Showing posts with label Battlefields. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Battlefields. Show all posts

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Love, Mystery and Drama of the Sand River Valley

There was  a time in the Sand River Valley when life in the Valley was going nowhere slowly.
We visited the Valley on a drive through the mountains with family and friends. We are on our way to visit the farm, Sweethome, where they played, loved and laugh a lot.
This picture journey starts at Sandspruit Farm Stall so enjoy the ride.
The farmhouse and Sweethome was destroyed during a huge storm.  
























Monday, 1 February 2016

Our route from Northern Cape to Wilderness in the Western Cape 2

We have made time to explore the back roads during our trip to Wilderness. 
With no "padkos" but only cold water we started our journey.
We visited 25 small towns on our route 
And zig-zag through 3 provinces and traveled more than 2000 km 
This is the second leg of our trip and you can read about the first here 
We traveled for many kilometers next to the railroad 
The old steam engines made way for diesel locomotives 
We entered the Northern Cape and the Vaalharts Irrigation Scheme
Hartswater was laid out in 1948. 
There is a monument built in the shape of a miniature church dedicated to the women of Vaalharts for their contribution towards building and developing the Vaalharts irrigation scheme located in the town of Hartswater.
You will find Olives South Africa just outside the town an a must stop on route 
The women monument built a s miniature church
The Vaalharts Irrigation water canals
The Olives at Olives South Africa
And old mobile at the wine cellar
Lots of donkeys along the route 
Our next visit Jan Kempdorp which was the site of a concentration camp for German men. The first plots was wold in 1938 and was named after Genl. Jan Kemp the Minister of Lands.
It is also known for the location of an Ammunition depot.
The most important reason for our visit was that our son Gerald-Cecil and his very special wife, Lesinda,  live in this small town.
A good reason to visit Jan Kempdorp is to go and have a look at stored steam locomotives at
93 Ammo Depot.
You have to get permission to visit this site as it forms part of the Military Base 
We had to say goodbye to our children and move on to Kimberley. 
As you enter the city you pass Kamfers Dam and the Lesser Flamingos breeding site  
Kimberley is known as the Diamond City. It is known for the Big Hole. A hand-dug hole the size of eight football fields. The labour that went into this is unthinkable. 
Next to the Hole is the Mine Museum and you can imagine the frenetic days of the diamond rush. 
Thanks to the photo's that we could use 
The Big Hole from the sky and the Star of the West that opened in 1870
Kimberley is known for the monuments and old buildings
Left: The Honoured Dead Memorial is situated at the meeting point of five roads, and commemorates and the tomb of 27 soldiers who died defending the city during the Siege of Kimberley during the Anglo Boer War. It was designed by Sir Herbert Baker as commissioned by Cecil John Rhodes. It is built of sandstone quarried in the Matopo Hills in Zimbabwe. It features an inscription as commissioned to Rudyard Kiplin:
This for a charge to our children in sign of the price we paid. The price that we paid for freedom that comes unsoiled to your hand. Read, revere and uncover, here are the victors laid. They that died for their city being son's of the land."
Top Right: This bronze work by Hamo Thornycroft depicts Rhodes mounted on his horse with a map of Africa in his hands. Facing north it symbolise Rhodes vision to extend the British Empire into Africa. Rhodes is depicted in the clothes he wore at the memorable Indaba with the Matabele leaders in Matopos in the 1880s.
Middle Right: St Cyprian's Cathedral
Bottom: The Town Hall is a beautiful building was constructed in 1899. Fergus Carstairs Rogers was the architect responsible for this outstanding workmanship.The old tram that stops right outside the town hall
Our next roadstop the Diamond Fields N12 Battlefields. We stopped at the Riet River which commemorates The Battle of Modder River. 
A wall that depict the Anglo Boer War 
The magnificent bridges - on for vehicles and one for trains catches your eye. The old picture of of the reconnaissance soldiers on their bicycles on the train tracks 
The block house that was built during the Anglo Boer War to protect the railway line 
Our next stop was Hopetown and the Oranje Rivier but before we get to Hopetown you have to read about my great grand father's brother and The Grange here.
The wind pumps at The Grange
Alfred Ernest - my great grandfather and Allister Thornton was brothers. Allister Thornton FINCHAM was born in 1871 inherited "The Grange" from his father they were ruined by the ostrich slump and become diamond diggers on the Vaal River, mined manganese at Black Rock and dug salt at Britstown. He was always looking for oil without success. Allister FINCHAM, the diamond millionaire, is his son.
The sign along the N12
Allister snr and Allister jnr with a selection of diamonds
Allister jnr 
Hopetown was founded in 1850 a farming area where several large diamonds, most notable the Eureka and the Star of South Africa were discovered between 1867 and 1869. 
This could be a beauty once restored.  Seeing some potential 
Kambro Farm stall was the stop for something to eat. They offer more than just food we left with some of the wonderful canning and jamming that is on offer. 
You have to try the pears in red wine.
Thanks for traveling with us 
Till next time 
Sandra