit of a jump from Mbuivungu!

At another moment when we were sitting outside in the cool of the evening Eliza was evidently given a little freedom because Nancy, chatting away, suddenly felt a rasp of sandpaper up her cheek: Eliza had crept up and given her a friendly lick! Probably because male hunters had killed her mother she was more friendly to women than to men but even I could give her a pat.

Later there was more excitement. I have mentioned that at night a dogari, a member of the Emir's ceremonial bodyguard, came up to "guard" each D.O.'s house: this involved his putting his distinctive staff up against some prominent door or wall as a sign of his presence and then him curling up and sleeping somewhere. When it was time to go to bed it was decided that Eliza should sleep in the garage which had a proper door and was secure so she was duly shut in there. We did not know it but the dogari liked to sleep against the garage door. Having a bit later curled up against it he was rudely disturbed by much snuffling and minor growls from inside. Much alarm! If being very hot weather, we were all sleeping in camp beds in the garden (no flat roof in this house) and so Roger and Elizabeth rescued Eliza from the garage (and no doubt calmed the dogari down!) and Eliza spent the night sleeping quietly on the end of a string between their beds under the stars.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Elizabeth du Boulay
The next day we all went up to the airport because of course there were considerable formalities in connection with Eliza's flight to the U.K. Roger, Elizabeth and Nancy all went into the airport buildings: I was left outside with Eliza sitting up on the front seat of the landrover. Her presence of course immediately attracted a crowd of onlookers who stood in a circle at a safe distance. Eliza regarded them all with a concentrated gaze and my instructions from Elizabeth were that if she looked as if she was getting worried by all this attention I was to put my hand on her head to calm her down! After a bit I thought that she was getting a little taught and might be upset so rather gingerly I quietly put my hand on her head and stroked her a little - with no untoward results! They all duly flew away.

Eliza was a lovely animal and I believe lived on for many years in the Dublin Zoo.

Another less pleasant visitor I am glad to say we only had, I think, three or four times. This was the cantharidese beetle, otherwise known I believe as the Spanish fly. These insects hatched after dark apparently when there was a particular combination of heat and rain during the rainy season. They were an inch or so long with wings which folded on their backs. they would crawl quietly up your leg or arm inside your clothes: you would feel a tickle and slap the itch: this squashed the beetle: this in turn caused a blister to form on your skin which when you slapped it again would burst: the liquid inside the blister would then trickle down your arm or leg and cause another blister to form. This in turn would itch, be broken and produce yet another blister. Harmless but not nice. The cure was to get cotton wool or a tissue and, by breaking the blister carefully with that, mop up the liquid.

A final much more welcome visitor was Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother who, en route from South Africa to the U.K., stopped off for the day at Kano while her R.A.F. (I think) plane was refuelled and serviced. It also of course fitted with her flying up Africa during one night and on across the Sahara the next. So she spent a day in Kano. I discovered that her equerry on this trip was Billy Richardson, then a Captain in the 7th Hussars, who had been in the Combermere at Wellington with me. So I got myself made "Baggage Officer" for the occasion so as to have at least a brief word with him. My duties involved being up at the airport when her 'plane arrived in the early morning, receiving what baggage she wanted for the day and seeing it down to the Residency where she was to stay. Then in the evening reversing the procedure and seeing the luggage back onto her 'plane. I did in fact have a very brief and cheerful word with Billy R. who was, of course, totally preoccupied with his duties. I do remember being greatly impressed that Her Majesty came off the 'plane at 6.30 or so am complete with a smart hat with ostrich feathers in it: such a hat was almost her trade mark! So far as I remember, I carried out my duties as baggage master without any problem and the party duly flew off in the cool of the evening.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Kano Sallah
There were then from time to time various ceremonial duties. First, as I have said elsewhere, it was traditional for the Resident and all Administrative Officers to greet the Emir and his Council after they and the people had completed their prayers on the Sallah, the day after the end of Ramadan, the annual fasting month. For this we, all in uniform would assemble outside the Emir's palace in the City near the mosque and await the multitude's return. The Resident and the Emir would then exchange a few words and each of us would be introduced. Then the Resident would introduce the Emir to all the European Provincial Heads of Departments and we would disperse. At some stage the Emir must have addressed the crowd of the Faithful but I cannot recall attending any such proceedings nor whether the various District Heads and their followers performed Jahis, the ceremonial gallop up to the Emir and saluting him.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Emir at Sallah
Then the next day or a day or two later the Emir and a considerable retinue would come up to the Residency and pay a courtesy call on the Resident and the District Officer, Kano. I remember being a spectator at this but I do not think any of the other Administrative Officers were required to take part. The Emir himself rode up on a camel surrounded by the Emir's Council, a crowd of hangers on, a posse of the N.A. Police (blue tunics and shorts, red cummerbunds and fezzes and a leather belt and sandals) and a lot of spectators. The Residency grounds were full, all flower beds presumably trampled to destruction!

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Bryan Sharwood-Smith
Then there were special occasions. In the autumn of 1957 Sir Bryan Sharwood-Smith, the Governor of the North, was retiring. In September he paid a farewell visit to Kano and I reported that: "We had a sort of minor Lord Mayor's Show with all of us in uniform driving round the old City (en route to call on the Emir and Council) in cars behind Sharwood. I and Martin Maconachie, (another D.0.) brought up the rear feeling rather pompous."

Then a week or so later Sir Bryan flew home from Kano on final retirement. reported: "A good farewell ceremony at the airport at night. About 80 people to shake hands with him which must have been rather a bore for him! Then, as he walked out to the aircraft flood lights suddenly picked out on top of the airport building the N.A. Police buglers in full dress who sounded a long and rather haunting call called "The Hausa Farewell". "A very fitting send off.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Sir Gawain Bell in Kano
Then our new Governor arrived. He was Sir Gawain Bell and had been serving in, I think, the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan (or at least one of the territories in the Middle East). He of course paid an early visit to Kano and it was decided that for his formal call on the Emir and Council he should ride into the City in a mounted procession escorted by the Resident and District Officers all mounted and all in uniform. So on the day we had this fine procession: first an escort of the N.A. Mounted Police, blue uniforms and lances with red and blue pennons, then Resident and DO Kano and H.E., then John Britton and myself and another contingent of N.A. Mounted Police bringing up the rear. H.E. was mounted on a good looking grey lent by Robert Greenep, one of our better but infrequent polo players. The Katsina Polo Tournament was due soon and my ponies had already left for Katsina so I too was on a borrowed pony. I remember that I had to ride rather long as the overalls of my uniform did not allow me to bend at the knees all that much! The Governor was an accomplished horseman and polo player.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Governor and Emir
Mulkin Kai, i.e. Independence, drew near as a result of yet another Constitutional Conference producing a revised constitution. So in 1957 we had for the first time a directly elected House of Assembly in the North and in 1959 a directly elected House of Representatives in Lagos for all Nigeria: (my recollections of the names of the Houses may not be correct!). I found myself Returning Officer for a constituency which comprised either the whole or a half of Kano City. The contest was basically between the Northern Peoples' Congress or N.P.C. and the Northern Elements Progressive Union or N.E.P.U.: these I have described elsewhere as being respectively the conservative establishment and left wing anti-establishment parties. I cannot remember how many polling stations there were but there must have been twenty or more. Each was manned, if I remember rightly, by a European Government officer and an African: the former included all and sundry, veterinary officers, Public Works Department engineers, Agricultural Department staff and the latter were Government and N.A. employees.

The counting was to be done in a large Girls Secondary School. Each party had a symbol which was printed on the ballot papers which enabled the majority of the voters who were illiterate to identify for whom to cast their vote. I cannot recall which party had which symbol but most of them were some animal or insect, printed quite large in black and white.

I remember getting up very early and spending the day visiting all the polling stations in the constituency at least twice during the day. I suppose that there must have been problems but I do not recall any serious ones. Certainly there was no trouble of any kind.

In the evening when it was time for the count I and Nancy, having had some supper, went down to the Girls' School where the count was to take place. I was rather surprised on arriving to find the school surrounded by danert wire (barbed wire entanglements) and guarded by a platoon of the Nigeria Regiment. No one had told me of this precaution and I had never contemplated that protection of this kind would be required! A nice little incident then occurred: I looked round for the officer in command, expecting a European subaltern or captain. At that moment a Company Sergeant Major came round the corner of the building towards me: I immediately greeted him saying, I think, in English, "Good evening, Sergeant Major, are you in charge here!" All I got was a little shift of the shoulders backwards: just behind him following round the corner came one of the first African subalterns in the Regiment, fresh from Sandhurst as it were. I and Nancy greeted him, found him charming and in control of the situation. But I gave the Sergeant Major full marks for the little shift of the shoulder which made me look in the right direction at the right moment. Otherwise I might have put my feet in it looking for a white face.

The count duly took place, so far as I remember without trouble, and at some early hour in the morning I announced the result, N.P.C. win, to a "vast" crowd conSisting of the candidates and a few hangers on, the counters, the people nominated by each candidate to watch and check the counting and a platoon of the Nigeria Regiment! So much for the discouraging appearance of danert wire! And so home to bed. That is, I think, the only occasion on which I have ever worked for more than 24 hours at a stretch!

The next day I learnt that after I had collapsed into bed flat out asleep John Britton, the D.O. Kano Division, came round to our house because there was the possibility of trouble in the City between N.P.C. and N.E.P.U. supporters and perhaps some rioting and I might be needed to help. Apparently he and Nancy looked at me in bed and decided that I was so flat out exhausted that I would be no use! So I was left undisturbed and so far as I ever knew there was no serious trouble in the City. So much for elections.

Meanwhile Nancy too had been working, as much as anything for occupation. As I have mentioned during the earlier part of our time in Kano she joined Pam McClintock working as secretaries to the Manager of Barclays Bank Ltd. This involved the usual work of a secretary, typing, photo copying, etc.

While working there she was involved in one interesting bit of detective work which arose as follows. During the groundnut harvest in the dry months of November/December the various banks set up temporary branches in towns and villages in the farming areas to provide money to the groundnut buyers with which they could pay the peasant farmers for their groundnuts. Setting up such a branch bank involved sending a remittance out from the Kano bank. This would be mainly in the form of bags of coins loaded onto an open 3 ton lorry with a couple of Nigeria Police, complete with rifles, sitting on top of the bags of coin in the back and a European bank clerk beside the African driver in front.

Loading the lorry at the Kano bank was a major operation. The bags of coin had to be carried by hand out of the bank strong room, the door of which was of course set in a massive steel frame. This was done by the African bank messengers who would then trolley the bags outside and load them on to the lorry. Inevitably some bags, usually bags containing £100 in shillings, would be dropped clumsily on the cill of the strong room door's steel door with its sharp edges. On this sharp edge the bags would often split, the coins cascading all over the floor. The messengers were then falling over themselves to help collect and rebag the spilt coins. The re-bagged coins would then have to be put through the counting machine to ensure that each bag contained the full amount of, in the case of shillings, £100. Quite often a bag would be found to be 5 or 6 shillings short: since there were no more loose coins about on the floor round the strong room door this was a bit of a puzzle. However in the interests of getting on with the job, the missing coins would be topped up, the loading completed, the lorry sent off and the strong room locked up. The bank would bear the loss, presumably resulting from someone's careless counting.

However, on one of these occasions Nancy found the "true" explanation. Shortly after a lorry's departure she went outside the bank for a breath of fresh air and happened to look round the end of the bank building to where the messengers, who were of course all moslem, had a bench up against the building and a small praying ground. There on the bench were two. or three messengers sitting on the bench solemnly picking the missing coins off the soles of their feet and pocketing them! They had cunningly put glue on the underside of their feet, trodden all over the coins which had spilt on the floor of the strong room in their evident eagerness to help pick them up and so, by getting some to stick to their feet, "acquired" a little addition to their wages! As I have said cynically before, you can make anything fool-proof but nothing black man proof!

Later during our last tour Nancy worked as secretary to Mr. Karouni, an able Lebanese business man with various commercial interests. He was, of course, fluent not only in English but also in Hausa, French and Arabic and Nancy always wished that she had kept from his waste paper basket the swiftly written notes which he made of a long telephone call in which he wrote on the first line from left to right in French and on the second line from right to left in Arabic and so on on alternate lines down the page: this of course avoided his having to bring his writing hand back from the right edge of the page to the left, so saving time. On another occasion she had an example of how expressive the short Hausa word "to" could be. Mr. Karouni on the telephone responded to a long exposition by the caller using solely a series of "tos", varying widely the tone of voice and the length of the word, thus expressing "Yes: agreement, acceptance, surprise, doubt, possibility, OK, puzzlement, go on, right" and no doubt other meanings.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Commercial Kano
One of the delights in the residential and commercial areas of Kano, at the right time of year were the various, often flowering, trees. I have mentioned the ubiquitous "neem" tree found in avenues throughout. If it had a flower it was not conspicuous and I do not remember it. The most outstanding was the "flame of the forest". This was a wide spreading tree, not too high, with a brilliant scarlet flower all over. I recall one in particular at the agricultural experimental station just outside Kano which had a perfect shallow circular dome shape with a spread of at least 50 feet. When in flower, covered all over in scarlet petals, this was a lovely sight. Then there were quite a few in the gardens in the G.R.A. There were others with a paler shade of pink but I cannot remember names. Altogether they were at the right time of year most refreshing and a foil to the prevailing sandy brown.

Out in the bush countryside the outstanding tree was the baobab. Usually rather gaunt and growing to 80 or more feet high it had a rough grey bark, rather sparse foliage and, when mature, a big spreading root structure in the form of fins round the base of the tree reaching perhaps ten feet or more up the trunk from the ground. It was said that if you cut into them you found water though I never tried it. Most of the other tree growth in the Northern bush was mere scrub although along the lines of streams there would be a narrow strip of denser forest perhaps 50 yards or more wide known as kurmis. These would often harbour tsetse flies and other similar annoyances.

Throughout this time our involvement in sporting activities continued. There was tennis (on hard courts made of the red laterite), a little squash in courts built of the local mud bricks with a thin concrete rendering and, though not a game which I ever played, fives. This was a little special because quite a few of the senior Africans, particularly those who had been educated at the Katsina Higher College which Sir Hanns Vischer had set up back in the twenties, played it. Which kind of fives it was I do not remember: I think the one without a buttress in the court! Some people, I believe, fished in the local rivers and lakes (when there was enough water), mostly spinning for nile perch (giwan ruwa = elephant of the river) and other coarse fish.

Then of course there was polo about which I have already written at length. This was perhaps my main interest and certainly the riding, be it playing or merely hacking out for exercise, kept us fit.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Duck Shooting at Nguru
Finally there was shooting, mainly though not exclusively here for duck and geese. I have already written about trips to local lakes within reach on afternoon or evening forays from Kano. However during my last two tours I was in Kano during the months of January and February at the beginning of the dry seasons of both 1959 and 1960: this meant that I was able to take part in several wonderful week end trips to an area south east of Nguru where the Hadejia and other rivers overflowed at the end of the rainy season onto a flood plain forming vast shallow lagoons: these attracted a multitude of duck and geese and other interesting birds. Nguru was some 120 miles north east of Kano over roads via Hadejia which for much of the way were dry season only sandy tracks. It was at least a five hour drive to get there, if possible in one of the then rare four wheel drive vehicles.

The main organiser of these trips was John Hughes, the private solicitor already mentioned, aided and abetted by Toddy Arnold, the Irish D.0.

They involved driving up in a few vehicles on a Friday evening with shooting and camping kit and one or two of our boys to look after us, sleeping out in the open by a particular small grove of palm trees, flighting the duck and geese at Saturday dawn and dusk and Sunday dawn and then motoring home on Sunday afternoon ready for work on Monday.

Among the most important equipment were two blue insulated boxes perhaps 3 feet x 4 feet x 3 feet obtained on loan from the London and Kano Trading Corporation and containing dry ice. Into these refrigerated containers was packed the bag, thus preserving it intact on the long hot journey home.

This area where the rivers flooded was, I understood, the end of a migration route from some part of Siberia, routed I always imagined latterly down the Nile Valley, which brought a multitude of wild fowl down to our flood plain.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Village Near Nguru
On arrival, while the boys set up camp tables, chairs and beds and even someone's bath, the first duty was to go out and find and shoot on one of the nearby pools or channels one or two spur-winged geese for the boys to eat. As I have said elsewhere these were big geese with a bony spur on the elbow of their wings: their flesh was rather too strong tasting for our tastes but the boys considered them a delicacy. I can still see one being roasted on an improvised spit over an open fire in a small grove of bushes where the boys had improvised a kitchen.

Having slept well under the stars (no risk of rain at this time of year) we would be up before dawn and either wade out into some bit of the flood waters, perhaps just below knee deep, or line a series of pools and wait for the morning flight. I remember one cheerful occasion when John Hughes had on the previous morning seen a flock of pintail flight into one particular bit of flood water: the next morning we duly waded out into that area before first light and waited: the pintail of course duly landed at the other end of that bit of flood water 300 yards away! Since we were standing, three or four of us, without cover, out in the open flood waters I was not entirely surprised!

We would then try one or two other places before returning to a late breakfast. Further since, dressed in shirt, shorts, bare legs and plimsoles, we had been wading in river water and therefore at risk of leeches or even bilharzia we would wash our legs and feet in water laced with Dettol!

Retrieving was, as elsewhere, done by young boys from the nearby village some of whom John Hughes and Toddy Arnold now knew by name. Toddy was the exception in having his labrador to retrieve his birds.

On one occasion we actually shot at driven duck. This arose because we arrived at a long patch of water and could see a lot of duck at the far end of it 200 yards or so away. We managed to line our end of the water undetected and sent the local boys round beyond the duck without disturbing them. Eventually the boys came out in the open and quite a few of the duck came over us. I seem to remember that I missed! Others did not.

I do have one recollection of a bird which I was pleased to get. I was standing on the edge of a piece of water with my back to a primitive bit of irrigation equipment: this was a conduit, I think of wood, raised five feet or so off the ground at the edge of the water: its use would have been that the farmer with a bucket or large gourd scooped up water off the edge of the water at his feet and poured it out at shoulder level into the conduit: the water then ran down the conduit and onto his patch of farmland: laborious but quite effective. Suddenly a duck, no doubt disturbed elsewhere, came straight at me, quite high and really very fast. I swung and, I'm glad to say, brought it down to be retrieved by my attendant young lad from 20 yards behind me!

One of the delights of these trips was the variety of other birds that one saw: I cannot remember any of the small birds but there were plenty of big ones. Glossy ibis flighted slowly: the baba da jeka (old man with a bag) or marabou stork, a big bird with a hanging throat, stood about fishing. Pelicans swooped along like Sunderland flying boats.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Dry Season
The wild fowl included all the migratory species already recorded as well as the local wishy wishy (whistling tree duck). There were teal, gargancy, pintail, ferruginous duck, knob nose geese, egyptian geese and the, to us all rather useless, spur-winged goose. Our bag for a weekend might, as far as I can remember as I have no records, amount to 15 or 20 of various kinds. These were all packed into the dry ice boxes for the journey home on the Sunday afternoon. On arrival home we would have a division of the spoils between the guns and any favoured friends in Kano.

Nancy, my wife, came on one of these trips to see the fun. On this occasion we were driven there and back by a charming doctor whose name I sadly do not remember. He had one of the early Landrovers, ideal for the trip. One special memory that I have is that on the way back we overtook a small camel caravan on the sandy road: a dozen or more camels with a few Buzai attendants carrying, I think, salt to Kano. Each camel had, mounted on the nose piece of its halter or bridle, a small upright metal rod a few inches high with a ring on top. Whether this had any religious or other significance we did not discover: it may merely have been decorative or perhaps helped to make the camel hold its head up. We worked out that whereas we would be in Kano in three hours they would probably take three days!

These trips were a real break from routine and got one out into quite remote bush.

Our house, Gidan Beminster, gave us both fun and some problems. We evidently redecorated some parts of it because I recorded that we tried to paint the bathroom floor pale blue but the paint would flake off. More interestingly when we tried to put in a downstairs loo we found that it would have to be mounted on an 18 inch high platform because the floor inside the house was much lower than ground level outside! Finally I recorded: "White ants are the devil. A leather photo frame well eaten between going to bed and getting up in the morning. And then this morning Nancy happened not to be exactly under an ordinary hanging light when it quietly fell away from the ceiling - with the white ants which had eaten away the wooden block which fixed into the plaster on the mud ceiling falling after it!" I only remember seeing white ants get their come-uppance once: the wiring for the lights was chased into the plaster of our sitting room: after some very heavy rain water penetrated the roof of the domed sitting room and trickled down the walls: the white ants had of course eaten the insulation of the wiring and the trickle of water was enough to provide a circuit which electrocuted the ants: so we had dead white ants appearing in the trickles of water! Furthermore I seem to remember that the lights still worked.

Rains posed unexpected problems. I reported: "Had a big water shortage early this week. (In August, the rainy season, when water shortage was the last thing to expect!) A main burst in a big storm in the middle of the night and drained away all the water in the reservoir, 10 million gallons. And in the same storm a major electrical fault burnt out all the switches in the pumping station and so the pumps could not fill the reservoir up again. No tap water about 36 hours. Luckily it rained and rained but our cement skinned roofs are moss covered so we got dark green water off them! No bath that night."

Meanwhile we continued to entertain. There were extremes of the Army: the annual party from the Imperial Defence College came through and we put up an O.W. Colonel Wyldbore-Smith who, although later in the Household Cavalry had originally been a Gunner and in the same regiment in the War as our friend John Williams: at the other extreme an instructor, a Captain, and two cadets from Sandhurst en route apparently to French Niger and Timbuctoo: they were known to Hassan Katsina, son of the Emir of Katsina and a friend on the polo field and recently commissioned from Sandhurst into the Nigeria Regiment, and he had rung me up about them. And of course there were our own friends staying when passing through or for the polo tournament.

I also recorded: "We had one of the Emir's Council to dinner on Tuesday: a nice man with whom I do a lot of work. (I think that it must have been the Magajin Gari). He first joined Kano N.A. service as a clerk in 1923! And was telling us about the Durbar for the Prince of Wales in 1925!"

We were also being entertained: out every night over the weekend and apparently "outstaying our welcome to the tune of 12 o'clock"! And "after the polo club dance at Zaria (April 1960) ..... we had bacon and eggs and finally went to bed at 5 a.m!" High life indeed!

Sometime back we had decided that this would be my last tour and that, with self-government approaching, I would retire in July 1960. In 1957 Nancy's mother had died and we had bought out her elder sister Mary's share in Gofts House in Byworth, near Petworth in Sussex, Mary having remarried and being established in America. I had also been offered by Patrick Anderson the chance to train as a solicitor in his firm in Petworth, he having recommended the life of a country solicitor as being a nice one! So all the things which I was doing, work and play, had an additional attraction as being probably "for the last time"! I see from a letter home in January 1960 that we were even then calculating which boat we could catch from Lagos which would allow us to enjoy the Kano Polo tournament first!

I add that a first opportunity of retirement had come in 1957 at the time of the introduction of Regional Independence. At the same time we were invited to stay on, at least for a time, on what was known as "Special List B". We would be paid our "lump sum compensation for Loss of Office" (or "Lumpers") to which we became entitled on the technical abolition of our posts, in instalments if I remember correctly, and meanwhile continue serving on our normal pay. So I joined Special List B but now felt it was time to go.

So in the midst of keeping work up to date I do not seem to have missed any opportunity for sport. We went shooting somewhere every weekend. On 27th February, Saturday, four of us went up to Kazaure, 40 miles or so, for a picnic lunch and then to shoot about 4 p.m. The party was Dick Greswell, now Resident Kano (Bruce Greatbach having gone to be a Permanent Secretary in Kaduna), Ronnie Bird another Irish D.0., Bill Adams the Provincial Engineer, and myself and Nancy. Apparently Bill Adams took us in his car: since Dick Greswell was 6 foot 5 inches or so and Ronnie and me each about 6 foot 4 inches it must have been a squeeze. I recorded: "A nice evening. Dick Greswell - completely out of practice, didn't get any. Ronnie got 4, Bill Adams got 9 or so and I got 4 - all mine were the nice ferruginous duck: they have a lovely rich chocolate head and neck. Great fun". I don't think I have seen one of those duck since. And we got home late. I add that Nancy commented in a letter home that I was "frightfully keen - in fact I think polo almost takes second place" to the shooting!

Then towards the end of March we had our last go near Nguru. I spent most of the week before on tour at Gumel and Hadejia, the two smaller Emirates north east of Kano, discussing their finances and no doubt helping prepare their estimates for the next year. Then in Hadejia "I was able to borrow a Land Rover for the cost of the petrol and a tip to the driver. The road from Hadejia was vile!" I have no record of bag or party but I did report that "I had shot reasonably well, particularly at the geese on the Sunday when I seem to have had my eye in." Practice making not perfect but reasonable perhaps!

Others were retiring too just ahead of us. In early April Imbert Bourdillon whose father had been Governor of Nigeria in the 1940s and whom I had had to stay in Sokoto on his first arrival in August 1952, and Michael Sharpe whom I did not know so well both came through: once again Imbert stayed with us.

Then it was my last Zaria polo tournament. Being honorary secretary of the Nigeria Polo Association I knew that it was to be only a relatively small affair with only five teams competing, apart from the match for the Empire Day cup, Army v Civilians. This was between two made-up teams; on this occasion the Civilians wereMallamWada.Mallam Shirama and myself from Kano with a veterinary officer called Shipwright from Zaria. We evidently enjoyed ourselves because I reported that "much to my surprise we trounced the Army 9 goals to 1". Wada and Shirama, who had played together as No I and No 2 for seven years or so, played exceptionally well. Then the next day we, Kano, (after "dosing" the ponies with alcoholic liquor as I have already mentioned) won the knock out Signals Cup with a last minute goal. So back to Kano "with a load of silver!"

But even polo had its dangers: three weeks later I reported: "On Thursday I got a polo ball just below the kneecap and in spite of an ice pack the joint came up like a balloon and Frank Bryson, the orthopaedic surgeon, took one third of a pint of blood out of the joint - a burst blood vessel. So now I have my leg up for a day or two and a tight bandage on my knee for a week ........ AII rather a nuisance and too sweaty a climate to be in bed!"

Ponies suffered too. Gaira, the roan, "did a really remarkable recovery from being tripped up by another pony in the first game" at Zaria and pulled out lame in the near hind later. Then Hakimi had to have a tooth out which had laid down right up in the back of his mouth. He had two days feeling very sorry for himself and not eating. He only wanted hay which of course he could not have in case seeds, etc. got caught up in the unhealed hole and infected it: we eventually got him onto milk! Both recovered well.

So did my leg, anyway enough for parties. We gave one for 30 odd polo players and supporters - to admire the silverware and to drink either beer or a rose wine - bought in an unmarked demi-john from one of the French provision firms and thought to be from North Africa! Then all those who shot at Nguru came to eat the last two remaining geese which had been in a cold store and see some colour slides of our expeditions.

And this was the time for the Flame of the Forest trees to be out so everywhere was colourful - a scarlet background.

Then, at rather short notice, I was given a week's local leave and Nancy was released for the same week by Mr. Karouni. So we took oft, as we had for some time hoped to do, to visit Bornu and perhaps Lake Chad in the far North East. Maiduguri was the Provincial Headquarters, the capital of the Emirate of Bornu of which the head was the Shehu of Bornu. The Resident was Nicky McClintock who with Pam his wife were two of our nicest friends.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Kaduna Durbar
With full Independence looming Nicky was likely to be the last British Resident. His appointment was therefore both imaginative and highly suitable because the first British Resident of Bornu in, I think, 1902 had been Major Augustus McClintock, a cousin of Nicky's father! Known as Mai dorun yaki = The one who carries the whole burden of the war upon his shoulders, he stayed till he died in 1912 and was remembered and respected in our day.

I reported: "So on Friday we left Kano at 3.25 am and got here (Maiduguri) about 1 pm - 387 miles! The last 60 very_hot." We actually stayed in the Catering Rest House (the government run hotel) but fed with Nicky and Pam McClintock at the Residency. One little thing that I remember was that we ate our dinner that night with gold plated cutlery! The explanation for such finery was that earlier in the year Princess Alexandra had toured Northern Nigeria in connection with Independence celebrations and had stayed with the McClintocks in Maiduguri. Since Nicky's family owned this gold plate Nicky had had it brought out in order to entertain the Princess suitably! I have never eaten with such grand cutlery before or since! And to do so in a remote corner of Northern Nigeria made it even more special.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Maiduguri Maidan
Maiduguri was a most attractive town. The buildings were of the usual mud block construction but the streets were wide and almost universally lined with mature neem trees planted in the 1930s and so much bigger and giving more shade than many in, for example, Kano.

On our drive up we had one intriguing little incident. As I have said Nancy was working for Mr Karouni among whose commercial interests was a contract for the transport of, I think, Shell petrol from railhead at Kano to a depot in Niamey in French Equatorial Africa, modern Chad. For this he had a fleet of two axle tanker lorries, each of which towed a two axle tanker trailer. These maintained a shuttle service over the 400 plus miles from Kano to Niamey which was some distance north east of Maiduguri over the frontier.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Maiduguri's Streets
During the latter part of our drive to Maiduguri we suddenly noticed, during a deserted part of the road, parked in the scrub some 100 yards off the road one of Mr Karouni's tanker trailers. Whether it was full or not we could not tell but it had no obvious defects such as a puncture and it had quite clearly been deliberately taken some distance from the road. Suspecting some sort of rikichi or skulduggery we took its number and reported it to Mr Karouni on our return. What the explanation was I do not think we ever heard.

We never covered the last 100 odd miles to look at Lake Chad. It would have meant hours in a very hot Land Rover over terrible tracks, this being a really hot time of year. Instead we lazed a bit: Nicky lent us ponies and we rode out into the surrounding country. We looked at such sights as there were: I recall two ostriches which roamed loose on the dandal, the wide approach to the Shehu of Bornu's palace and which was lined with N.A. offices, etc.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Maiduguri Sallah
Our visit coincided with the Sallah celebrations. However, the old Shehu being aged 86, these were not as exuberant as in some other places. I have a recollection of watching from a balcony on the gateway into the Shehu's palace as the Shehu processed back from the praying ground in his vast black Buick with, slightly incongruously, his large decorated ceremonial sun shade being twirled over the car, carried by a strong retainer walking alongside, the whole procession being conducted at walking pace. The car was, of course, escorted by a large number of mounted men, many in chain mail and carrying the curved swords with a very narrow blade traditional to the Kanuri peoples of Bornu.

The people of Bornu were Kanuri or Shuwa Arabic, not the Hausa or Fulani of the areas further west. They were on balance taller, finer and more upstanding than the Hausawa. The women in particular went in for brighter colours amongst which canary yellow predominated. In fact the Bornu empire stretched back in time before the establishment of the Fulani/Hausa empire of Usman dan Fodio based on Sokoto and the introduction of Islam came from the Sudan to the east unlike the rest of the North to which it had been introduced from the north west. As a result I think that the Kanuri considered themselves somewhat superior to the Fulani and Hausawa of the rest of the North.

After four interesting and enjoyable days in Maiduguri we set off back westwards. We intended to go direct to Jos where we had booked in at the Hill Station for a few days. At Bauchi which was on our route we called on Leith and Peggy Watt, more old friends. On arrival we found Peggy in the house and sat having a drink with her. She pressed us to stay the night but we resisted her blandishments. However, when Leith walked in from his office and saw us his first words were: "Hullo, have you unpacked yet!" We could hardly disobey the Resident: we stayed the night! And so, after a few cool relaxing days at the Hill Station in Jos, back to Kano and a final flurry of work and play.

I reported on 12th June 1960 that: "A cool wind blew us off the Jos Plateau at 4.30 am this morning and a rather hot one sucked us into Kano at 1 pm!" Ken Vorley who was to take over from me had arrived in Kano but was for the moment sidetracked on to other work. So I found myself involved for my final six weeks or so in a very hectic whirl of work and play.

This involved first carrying on with my normal work as D.O. Finance and D.0. City and writing for Ken Vorley's benefit some handing over notes. Ken knew Kano but had not done this particular job before. He finally took over from 3rd July but I recorded: "There are still several big things for me to work out and write up." Presumably some Applications for Supplementary Expenditure to be justified to the Resident, suggestions for investing further funds through the Crown Agents in London, matters concerning the N.A. Prison, etc.

Then the Kano Polo Tournament was due for the whole week from Monday 19th July. I was both Secretary of the Kano Polo Club and, although this did not involve much work during the tournament, Secretary of the Nigeria Polo Association. So a lot of organising and practical work fell on me. A minor additional problem was that some of our more active senior members were on leave. As Secretary I was responsible for just about everything. At least I did not have to put up the (so called) Grandstand: this was a temporary structure of a timber dais and a timber frame with tarpaulin covers all put up by the N.A. Works Department to a standard pattern from year to year. And at least the beginning of the rainy season had produced enough rain storms to make the laterite M.1. ground just soft enough to be playable. But there was still much to do: the ground to get freshly lined out: corner etc., flags to be put up: time keepers, scorers, goal judges, umpires, referees, public address commentators, to be recruited and rostered: programmes listing all the teams and the entries for each competition written up and printed. There were ten teams entered which meant when we worked out the draw that two matches in the first round of the knock out phases had to be played on the preceding Saturday, the tournament proper starting on the Monday. Another requirement was temporary stabling for the ponies of the visiting teams from Kaduna, Zaria, Katsina and Kazaure. This again would be temporary shelters put up by the N.A. Works Department. During all this I reported that I had found time to go up one day to Kazaure to help (I hope!) their keen but relatively untutored team with some coaching.

The preparations evidently completed, I see that the rains overplayed their hand because I reported: "Monday, rain, no play!" So the best laid plans got upset a bit. And of course I was myself playing in a Kano team!

All this coincided with the terrible rebellion in the Belgian Congo. The Congo had always been for us an example of over strict, if not brutal, and exploitive colonial rule. Until somewhen about 1910 it had been the personal fiefdom of the King of the Belgians. There were stories of peasants who could not produce the required quantity of rubber by way of tax having their hands lopped off. Apparently there had been Congolese Army units stationed in Nigeria during the War and they had a reputation for having excessively harsh discipline. The population and in particular the army rose in revolt against the Belgian administration and assassination, pillage and rape were apparently rife. It was the Indian Mutiny of 1857 all over again.

We in Kano became heavily involved because Kano airport was an important staging point for air transport between Belgium and the Congo. We had, as it were, three streams of traffic which, if possible, we had to keep apart: there were civilians including traumatised and raped nuns and women fleeing home to Belgium: there were Belgian army units flying out to the Congo to try and restore control and protect their compatriots: and there were United Nations "peace keeping" troops going in with a view to establishing some sort of order. The latter were all sorts: I have recollections of units from Senegal and some Central American country.

I recall having (before breakfast!) one morning to find and help set up an office for, I think only two, United Nations officials who presumably were in some degree controlling the traffic through the airport.

I also remember one day having to take a company of Belgian paratroops off in N.A. lorries to one of the schools outside the City walls to bivouac there. Their aeroplane had apparently developed some fault and they could not fly on immediately to the Congo. Two things struck me. The first was that they spoke no known language - I believe it was Walloon. The other was that the officers seemed a bit lost and that it was inevitably the Company Sergeant Major ("Adjutant" I believe was his rank), i.e. the senior N.C.D., who had a grip on things and got everything moving.

Exercise did not cease. I reported late in June: "This morning was nice and cool for a mounted paper chase which was fun. I was one of the hares. We had good ground to go over and had a nice run. Followed by breakfast for which we paid 5 shillings - mostly to go to Polo Club Funds1" But there were pony worries. Hakimi, my favourite pony became off colour and troubled in his wind. He got a bit worse and was "roaring". It was thought to be connected with his being given an anaesthetic when he had his tooth out a few weeks before and the injection in his neck may have damaged a nerve connected to his larynx. Antibiotics got him quite a bit better but not back to full fitness. I was able to play one rather slow chukka on him during the tournament which he seemed to enjoy.

A minor event which kept getting in the way of other things was that I was required to give evidence in court in a fraud case against, I think, two government clerks: apparently I had signed the voucher on which they claimed some money, the voucher having all the correct supporting documents. What I did not know (and, I think, had no means of knowing) was that those documents had already been used previously to support the original correct voucher! The annoyance was that I recall attending court and waiting about only to have the case adjourned to the next day, all this when I could least afford wasted time! Of what I had to say and what the result was I have no idea.

We were now packing. We felt that we had at least started when before the polo tournament started we got three boxes packed, one of books and two of the two parts of the much travelled "military chest" of drawers. This had (and still has) in each drawer a handwritten label listing the number of shirts, collars, etc., which the drawer contained when my grandfather, later Surgeon General Sir Thomas Longmore, had taken it out to India as surgeon to the XIX Foot (later the Green Howards) in 1857 at the time of the Indian Mutiny. My father, Charles Longmore, used it during his Army service. Now it had survived 13 years in Northern Nigeria. We did not want to dismantle the house too much until after the polo party which we gave on the Tuesday of the tournament week but we did eventually get 18 boxes off by rail on the Monday after the tournament to Elder Dempster Ltd., the shipping company in Lagos, for eventual loading onto our ship. All this while having Oliver Hunt, Resident Katsina, to stay during the tournament!

The tournament seems to have run its course satisfactorily despite, as I have said, losing the Monday to rain. The team of which I was a member did not do very well - we had not played together - and got knocked out fairly early. I had one not very gracious moment: my pony, right in front of the grandstand, turned too sharp, slipped and fell crash on his side with me of course as well. Alhaji Rabiu, a former player of merit and head of the Kano N.A. Hospital, leapt off the grandstand and ran out to help me up. I'm afraid my response, correct but ungracious, was "Kada ka taimake ni: za mu keta doka" - "Don't help me: we shall break the rules!" Both I and my pony were unhurt, got up and played on! What Alhaji Rabiu said when he got back to the stand I was not told!

Finally they organised a "benefit" match in my honour for which I was invited to raise a team to play, I think, a Katsina team. My recollection is that I asked Mallam Wada and Mallam Shirama to play at 1 and 2 and Oliver Hunt to play back, I played at No. 3. We had a lot of fun but did not have much success. My recollection is that I scored our only goal! And that several were scored against us! But it was a nice gesture. And in the evening Rex Raccah gave a dinner for me and Nancy mainly of polo players, another nice gesture.

After the excitements of the polo tournament our last days in Kano seem to have passed off quietly. After "my" benefit polo match and dinner party at the Central Hotel given for us by Rex Raccah, staying our last few nights with Ken Vorley to whom I had handed over my job and dinner on the Friday with Ronnie Bird it was finally a case of farewells. I went round all my N.A. contacts, Madaki, Sarkin Shanu, Mutawali, Ma'aji et. al. to say good bye and good wishes for the future. Then it was a sad good bye to the ponies, Hakimi, Gaira, Insh Allah, and the horse boys. Finally it was good bye to our boys and particularly to Abetse who had served me and then us so faithfully for all my 13 years in the country.

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Lagos Harbour
Then on Saturday 30th July 1960 we finally drove quietly away from Kano for the last time out on the road north west past Dalla Hill with the reservoir on top a few miles out: this hill gave rise to the saying when going towards Kano: "Hangin nalla ba isowar birni ba" = "Seeing Dalla does not mean that you have reached the city"! At Yashi about 50 miles out one turned left and headed south to Funtua and Zaria. Here we stayed the night with David Warren before going on to Kaduna to stay two nights with Pat Grier while I apparently checked up in the Secretariat about pension calculations, etc.! Then on via Bida and Ibadan to Lagos "staying with friends all the way except Ibadan where we stayed in a hotel but had dinner and spent the next morning with an architect called Robin Atkinson (who plays polo) who had designed a good deal of the University buildings and was most interesting." I remember that at one moment on our drive we missed Abetse! We stopped off for a picnic lunch in bush and after sitting ourselves down found ourselves beset with flies: we then realised that we had chosen a spot fifty yards from a much used cattle track: we reckoned that Abetse would have warned us off it!

And so to Lagos where we stayed with Peter and Sheila Vischer with Tony Ditcham in the house next door. So our last days were spent with long standing friends from the North, all now working in the Secretariat in Lagos. Our Mercedes car which we had bought on an "export scheme" when home on our last leave was to come back to England with us so as I recorded: "We abandoned the car to the mercies of Leventis Motors Ltd (the Mercedes Agents) and hope that by now she is snug in the hold of the ship! We don't see her again until the dockside at Liverpool."

Notes on My Time in Northern Nigeria by Robert Longmore
Government House
Meanwhile we relaxed: "Yesterday we had a glorious sail over to Tarkwa beach the other side of the harbour entrance, a picnic lunch there and bathed in the surf and sailed home. All rather brown and some rather red from the sun! Lagos is lovely at the moment - a cool breeze night and day. August is one of the best months here."

I also recorded: "The amount of money being spent in Lagos on new buildings and new roads is fantastic. There are hotels hardly half built in which the rooms are already let for October 1 st - Independence celebrations."

So on 9th August 1960 we went on board the Elder Dempster Lines M.V. Accra and sailed out of Lagos harbour for the last time, thus bringing to an end my time in the Colonial Administrative Service in Northern Nigeria.

To Sum Up
All in all my thirteen years in Northern Nigeria completely fulfilled the hopes that I had put together in my five pOints on a postcard that I took to Major Guy at the Cambridge University Appointments Board in 1946. I enjoyed every bit of my time, even the somewhat fraught time at Lafiagi!

My first bit of luck, of course, was to be guided by Michael Varvill when on the Course at Cambridge to opt for Northern Nigeria as my first choice territory and to get my first choice. Compared with other possible territories it had so many good points: nice Africans to deal with, most of them tempered by their Islamic faith: a reasonable climate: opportunities for sport: a sense of a job worth doing and one which was helping less sophisticated people to improve their lives. Another point in its favour was the absence of European settlers: my friends in some territories must have been pulled one way by the Africans' or other locals' interests and the other way by settlers' interests. We were spared that conflict.

Then I had luck in my first bosses on my first posting as a totally "green" cadet to "Gboko in the Gbush" (as we cheerfully called it) and to Makurdi. Both John Taylor as D.O. Tiv at Gboko and Desmond MacBride as Resident Benue at Makurdi, for both of whom I worked in my first tour, could not have been nicer or more patient or have given me better guidance and instruction.

My wish as one of my five points for an occupation with a "service ethic" was fulfilled: there was a definite feeling among the Administration and indeed the various Departmental Services of belonging to an elite. One had to do one's best: otherwise you were letting the rest down. The friendliness and hospitality of even total strangers in the services was remarkable: turn up at a bush D.O.'s house unannounced and unknown and it was a case of "Have a drink" or "Stay to lunch".

One of the cheerful things was that you could usually get an African to laugh at even a simple joke. Witness when the old Ortaregh at Aliade let off his dane gun behind me and I politely asked for notice in future: much chuckling by all present!

Loyalty: bless Abetse and Ayaka, my boy and my cook, Abetse for all my time and Ayaka until some disagreement between his wife and Abetse's caused him to have to leave, for total loyalty to me and then to Nancy as well when she came on the scene. Then there were others like Mallam Mijimbira, the Government Messenger at Argungu, a vast help in investigating the Emir's malpractices.

Another satisfying thing was the opportunity to achieve something on one's own. For me it came in a small way with being set in my second tour to rewrite Financial Memoranda, the accounting manual for the Native Treasuries, and to have it accepted as useful. Then being the D.0. of even a relatively small Division such as Argungu or Lafiagi on one's own gave a sense of accepting and fulfilling responsibility.

There was also a sense of history, particularly in the Northern Emirates many of which could trace links back to the rule of Usman Dan Fodio in the late 18th century and beyond. This gave them a sense of self confidence so that one dealt with the Emirs and their Councillors and office holders as equals and friends and in no sense as one's inferiors. And of course I was never giving them orders, only suggestions or advice. Often the attitude was mutual: witness my charming rocket from the Madaki of Kano involving Mallam Wutsuwutsu!

Then there were all the opportunities for sport: much centred on the horse, quite often of course used in one's work as well, touring etc. where there were no roads or motorable tracks. Having the ponies led to polo, played to a great extent with the Africans. Then there was shooting, again sometimes in company with the Africans. I have written much about these activities and the enjoyment which they gave us all.

So overall my thirteen years in Northern Nigeria were good ones, looked back on with pleasure and satisfaction. I hope that by my efforts I contributed in a minute way to the generous words of Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa spoken as first Prime Minister of the Federation of Nigeria when he said in his inaugural speech: "We are grateful to the British Officers whom we have known first as masters and then as leaders and finally as partners but always as friends."

Postscript
Date: Goodwood Week late 1960s, some seven or eight years after I had left Nigeria.
Place: Cowdray Polo Ground.

During evening polo as practised in Goodwood Week I had gone after work with my spaniel, Twinkle, to watch an evening match. I was talking to Colonel Kennedy, retired Indian Cavalry and the Chief Umpire, when I sensed a swish of skirts behind me and suddenly heard in Hausa: "Ga wanda ya ke a nan!" = "Look who's here". Looking round I found advancing on me Mamman Kabir, the son of the Emir of Katsina, followed by Alhaji Usman Nagogo the Emir of Katsina himself, together with another Emir whom I did not know but who from the way in which his turban was tied, with two rabbits ears, I realised was a new, to me, Emir of Kano.

I managed to retrieve some Hausa exclaiming: "Abin mamaiki Na ji murna kwarai da gaske da ganinku a nan" = "Incredible! I am so pleased, truly, to see you here." Hurriedly tieing Twinkle the spaniel to a post, I rushed to greet them and was introduced to the Emir of Kano: pleasure on all sides. We chatted for a little. Then the Emir of Katsina, who had when a young man in England before the war played a little at Cowdray, said he must pay his respects to Lord Cowdray and would I tell Lord Cowdray that he was here. So I went to the Cowdray family enclosure of seats and interrupted Lord Cowdray whom I knew slightly and told him that the Emir was here and reminded him that he was President of the Nigerian Polo Association. He immediately got up and welcomed the Emirs and room was made for them in the enclosure. Then I and Mamman Kabir chatted for a bit, I enquiring after old friends, until the Emir called him to come and see Lord Cowdray and he too got a seat in the enclosure.

I was then collecting my wits when there was a plaintive call from behind me: "Sir, I think you have forgotten me!" There to my horror was the Madakin Kano, he of Mallam Wutsuwutsu fame, who had hung back and whom I had not taken in when so involved with the Emir and Mamman Kabir. So then profuse apologies from me and I took him off to get a drink at the bar (nonalcoholic of course!) for us both and then sat with him to watch the polo and ask for news of all my friends in Kano. Apparently they were all over for some conference in London and had come down to see the polo from that. At the end of play for the day we parted and I recovered from the pleasant shock of a completely unexpected rencontre. Another example of Sir Abubakar's peroration: "but always as friends"! And really my last contact with Northern Nigeria!

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