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: 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