Model Boat Mayhem - Forum

Dry Dock / Shipyard: Builds & Questions => Working vessels R&D: => Topic started by: RobinStobbs on May 26, 2012, 04:36:48 PM

Title: KUR harbour tug 'Nguvu'
Post by: RobinStobbs on May 26, 2012, 04:36:48 PM
I know this is a long shot but does anyone have drawings and/or pics of the Kenya Uganda Railways first harbour tug in Kilindini, the "Nguvu"?  She is one I'd very much like to add to my 'fleet' but all I have is this pic taken at the Railways Museum in Nairobi a few years back.  It's in awful condition, as were all the other model ships and locos, and had I had more time in Nairobi then I sure would have volunteered my time to fix these exhibits up - perhaps if and when on my next visit??  Nobody on duty in the museum at the time could tell me anything regarding drawings or details despite me pulling strings like my father was chief draughtsman for KUR&H (then EAR&H) for many years and my g'father was Nairobi's and Port Florence's (to become Kisumu) first station masters having joined the UR in 1896 when the 'Lunatic Express' kicked off in Mombasa.

I keep asking myself, "Why is it we only begin to notice things when they are long gone and irrecoverable?"

Title: Re: KUR harbour tug 'Nguvu'
Post by: vnkiwi on May 26, 2012, 10:23:53 PM
Hi Robin,
Nice looking model, just a pity its been left to deteriate.
Some museums are simply not interested or don't understand what they have. Happens in all to many countries unfortunately.
Good luck with your search, and keep us all informed of progress
Title: Re: KUR harbour tug 'Nguvu'
Post by: RobinStobbs on May 27, 2012, 04:25:23 PM
All the models in the museum look like they were professionally made.  Makes one wonder what became of all the huge, magnificent ship models (Bassett Lowke perhaps?) that were once displayed on the Nairobi Railway station platform (and Mombasa station) and the railways 6" gauge live steam model of a 59 class Beyer Garrett loco - and others.  Sic transit gloria mundi!
Title: Re: KUR harbour tug 'Nguvu'
Post by: vnkiwi on May 27, 2012, 08:08:42 PM
Surely they still exist. One would hope so anyway.
Maybe in someones shed, or now in someones home. Maybe even in the Museums storage, out of site, out of mind.
You'd be amazed at what is hidden away in Museums storage rooms. Our city Museum of ART & history, is mainly all arty stuff, with all the historical stuff. records, photos and artifacts, including models, all hidden away in locked storage rooms in the basement. Old record books not computerized so "unknown" to most staff who  look it up on the computer, don't see it and tell you haven't got it, even though you have been told by the family which donated the collection to the museum and what year it was donated. Its there, but in the old catalogue system, so doesn't EXIST as far as they are concerned.
Rant over.
Hope you have better luck in finding some of these very precious artifacts
Title: Re: KUR harbour tug 'Nguvu'
Post by: RobinStobbs on May 28, 2012, 06:42:55 AM
You're so right Mr Kiwi man!  I was a museum technician for two years, and for the following 20 years as technician in an ichthyological institute was often called in to assist with setting up displays in both our natural history museum and the adjacent historical museum.  If it can be avoided good and valuable stuff is never placed on display - what one sees are second bests or replicas (made quite a few replicas myself!).  Manay years ago, like back in the '60s, I wrote to the East African railways requesting drawings of the big 59 class locos on behalf of a live steam nut.  Within a week a massive pile of drawings arrived in the post together with covering note to the effect that this represented the least they could do in recognition of my father's position in the railways before he retired.  A similar request sent three years ago asking for more information on the old Likoni freey was met with a brief note sent a year later informing me that the archives did not hold drawings of any obsolete equipment.  Ho hum! Nuff said!  I still have a couple of friends living in Nairobi and have written to them asking if they might perhaps go visit the railways museum and take a series of pics of the 'Nguvu' model from which I could make a reasonable copy - hold all digits!
Regards, Robin

ps.  Len Young, the official EAR&H photographer had thousands of photographs in his archives the last time I saw him; and them.  These too seem to have largely vanished as a collection but every now and again I see one published so many of them must be around still.