The Author – Hugh Bland

Hugh - At Addington Children's Hospital

I was born in Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) I have always taken an interest in Heritage, and Historical sites and Military history. I suppose my first fascination with these sites was our regular family visits to Dhlo Dhlo & Nalatalie Ruins close to our farm near Shangani. The full origin of these ancient sites is still not fully understood but provided plenty of opportunity to extend the imagination.I also went to REPS (Rhodes Estate Preparatory School) in the Matopos which is a national heritage area with a rich historical background.

My Grandfather was an early settler in Zimbabwe (1894) and initially was a Transport rider with others such as Thomas Meikle, Peter and General Duncan McKenzie , followed by a spell of prospecting and then farming on Thornville farm, Shangani, where I grew up. Plenty of food to feed the imagination !

My interest in matters military stems from my mothers eight years service in the British Army in the nursing services (Q.A.I.M.N.S.) , spanning the war years and my period of service in the army.

During my many years with Boxer Superstores,  I travelled extensively, particuarly in rural areas and been priveleged to see some of the less travelled places in South Africa, away from the normal tourist routes.

As a regular participant in the Dusi, Umkomaas,Tugela and Umzimkulu Canoe Marathons, I have also had the privilege of experiencing our rural backwaters and  landscapes first hand.

Although qualified as a C.A.S.A. (B.Com. – UKZN), I have always had a keen interest in Photography and have been a member of a photographic club for many years, run by  Dr Willem Oets, Benine Du Toit,and Jane Bedford, all of whom are talented photographers.

The project I am undertaking combines many of my interests and determination to leave some record of the present KZN, which has already changed since I commenced the work.

I have recently completed the photography for a book :  Farmhouses of Old Natal, which was published early in December 2017.

I presently live in La Lucia in KwaZulu Natal (July 2018)

Above photo by: Tory Hathorn