Chililabombwe

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Chililabombwe
Bancroft
Chililabombwe is located in Zambia
Chililabombwe
Chililabombwe
Location in Zambia
Coordinates: 12°22′00″S 27°49′40″E / 12.36667°S 27.82778°E / -12.36667; 27.82778Coordinates: 12°22′00″S 27°49′40″E / 12.36667°S 27.82778°E / -12.36667; 27.82778
Country Flag of Zambia.svg Zambia
Province Copperbelt Province
District Chililabombwe District
Government
 • Mayor Paul Kabuswe
Elevation[1] 4,460 ft (1,360 m)
Population (2005)
 • Total 93,000
 • Religions Christian

Chililabombwe (formerly named Bancroft) is a small town located on the Congo Border in Zambia's Copperbelt Province. The name means 'place of the croaking frog'.

The Gaian Artist Guy Martin: Gaian Artist (8/1/52, Mufulira) lived here as a child in Hartebeest Rd. The roads were red laterite gravel and he learned to ride a bicycle here with much scraped knees and elbows.
His mother was the dietician at the hospital. His father worked at the copper mine before buying the Vega bar and opening the 'Hangmans Noose' cocktail bar. This was the only privately owned 'watering hole' in town. He was the chairman of the Congo Border Kennel Club which he founded, built and ran. He trained the police dogs and Guy was covered in sacking material which was tied to him and he had to run across the rugby fields with the dogs in pursuit as part of their training.

Kamenza Hill supported the radio tower and had a set of concrete steps going up to the tower which Guy liked to climb.

Guy went to school there with Angela Lyle, Debbie Laville, Linda Brown, the Leach brothers (Neal, Chris and Ian), and Teresa Nunn whose father Terry was a brilliant teacher and the local Scout Master. Another teacher, Mr Kemp, played the violin in class to emphasize his lessons. The Badenhorst brothers, the Strydom brothers, Andre Roux, Paul Latreau and his sister...

Guy lost touch with everyone after he went to boarding school at age 8 in King Williams Town in the Cape Province of South Africa which was a five day train trip.

After buying the Vega Bar Guys father took over the contract for the Mine Mess which was the other side of town.

When Guy wasn't at school he was with his father being taught how to run both businesses. Eventually if his father was at one place Guy would be at the other.
There was a large hall called the "Croaking Frog" next to the Mine Club which was used for functions and the Mine Mess would provide the food and snacks.

However in those days in the 1950s the community was quite unusual in that its sole reason for existing was for the copper mine. It was a company town and everyone worked for the company or the Government or some of the few private service companies. This meant that everyone had passed a medical. There were no unemployed. no disabled people. no criminal classes. no mentally ill. no poor people and also no rich people. no consumerism as everything had to be imported. There wasn't even a cemetery in Bancroft.
As WWII had just ended all the men had served in some capacity and were used to placing the well-being of the community and society first before their own interests.
Days out were spent at the Kafue River which had an area called the Hippo Pools which was half way along the road to Chingola or Nchanga as it was also called. The Kafue was full of crocodiles and hippos but to Guys dismay he never saw any. He was told that the Golf Club was the only one in the world where it was allowed to move a ball and that was if it fell into a hippos footprint.
Guy had attended the Sacred Heart Convent School in Chingola before the school in Bancroft.
They often went to see the old Konkola Mine which had flooded and been closed before the Bancroft Mine had been opened. Guy remembers it as a giant adventure playground. Although in later years whenever he mentioned visiting the mine as a child he was told by his listeners that it was infested with lions. He never saw any. He does remember that he had a lucky escape due to the scouts of which he was a cub who taught him to 'look before you leap.
He'd been playing hide and seek with his sister and was about to jump into a concrete ventilation shaft which was shaped like those seen on ships. It was sticking out the ground behind one of the giant corrugated-iron sheet covered mill buildings.
He knew the others which were dotted around had a mesh grill in them to prevent things falling down into the mine and he thought he'd just 'look' before he jumped in and threw a rock into the shaft and it just fell and fell without ever making a sound.
Guy couldn't see over the edge of the lip which extended out too far but he knew from the others that a rock would make an immediate jarring noise as it hit the grill just below the lip of the ventilation funnel. He threw a few more large rocks in and they all just vanished without a sound. Years later he used to think about how close he came to vanishing without a trace into the depths of the flooded mine if he'd just slid over the lip of the ventilation shaft as he'd almost impulsively done. With the advance in pumping technology the Konkola Mine has been reopened.


The main economic activity is the mining of copper.

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