Dulcie Beak (10 June 1915 - 17 June 2002)
Introduction by Diane Stuckey
For years my mother Dulcie Beak had been saying that she would write a book on our trip in 1953 from Bath, England to Salisbury, Zimbabwe, then Southern Rhodesia. I have her diary, photos, my (then very young) memory and copy of a rough rewrite of the trip which she did two years ago, still meaning to write her book. I now hope to put this all together in her sudden absence and in her own words as far as possible. I am the only surviving member of the journey, my brother David being killed in a car accident in 1959 and my father (Don) passed away after a very short illness in 1993. It is a trip that I would love to repeat , being older and more able now to appreciate it so much more, but with all the political problems that are now involved in Africa , I know it is a trip that would be very difficult, if nigh impossible to do now. I have kept all the names of countries and towns as they were at the time of the trip and this is how I intend to keep the narrative, so it is as close as possible to the situation prevailing at the time of the original diary. No disrespect whatever is intended to the countries and peoples involved. For those interested, I am sure that a current map of Africa would provide the reader with a good idea of the route and the new names of countries and towns. See map on home page.
Acknowledgements: My thanks go to my husband, Nigel Stuckey, without whose time and patience spent editing this article it would never have appeared on the web, thanks must also go to the Automobile Association Trans-African Highways book published in 1949. Without the information in this book, the trip would have been impossible and several notes from the book have been included in this diary of The 1953 Trek.