African Hut Rain Shelter

This is from the Hamilton Advertiser around May or June 1950 and shows an African hut. The heading was “African Hut” Shelter at Livingstone Memorial, and the caption read “This thatched hut, built on the African model, will serve as a rain shelter at the Livingstone Memorial, Blantyre. If suitable poles can be secured, similar huts will be erected in other parts of the grounds. This one was erected by Mr R. G. McCallum, warden, who is seen on the left of our photograph, and his assistant, Mr Sommerville.”

How wonderful it would be to have such rain shelters back at the grounds. What a brilliant idea and sure would have been handy when an occasional downpour came on. I’m not sure the thatch, being a constant maintenance issue would have lasted very long in Scottish winters.

With thanks to Gordon Cook, who shared this photo and told me, “Mr Sommerville was the gardener at the Memorial grounds and lived in Stonefield Crescent.”

rain shelter

Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said:

John Dunsmore I can mind standing under it when it poured down
Jim McSorley You can import elephant grass from zimbabwe and get busy with the thatching. It will last 20 years
Graham Horne If maintained properly it should survive most kinds of weather.
Blantyre Project “maintained” being the word. Things were certainly more financially difficult for the Livingstone Centre in the latter 20th Century. I wonder if this played a part in the removal of it. A storm did affect the rain shelters in the 1960s, but I think it was the corrugated one.

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