THE FIRST HUNDRED YEARS'
Grand entrance to Nairobi's 'Norfolk Hotel'.
easy and fascinating read
- - Only
narrowly reaching Kenya's bookshops in time for the hotel's 100-year
celebrations, author Jan Hemsing's book Nairobi's
Norfolk Hotel, the First Hundred Years is not just the
story of a hotel whose name is known worldwide, but is an easy and
fascinating read about Nairobi and those who contributed towards
making it a capital city, writes NETA PEAL.
was hardly even a town on Christmas Day 1904 had to grow up all around
its only stone-built hotel.
surroundings then were still so wild that lions were sometimes seen
approaching the front door and hippos sported in the river behind.
is not just the history of a very special hotel and those attracted to
it ... who then dubbed it affectionately the 'House of Lords'.
was because of the titled clientele from abroad who regularly
frequented it ... but is also the story of Kenya emerging as a country
from what was then known as BEA, British East Africa, a part of the
British East Africa Protectorate.
inspiration of Major C. G. R. Ringer and his partner Mr R. Aymer
Winearls and opened on Christmas Day 1904, four further owners
followed then in the ensuing years, each extending and improving it,
to become the cherished 'Home from Home' for its guests from far and
game hunters and their clients, princes, earls, dukes, lords and their
ladies, a maharajah and the aristocracy of many countries can all be
found in these pages as the Norfolk's patrons, not forgetting the
explorers, artists, authors, sportsmen, racing drivers, presidents,
politicians and professional photographers.
the darlings worldwide of stage and screen and numerous others, making
the reading an adventure in itself, a hundred-year African safari in
its own right.
is Nairobi's and Kenya's history made easy reading.
when the railway from Mombasa to Port Florence (or Kisumu as it is
now) stopped long enough in front of the hotel for passengers to
embark or alight to the more speedy arrival of guests who in their
time would include Sarah Duchess of York and, more recently still, the
United Nations Secretary Kofi Annan and his wife Nana.
in Kenya by Oakland Books and
printed by Modern Lithographic,
the book's 244 pages are generously illustrated with 124 pages in one
colour, 24 in two colours and in full colour 96.
soft back edition sells at K Shs. 980 and the hardback edition with
full-colour dust jacket at K Shs. 1,475.
FAVOURITE SUBJECT HAS ALWAYS BEEN CATS