June 1952 to December 1969

(all in PDF format)

It is not uncommon for a country to create a railway, but it is uncommon for a railway to create a country.

—Sir Charles Eliot, Commissioner of British East Africa in 1900-1904


“Since a pointsman was taken by a lion at Malampaka, there was a general apathy on the part of pointsmen to walk out to the signals with the signal lamps.”

Extract from the Tabora Traffic Inspector's
Report for March 1953

Dear Anthony,

Please find attached 4 jpg files - the missing middle pages from EAR&H
magazine Volume 3_4, August 1957. At first I scanned and saved them in
pdf format, but 2 were upside down and I couldn't rotate and save
them, hence the jpg format. Hopefully you can save them in pdf format
- but let me know if this is not the case, and you'd like them in a
different format.

The magazine belongs to my father, Eric Blackburn, who was with EAR
for 12 years, up to 1966, first as an engine driver, then Loco
Inspector based at Tabora; he's now in his nineties, of course. He has
a number of EAR magazines, but unfortunately stopped taking it when it
became 'SPEAR', so I can't help you with the other missing volumes,
I'm afraid.

It's a fantastic resource/website that you have produced!

Kind regards,

May 2021


Volume 1_1
June 1952


Volume 1_2
September 1952


Volume 1_3
December 1952


Volume 1_4
March 1953


Volume 1_5
June 1953

Volume 1_6
September 1953


Volume 1_7
December 1953

Volume 1_8
March 1954


Volume 1_9
June 1954

Volume 1_10
 September 1954

Volume 1_11
December 1954

Includes Colour Supplement

Volume 2_1
February 1955


Volume 2_2
April 1955


Volume 2_3
June 1955

Volume 2_4
August 1955


Volume 2_5
October 1955


Volume 2_6
December 1955

Volume 2_7
February 1956

Volume 2_8
April 1956

Volume 2_9
June 1956

Volume 2_10
August 1956

Volume 2_11
October 1956

Volume 2_12
December 1956

Includes Colour Supplement


Volume 3_1
February 1957


Volume 3_2
April 1957


Volume 3_3
June 1957



Volume 3_4
August 1957



Volume 3_5
October 1957



Volume 3_6
December 1957


Volume 3_7
February 1958


Volume 3_8
April 1958


Volume 3_9
June 1958

Volume 3_10
August 1958


Volume 3_11
October 1958


Volume 3_12
December 1958

includes 2 Colour pages


Volume 4_1
February 1959


Volume 4_2
April 1959

Volume 4_3
June 1959

Volume 4_4
August 1959

Volume 4_5
October 1959


Volume 4_6
December 1959


Volume 4_7
February 1960

Volume 4_8
April 1960

Volume 4_9
June 1960

Volume 4_10
August 1960



Volume 4_11
October 1960


Volume 4_12
December 1960


Volume 5_1
February 1961


Volume 5_2
April 1961


Volume 5_3


If you have this copy please let me know so that we can scan it and complete the series


Volume 5_4
August 1961


Volume 5_5


If you have this copy please let me know so that we can scan it and complete the series


Volume 5_6
December 1961

Tanganyika Independence
Special Issue


Volume 5_7
February 1962



Volume 5_8
April 1962


Volume 5_9


If you have this copy please let me know so that we can scan it and complete the series

Volume 5_10
August 1962


Volume 5_11
October 1962

Uganda Independence
Special Issue

Volume 5_12
December 1962

Volume 6_1
February 1963


Volume 6_2
April 1963



Volume 6_3
June 1963



Volume 6_4
August 1963


Volume 6_5
October 1963


Volume 6_6
December 1963

Kenya Independence
Special Issue

Volume 6_7
February 1964


Volume 6_8
April 1964



Volume 6_9
June 1964


Volume 6_10
August 1964


Volume 6_11
October 1964



Volume 6_12
December 1964


Volume 7_1
February 1965


Volume 7_2
April 1965



Volume 7_3
June 1965



Volume 7_4
August 1965


Volume 7_5
October 1965


Volume 7_6
December 1965



Volume 7_7
February 1966


Volume 7_8
April 1966

Volume 7_9


If you have this copy please let me know so that we can scan it and complete the series

Volume 7_10

Volume 7_11


If you have this copy please let me know so that we can scan it and complete the series

Volume 7_12


If you have this copy please let me know so that we can scan it and complete the series

Volume 8_1


Volume 8_2


Volume 8_3


Volume 8_4

Volume 8_5

Volume 8_6

Volume 8_7


Volume 8_8


Volume 8_9

92 magazines to this point if all were posted.

Was this the last Spear Magazine published?


Red denotes that a copy is required to scan.  If you have this copy please let me know.

Contact craddock at west dot net

Thanks to the late Nigel Butterfield and to Alan T for providing many of the missing copies



As at 17 October 2021

Thanks to Nigel Butterfield and Alan Thompson  for many of the magazines, and to Jace Barbour for the scanning, and also to the Blackburn family for providing some of the missing pages.



Posted by Anthony J. Craddock

Graduate of Southern Highlands School, Sao Hill, Nr. Iringa, Tanganyika. 1950-1954, which he attended as a boarder with his sister, who is currently resident in Perth, West Australia.

Now living in Santa Barbara, California, USA. Born Woking, UK, 1942.  Both father and grandfather worked for the East African government.  After one year in Mufindi working for the Tanganyika Tea Company, Dr. Craddock was for many years Chief Surgeon for the Colonial Medical Service in Tabora, Central Province, eventually moving to Kano, Nigeria to finish his career with the (then) Colonial Medical Service.  Dr.Craddock and my younger brother drove across Africa from Tabora in a Peugeot 203 to the new posting.  George Craddock (grandfather) was taxation adviser to the East African High Commission in Nairobi post World War II, having been seconded from the U.K. Civil Service after a similar stint in Egypt.

My father and I originally flew out BOAC in the summer of 1950 on the once a week flying boat service from Southampton Waters to Nairobi on their Short Solent flying boat.  Two of the four engines packed up over France, so we did a forced landing in the harbor at Marseilles, so, as the plane was unpressurized and flew low and slow, I got to be both airsick over France, and seasick while bobbing around in the waters off Marseilles, though no awards from the BOAC Junior Jet Club for this achievement!  We subsequently limped on to Augusta, Sicily, our first scheduled stop, where we had a week in a hotel at BOAC's expense waiting for the next weekly service to bring us out some new engine parts.  Then on to Alexandria, Khartoum, Kampala or Kisumu (I think) and Nairobi (Lake Naivaisha).  I returned to the UK and boarding school on the ss Rhodesia Castle in 1954.

Having been brought up train-spotting at Paddington Station in London with my father while he was completing his medical qualifications at St. Mary's Hospital, moving to Tabora, the major rail junction, from Mufindi was serendipitous, as we only lived about a mile from the station (on Boma Road), an easy bike ride away.

Most of my school holidays I would spend hanging out at the station or the shed.  I used to be fascinated by EAR&H, knew all the staff, drivers, firemen etc. and would regularly hitch-hike from one end of Tanganyika to the other on the goods trains, sleeping in the caboose.  The Indian drivers would let me drive the trains (I was only aged 11 and 12) and I actually became very proficient at it, being able to take a heavy goods train out of a station without spinning the driving wheels and without the use of the sandbox, a feat which seemed to elude some of the professional drivers!  Of course, I couldn't go up in the cab on the high profile passenger trains as it was necessary to observe the safety regulations with all those eyes watching. 

One of my treasured memories is bringing a 700 Ton Goods train from Tabora down the Saranda Bank (1 in 30 grade) near Dodoma at night, and every time I applied the brakes, looking back from the cab of the 40 Ton 26 class loco and watching all the sparks fly off the brake shoes on all the wagons of the train which snaked behind us round the curve. (Technical note: on the Central line in Tanganyika we had vacuum brakes then, not the Westinghouse brakes used on the Kenya locomotives).

It was also good practice to keep checking the train behind to make sure that nothing had caught on fire during the hard braking (like the grease soaked cotton waste stuffing in an axle box)—plus of course to make sure that the wagons were all still connected!

Back in my day, the Central line engines were all wood burning (other than our diesel shunter 8101 with the albino driver at Tabora), so kuni (firewood) stops were quite frequent, with the kuni stacked up by the track in advance of our arrival ready to be loaded into the tender.  I actually also became quite proficient as a fireman, and was quite adept at launching the logs into the bottom of the firebox in such a way that the whole bottom of the firebox under the boiler was fired by an evenly distributed blaze. Jack Summers Neil, a young white fireman from the UK (the only white fireman on the Central Line) taught me the tricks.  A former sparring partner of the UK World Middleweight Champion boxer Randolph Turpin, he died young after cramping up swimming to retrieve a bird that he had shot.

Conversion to oil firing was in progress when I departed East Africa in mid-1954 after passing my Common Entrance Examination, which condemned me to six further years of boarding school in the U.K.

Link to Malcolm McCrow's EAR&H website