Twenty years in Ngao forest station
Amphoe Ngao in the 1940s and 1950s was a small district. Nevertheless, it had a significant landmark in its suspension bridge over the Ngao river. After crossing the bridge and heading north on small Phahonyothin Road less than a dozen wooden stores would appear by the side of the road, travelers then reached the district office, and the police station. In front of the police station was a check point with a red and white wooden barrier.
The outer gate to the Anglo Thai Company was a few hundred meters north of this checkpoint and on the left-hand side of the Phahonyothin Road. The company’s compound covered an area of about four hectares. The eastern edge of the compound was adjacent to the Phahonyothin Road, while the western edge was adjacent to the Ngao river.
Upon entering the company gate, the first building to be found on the right, or the north side of the road, was the ironworks. The area between the ironworks and the company’s inner wooden fence to the west was a wide yard with a large rain tree (Samanea Saman) in the middle. On some mornings, the company’s elephants, with their howdahs on their backs, could be seen resting before starting the day’s work. The company’s office building was inside the inner fence which could be reached by following the company road from the front gate straight through to the inner gate.
The area to the south of this road had a walkway passing through a stream that flowed from the east into the Ngao river. This walkway led to the rear of the residence of Mr. Kiet Wattananikorn and his wife, Malee, and their children. This residence faced Phahonyothin Road. On the other side of this walkway, behind Mr. Kiet’s residence, was the residence of Mr. Stanley Kinder, facing the Mae Ngao River.
In front of Mr. Kinder’s residence there was a gravel path directed northward. Following this gravel path about one hundred meters to the north, on the right-hand side, would be the company’s office. This office was a simple single-storey, teak building. Further to the north, this gravel path led to the residence of Mr. Evelyn Guy Stuart Hartley, the forest manager.