Short Solent on Lake Malawi (Lake Nyasa). 1949 or 1950.

Martin Seamaster through to the Canadair CL-215 & 415 and the Shinmaiwa US-1.

Short Solent on Lake Malawi (Lake Nyasa). 1949 or 1950.

Postby Benicek » Tue Apr 07, 2009 8:18 am

I found this small photograph in a junk shop in Brighton last year and sent it to several flying boat enthusiasts on the net in an effort to identify the location. A reader of a New Zealand forum finally came up with this:

"The picture was taken from Cape Maclear, probably from the old Golden Sands Hotel owned by Mrs Wynne-Jones who used to sleep with 3 or 4 civet cats on her four poster. There is no sign of the hotel now, or the pool or the Madam for that matter. What appears to be hills in the background are islands Tumbi on the left and on the right Domwe Island. In the distance you can just make out a faint blotch on the horizon above the tail of the solent that is Zimbawe Rock which used to have a light tower.

As far as I know the service was not viable as Cape Maclear is 18km from a main road which in those days could take hours, and there was not much going on for another 70km. Tourism in the area had not even really begun."

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Re: Short Solent on Lake Malawi (Lake Nyasa). 1949 or 1950.

Postby seawings » Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:15 pm

Well, Gentlemen, (and the one Lady - thinking of Bumble here ) this is why I built this web site for just a picture such as this and an answer to a question.

What I would have given to have been the chap with the camera, or the chap that flew on her, or the chap with the knowledge to know what the answer was................

Thanks, 'Benicek' for sharing this with us - much appreciated.

Despite all the sh*te that I have been through in the past month to re-build this forum, after the Bast*rds wanted to ruin it for all of us, comes such a simple posting that has really touched me tonight. Priceless!
Best Regards,

Bryan Ribbans
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The Flying Boat Forum
SEAWINGS - The Website

"I put the sweat of my life into this project, and if it's a failure, I'll leave the country and never come back".
Howard Hughes, re: the HK-1 Hughes Flying Boat, aka the 'Spruce Goose,' 1946.
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Re: Short Solent on Lake Malawi (Lake Nyasa). 1949 or 1950.

Postby ant » Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:51 am

Just an update.

This photo was taken from the Cape Maclear Hotel, overlooking the swimming-pool (in which one of my school-friends remembers bathing as a young girl!). The date must be either 1950 or 51 as the service to Nyasaland only lasted 2 years.

The original hotel was dismantled in the early 50s and moved across the lake by barge to Senga Bay, being reborn as the present day 'Livingstonia Beach'.


Mrs Wynne-Jones (the mother of another school-friend!) owned and ran the 'Glengarry Hotel', which was further round the bay, and only opened in the late 1950s. When she sold it in 1970, it was renamed 'Golden Sands'.

Here's a picture of a Solent taking off in front of Elephant Island

This is Cape Maclear today - unfortunately sans Solents!

Here is an article on Cape Maclear I wrote for my old school newsletter: (see page 3)
Last edited by ant on Sun Nov 01, 2009 9:53 am, edited 7 times in total.

Re: Short Solent on Lake Malawi (Lake Nyasa). 1949 or 1950.

Postby Pondskater » Tue Oct 13, 2009 1:21 pm

What an excellent article, thank you for sharing it.

The BOAC Solent Service was short lived and very much the swansong of the flying boat era, leaving just smaller operators. Always great to read stories like this one.
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Re: Short Solent on Lake Malawi (Lake Nyasa). 1949 or 1950.

Postby ant » Tue Oct 13, 2009 5:23 pm

Thanks for the kind words. I'm still a novice at this (only got clearance to post this morning!) so please excuse mistakes. I've just worked out how to add pictures (thanks to your illustrated guide!) so have edited my previous post!
Cheers Ant

Re: Short Solent on Lake Malawi (Lake Nyasa). 1949 or 1950.

Postby Bumble » Tue Oct 13, 2009 11:13 pm

What a beautiful photo,and wouldn't it have been just wonderful to be able to hear the sound of the engines too.
When Mr. Bumble finally coughs up for a scanner and I've fathomed out the mysteries of how to use it ,there's a photo I'd like to share.
My Dad gave it to me last week,a tiny little black and white photo of a Catalina of 321 Squadron ( ? Dutch ) that he took in the Cocos islands in 1945.
He and some mates bribed someone to give them some film,then walked miles in the tropical heat just to get some pictures of flying-boats.
The film was then developed using makeshift apparatus including tin cans with holes hammered in with nails to make an improvised spool.It's amazing that this photo survived at all,as the darkroom was a tent closed up as tightly as possible.
Sadly,a lot of the images were ruined for technical reasons - he and his mates were sweating so heavily inside the stiflingly-hot tent that drops fell on the pictures as they were being developed.
What people will do just for the love of aeroplanes eh.
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Re: Short Solent on Lake Malawi (Lake Nyasa). 1949 or 1950.

Postby TASSE » Wed Oct 14, 2009 12:50 am

Thats a nice story Bumble.

Longing to see the photos.

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Re: Short Solent on Lake Malawi (Lake Nyasa). 1949 or 1950.

Postby Cameraman » Thu Aug 16, 2012 5:34 am

Hi Tony,

I'm watching.


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