SpanglefishBetty Clay's Scrapbook | sitemap | log in


Betty St. Clair Clay nee Baden-Powell was my mother (  She was born on 16th April 1917.  Her parents had both kept diaries, and her mother (and her mother before her) kept a "ScrapBook" into which were pasted not just photographs, but any suitable item of interest. 

Betty's parents were Robert and Olave Baden-Powell, World Chief Scout and World Chief Guide. When she was 17, Betty accompanied her parents on a tour round the world, visiting Scouts and Guides. She wrote a four-volume Journal of this tour, which will be posted eventually.

Betty's parents had met in 1912 on board ship, and they shared a birthday.  So when, on board ship, Betty met a man who shared her birthday, his fate was sealed.  This was my father, Gervas Charles Robert Clay (   They married on 24th September 1936, and went straight out to Northern Rhodesia, where Gervas was a member of the Provincial Administration (PA) of His Majesty's Overseas Civil Service (HMOCS).

When Gervas first went out to Northern Rhodesia in 1930, his letters from home were delivered by sea to Capetown, then by rail, and then by runner from the nearest Post Office 120 miles away.  That part of the journey took a week.  One of his first tasks was related to the construction of an airfield, and by 1939 his letters from home were delivered by air. 

From runner to airmail in nine years indicates how fast development was there then.  When Betty's first child was born in 1937, a breeches birth, there were only nine doctors in the entire country, and so Betty was sent to South Africa for the birth.  Betty recorded these changes in her scrapbooks, which eventually numbered about thirty.  Betty died on 24th April 2004, and I currently have her scrapbooks.  These are in the process of being scanned, and when ready are posted here. 

The first three were started by her mother, and cover her life up until her wedding.  Thereafter they are her handiwork, and cover both her life and her husband's life, and the lives of their four children until they left home.   

Posted here are only those scrapbooks more than 49 years old, i.e. up to their retirement back to England in 1964.

Posting pix is quite tedious and slow (and I do have a life to lead!) so, if you don't find what you want, just ask - or come back in a few months time!

The WebSite does have restrictions on file sizes.  The original scans are BitMaps, usually about 100 Mb per page.  I post here lower resolution .JPGs.  If you want better, just ask, by leaving a message on the FEEDBACK page.  Remember to provide the file name and indicate which part you would like.

Robin Clay

9th May, 2013

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