Kameel Stoepstorie: Vryburg Museum

People without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. Marcus Garvey

A short, but long overdue, visit the Vryburg Museum. It is situated on the N14 to Kuruman. The original wall of the goal that was built in 1887 is incorporated in the building and the masoned stones from the old demolished Town Hall were used to build the rest of the building which is the entrance to the Leon Taljaard Game Reserve. This building houses a museum and a Bio-museum.

Vryburg, or “Fort of Freedom”, was established in 1882 as the capital of a short-lived independent republic called Stellaland, established by Boers escaping the clutches of the British in the Cape Colony. Just two years later the Stellaland become part of the Cape Colony. It’s loctated on the banks of the Huhudi River. The plaque commemorates the Stellaland era. The original flag of the Stellaland Republic is not on display. Van Niekerk’s house was situated on the piece of land where the Pick and Pay parking are are now.

I remember preparing food for the thousands of Angolan Portuguese refugees passing through Vryburg in 1974. They were frightened & exhausted. They weren’t walking though, but drove trucks carrying their families and possessions from Angola. A transit camp was set up in the veld at the old goal wall. There, the refugees could wash and rest for a while or sleep over. They were given water, food & essentials. Remember that there was a Red Cross tent treating minor injuries and ailments & tending to exhausted mothers with hungry & over-tired babies & toddlers. I remember clearly the pain of exhaustion & anguish and the loss of self-respect in their eyes.

Today there is a small mention of this happening. The memorial seems to be incomplete.
Reg van Toegang
Direito de AdmissiaoVryburg
03-04-1992

Vryburg was once used as a concentration camp by the British during the Boer War. The gatehouse was built on the former Boer War prison and where prisoners captured by the British forces were incarcerated. The plaque that commemorates the prisoners that were executed here should be at the museum but we could not find it due to the long grass that is growing around the building.

Copyright Johan Viktor via eGGSA
Google Earth Project Information:-
GPSID: 4413
GPS: Not available

We were met by Jennifer Lecholo. An energetic young lady who was giving her best to help us during our visit. There are two exhibit areas a Bio-museum where you will find a lot of stuffed animals that were not up to our alley and the museum. We love the rock engravings from Kinderdam the farm where we spend lots of fond memories visiting Uncle Alfie & Aunt Nellie Fincham. There is a small display with no information on the Koi-san.

The museum is small but we were charmed by the displays. Unfortunately, there is no information available and our guide is still new on the premises. It sheds some light on the town’s economic and social history.

The Townhall now demolished

The old Gentleman’s Club that was later utilized as police quarters.

The Stellaland Flag should be on display in the Townhall is the original flag of the short-lived Stellaland Republic. Its history includes having been presented to Queen Victoria as a gift and hanging in Windsor Castle until 1934 when King George V returned it to Vryburg. The museum curator could not help with the location of the flag.

Till next time

Sandra

Kameel Stoepstorie: Details of a railway line

The Cape to Cairo Railway was a dream project to cross Africa from south to north by rail. 

Kameel Station is 805 miles from Cape Town.  It is 4449 ft above sea level 

In the words of Cecil John Rhodes 

” the railway will form the main trunk line connecting the markets of the Cape Colony with the British South Africa Company’s territory and, ultimately, on joining with the Beira Railway Company’s line to Salisbury, will afford through means of transport from Cape Town to Beira.”

The wooden sleepers has made way for concrete sleepers.

The way the sleepers are installed also changed over the years.

Details of the switch (wissel in Afrikaans).
A switch, turnout or points is a mechanical installation enabling trains to be guided from one track to another.
It could be at a railway junction or where a siding branches off. 

The distance meter to Warrenton in the Northern Cape
179.5 km to go to the next junction.
You will notice that there is more of these distance meters standing in a row.
The next one reads 179.6 and these are 100m apart.
After the 10th marker it change to 180.
It reminds of of the road makers.
One can say different ways of transport but sharing the same information.

Dates stamped on the bar of inspections carried out

Trains are part of our daily lives. Our cottage is only 15 meters from the railway line.

Till next time

Sandra

If you love to do trainspotting. Gives us a call on 0822642763 and book the Station Master House. It is fully self catering.

Kameel Stoepstorie: Windpump

A windpump is a type of windmill which is used for pumping water

By the time you’ve bought and erected it, a new wind pump there will be a big dent in your pocket.

How does a windmill pump work?
A water pumping windmill is simple and efficient. The blades of the windmill wheel catch the wind, which turns the rotor. … This motion drives a pump rod, up and down inside of a pipe in the well. A cylinder with a sealed plunger going up and down inside forces the water up the pipe. It is almost impossible to steal. It is a simple, reliable machine. But this is why it’s also the most neglected piece of farm machinery.

What is the purpose of a windmill on a farm?
Windmills can be used to lift water from the aquifer to directly irrigate crops or to pipe water from one location, such as a reservoir or pond, to a location where water is required. This is direct wind-to-water power, a mechanical means of moving water.

It normally runs for years without any trouble – even without an oil change. But when it does break down, you could be in serious trouble. Spare parts are expensive and are not always readily available. You also usually need an experienced wind pump mechanic to fix it. Clean the sump and change the oil. Also, tighten every single nut and bolt. Also, make sure the hood is screwed on tightly to keep out the rain. The job shouldn’t take you more than two hours for each pump, but it will save you a fortune.

But sometimes a very strong wind comes along and the head of the windpump is thrown off.

A bonus to us is that it is picture-perfect.

Till next time
Sandra

Kameel Stoepstorie: When the sheep come in for a manicure

September is the month in which the sheep are getting rid of their extra warm winter coats.

What is Shearing?
When the wool is cut off of a sheep is called shearing. Shearing doesn’t usually hurt a sheep. It’s just like getting a hair cut. However, shearing requires skill so that the sheep is shorn efficiently and quickly without causing cuts or injury to the sheep or shearer.

Sheep shearing is a practice for the health and hygiene of each animal. Unlike other animals, most sheep are unable to shed. If a sheep goes too long without being shorn, some problems occur. The excess wool impedes the ability of sheep to regulate their body temperature and if sheep are not shorn in the early spring flies hatch in the long winter coats.

Wool continues to grow if not shorn, making the sheep uncomfortable. The heavy wool begins to pull on the skin and can lead to skin sores. Those sores can attract flies, leading to possible flystrike.

Unshorn sheep become itchy in the heat and begin rubbing on hay racks, fences and each other. This can lead to the fleece to felt on the sheep’s body.

The dirty unshorn wool invites flies. Shearing the wool before the flies hatch, gets rid of the dirty soiled fleece. Any cuts or abrasions that occur during shearing will heal quickly before the fly season

Till next time

Sandra

Where to stay when visiting our area

Kameel Rust and Vrede 076054808035 There is different options of accommodation available. You can stay in the Bed and Breakfast, stay in a camper van or a cabin with self-catering facilities or you can camp.

Kameel Stoepstorie: A dove breeder changed into a crockery cupboard.

Things are never just straight forward in our home. There is always room for a twist or two.

On our arrival at KameelZA, we store some of our stuff in a shed, on my brother’s farm. Once a week we would dash over to collect some of our stuff. During one of this visit, I spotted an old dove breeder standing in the shed. This was fascinating. The little doors and little bars made it even more unusual.

My brother was kind enough to pass it on to us. We left it outside for a day or two before the big clean began. Except for being out of use for quite some time, it was also a bit flimsy, but it will be ideal for a crockery cupboard.

The restoration process took Hennie some time. He used my dad little workplace as a workshop. He took the breeder apart and copy some of the doors and beams. The sanding and fitting took some time. Every time he fixed something a new challenge popped up. Some of the planks were bent and had to be flattened.

Hennie had to search for the right size bars to replaced the missing once. Parts of the back were damaged and needed replacement. As we have moved with old tin ceilings, we decided that it will be ideal for the back and it will add some texture to the, now, crockery cupboard.

One morning he announced that he needs the paint for it. I have looked at pictures of paint colours on the internet and was still dreaming which colour would it be. We decided on a steel grey colour with the name Dust to Day.

On a clear day, the compressor started and it took two days to spray paint the cupboard in every crack and nook. Once this was completed, to Hennie’s satisfaction, it was time to select the tin ceilings and installing it as the backing.

With a lot of excitement, it was carried into our cottage. I could start with the unpacking of the crockery. The way to go was to create little displays in every box.

Hope you like the final result.

Till next time
Sandra

Kameel Stoepstorie: Farm gates in and around Kameel, RouteR377, North West

A farm gate is the gateway to a farm, but as you all know there is not only one gate on a farm. The gates give access to different areas on a farm. Each gate tells it own story,

Farm gates come in different sizes and styles. The farmers adapt the gates to fit into a specific opening.

The primary aim of the fence is to make access difficult for animals and keep the animals in place as decided by the farmer. It gives the farmer protection to the cultivated crops. They keep the livestock in and the unwanted out. They allow the farmer to maintain control of the animals while maneuvering large working vehicles on and off the property. Farmers know their gates and what they need. Gates are used for main or rear entrances, pastures, pens, or orchards, gates are a staple of life and they need to be sturdy to do the job effectively.

Farm gates go through a lot of abuse and they need to hold up to the rigorous of the elements, the livestock and heavy-duty use. Farm gates are important and they need to be made from the right materials to suit your day to day operation. Farm gates are made from wood or metal.

The best gates is metal. Gates need to be sturdy and strong livestock is more apt to break through wooden gates than metal. Gates need to be heavy, and long lasting all of which are perfectly suited for metal.

Till next time

Sandra

Kameel Stoepstorie: Rovos Rail and Kameel Railway Station

When Rovos Rail – The Pride of Africa stops at Kameel it is always a special occasion.

For those that is still wondering Rovos Rail is a train-hotel.. The trains consist of restored coaches with lounges, dinning cars, private sleeping compartments, each with private ensuite facilities. Then there is the observation car which is like sitting on the stoep of the train.

The train has different types of accommodation on board. With names like Pullman. Delux and the Royal Suite, which is half a train car

The company was started in 1989 by Rohan Vos and is family owned and Rovos Rail has its private station at Capital Park in Pretoria.

The dining car reminds of  Edwardian train travel with beautiful pre-1940 and is characterized by the carved roof that is supported with pillars and arches. The button leather seating, cristal glass and branded cutlery is all enhanced with the beautiful light fittings. The fans add to the glamour. This car is referred to as the Pillars.

The lounge car is fitted with deep sofas and wing back chairs and seems like the ideal place for an afternoon snooze as the train makes its way over the plains of Africa. Even the train is air conditioned the windows can open and you can enjoy the sights, sounds and scents of Africa.

The Observation Car is like the stoep of Africa.

Till next time

Sandra

Kameel Stoepstorie: Stations and whistle-stop around Kameel

When the train leaves Vryburg station toward Mahikeng (Mafeking) there is a couple of stations and whistle stops en-route. Today there is not much going on, on this route as the trains that use this line is transporting loads to neighbouring countries of South Africa. We have travelled on the old service road between Paradise and Madibogo to have a look at the marker boards.

First stop is Paradise. There was not a station but the farmers would leave a parcel at the rail side for transportation to the next place. The marker telling us that Paradise is 781 miles from Cape Town and the 4013ft above sea level.

The next station is Devondale. There used to be water tanks for the steam locomotives. There used to be a little shop built of stone and we would travel on the passenger train from Kameel to Devondale for an outing. The Devondale marker reads 790 miles from Cape Town and 4129ft above sea level.

Next up is Mnyani only 5 miles from Devondale. This stop was used for passengers to get a way of transportation. It was also a popular stop for parcels. The maker reads 795 miles from Cape Town and the altitude is 4207ft. As you will notice there is a climb in the altitude of 194ft over 14 miles.

Curnow used to be a whistle-stop like Mnyani. It was a popular place for passengers to make use of the train to travel to Mahikeng on the passenger train. As children, we would call this the milk stop. Farmers would load the milk on the train to be transported to Vryburg to the diary. 797 miles from Cape Town 4267ft above sea level.

The next station is Kameel and it is the station we call home. Kameel used to be a busy station with lots of rail traffic. Today the old rail lines tell the stories of better times. It was the station where the grain from the silos was loaded for the next destination. It was extended with more rail tracks round 1980. The station was also equipped with yard lights. Unfortunately, like so many railway stations, the station building and other buildings were demolished. We still have some fun when the weekly train passes by and you feel the rumble of the train under your feet. It will never be the same again but we are trying our best to uplift the station houses and the community. Kameel is 805 miles from Cape Town 4449ft above sea level.

Still, en-route to Mahikeng is Doornbult. Doornbult is a crossing and between Kameel and Doornbult was the old trolley stop. When a train approached the trolley will have a place to park next to the main line. During the Anglo-Boer War, there was also a corrugated iron blockhouse from where the British troops would protect the railway line. Doornbult is 809 miles from Cape Town and the altitude is 4470ft. This is the highest point on the railway line.

Wirsing is a railroad siding and is located in Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality, North-West, South Africa. The estimate terrain elevation above sea level is 1377 metres.

Next up is Rabatho. Rabatho is 819miles from Cape Town and the altitude 4325ft

At the end of our road is Madibogo. Like Kameel Madibogo was a busy station. 821 miles from Cape Town 4038ft above sea level. The water tank is still standing the station buildings has been utilized and forms part of the community.

Thank you to everyone whom made their photo’s available.

Till next time

Sandra

Kameel Stoepstorie: Kameeldoringbome

Soos julle weet het ‘n Kameeldoringboom yslike dorings. Vir ‘n klein dogtertjie is dit sommer allermintige dorings. Onthou tot vandag dat ‘n doring in die sagte deel van my voetsool gesteek het.  Dit het gereën en ons het in die water geloop. Die nagevolg was pynlik. Ma Floss het alles probeer maar die doring het vasgesuig vir dae. Vandag nog is die letsel onder my voet die bewys van die pyn en lyding.

n Kameeldoringboom of dan Vachellia Erioloba se dorings van naderby. 

In Suid-Afrika is die Kameeldoringboom is ‘n beskermde boom. Dit lewe vir baie jare. Van die bome op die plaas was daar toe ons as klein kinders daar kom woon het. Niks krap hulle omstandighede om nie. Nie droogte of baie reën nie. Die penwortel roei baie diep en die maksimum van so ‘n penwortel is 68m.

Die Doringboom verskaf kos, skuiling, plek vir die vee en voels. Dit het ook medisinale voordele vir die mens. Pierneef het graag die bome geskilder.

Groot erkenning word aan die webtuiste gegee vir die skildery naamlik die Dyman Gallery

Jare gelede wou Pa Gerald ‘n boom uithaal wat in die pad was van ‘n ontwikkelling. Die trekker – nogal met so ‘n dakkie – en kettings is ingespan. Die trekker het gekreun en gesteun, maar toe die ketting breek en amper vir Ouboet teen die kop tref  Pa oorgegee. Die boom staan nog vandag heel gemaklik op sy plek.

Die kameeldoringboom wat die stryd teen ‘n trekker en ‘n ketting gewen het.

Die boom dra die mooiste grys peule. As jy desperaat genoeg is kan jy die peul oopbreek en die swart sade uithaal en fyn maal en gebruik as ‘n plaasvervanger vir koffie. Die fyn gemaalde saadpoeier is ook glo goed vir oorinfeksie. Gebrande as van die bas van die boom is goed om ‘n hoofpyn te genees. Die sade word ook gebruik as ‘n voer vir die vee. Die gesegde lei dat ‘n Kameeldoringboom nie sal groei voordat dit deur die maag van ‘n bees gegaan het.

Die peule met hul sagte grys kleur.

Die bygelowe het ook nie die Kameeldoringboom verby gegaan nie. Daar word geglo dat weerlig eers ‘n doringboom sal slaan voordat dit anderbome sou raak slaan. Die storie glo ek swaar. In ons jong dae het die weer 14 van Ma Floss se beeste onder die Kareebome dood geslaan. Die Kameeldoringboom was ongeskonde.

Die Versamelvoëls maak maak masiewe neste in die Kameeldoringbome. Die nes lyk soos ‘n groot hoop gras wat in die boom sit.  Wanneer jy onder die “hooimied” staan sien jy die ingange na die verskillende kamers. Dit lyk nogal soos ‘n heuningkorf. Honderde families woon in so ‘n nes en dit is ‘n gesig om van nader te beskou. Hierdie neste word vir generasies van voëls bewoon.

Ons huis is natuurlik in die skadu van ‘n Kameeldoringboom gebou.

Tot volgende keer

Sandra

Kameel Stoepstorie: Kameel Veld plants

On Heritage Day we spend the day in the veld looking for something different than the usual. Decided to put on our camera strap and walking boots and get going.
After six months of living in the North West Province of South Africa, we thought that it is time to learn more about the heritage plants in the Kameel area.

There is grass and what we know as Vaalbosch but as you will notice the red sand is always visible.

We need to get a guide to learn us more.

Our area is very dry with red sand and the summer temperature rises to 45 degrees Celsius. This year the summer rainfall was less than 100 millimeter. The grasslands are very dry and the wildflowers are far and in between. There are no big fields of flowers but when you find one it is almost an ecstatic experience.

It was a special experience to just wander and experience beauty.

A walk in our back yard park. 
The plants are all part of nature and everyone grows on its own time and energy.
This was one of the strangest plants we came across. It grows not higher than 35cm but has this almost to big for its size seed pods.

If you can identify any of our plants we will appreciate it.

Till next time

Sandra