The end of a distinguished scientific career
|A long and constructive life came to a close when Dr. Harold Hart Mann, D.Sc F.R.I.C. F.R.G.S. of Woodside, Aspley Guise died at Red House Aspley Guise 1961, aged 89. He had a distinguished career as an agricultural scientist at the Woburn Experimental farm Husborne Crawley and in India. Son of the late Mr. W.E Mann of York, Dr. Mann was born on October 16 1872, he was educated at Elmfield School York, Yorkshire College, Leeds and the Pasteur Institute Paris.
He married Miss Katherine Collie daughter of the Rev J H Collie of Claughton Birkenhead in 1913.
Dr. Mann obtained his degree in chemistry in 1892, and was also a specialist in bacteriology having met Louis Pasteur during his time at the Pasteur Institute.
The Royal Agricultural Society engaged him in 1895 as chemical assistant and sent him to check experiments at the Woburn experimental farm. He was the resident chemist at the farm until 1900.
He then spent 7 years working in India as scientific officer to the Indian Tea Association Calcutta. This was followed by a period as Principal of the Agricultural College Poona and Agricultural chemist to the Government of Bombay of eleven years.
His work for India ended when he was 55, and on returning to England Sir John Russel asked him to take charge of the Woburn experimental station (Lawes Agricultural Trust) from 1928 to 1956.
Dr. Mann was acknowledged as one of the world's most foremost experts in tea growing and in his services were sought by several countries.
He was adviser on tea cultivation to the Soviet Government 1930-1933: to Tanganyika and Nyassland Governments 1932: to the Iran Government in 1935: and the Turkish Government in 1940.
Numerous publications written by Dr Mann included questions relating to tea culture and manufacture and many other Indian agricultural matters: pests and blight of tea
He also had an interest and expertise in sociological and political matters. He published a statistical atlas of the Bombay Presidency, 1925. His publications on sociological and economic subjects included 'Land and Labour in a Deccan Village'. In 1903 he made a study of the whole population of Ridgmont and found that 40% of the population were below a strict poverty line.
Though interested in national and international questions and in correspondence with organisations and people all over the world, Dr Mann did not neglect the district in which he lived. He was actively involved in areas that benefited the parishioners of several villages.
One of his chief interests was the village schools. He was chairman of the managers of the Aspley Heath group of primary schools from 1937 to the time of his death. His one big disappointment was the failure to keep the Husborne Crawley swimming pool open for schools. He had a particular interest in the school and Reading Room at Husborne Crawley where he is remembered.