Mary Bland Grew Up On A Farm

This was taken on my grandparents’ Frank and Annie Bland’s farm, Nuwejaarsvlei in the Harrismith district. The farm is now under Sterkfontein Dam. Here’s older sis Pat pushing Mother Mary in the pram in the farmyard.

pat-mary-nuwejaarsvlei

The Nuwejaarspruit runs from there down to the Wilge river and then into the Vaal Dam. Sterkfontein dam was built on the spruit and drowned the farm under Tugela river water pumped up from KwaZulu Natal. You would now have to scuba dive in the clear water to see the farmhouse. The feature pic looks across the dam towards where the farm was. This pic is roughly above the farm looking back towards Harrismith’s long Platberg mountain:

sterkfontein-dam

Then they moved into town – the metropolis of Harrismith – to start a petrol station and garage, having lost the farms.

Nearby neighbours on Kindrochart were the Shannons, ___ and ___, with son Jack, a few years older than Pat and Mary.

When he had outgrown his Shetland Pony it was suggested to Jack that he give it to the Bland girls on Nuwejaarsvlei. He looked dubious but his parents encouraged him.

“Will you do that?” they prodded him.

“Yes, but not with pleasure” said Jack.

Recently Sheila found a pic of Jack – probably on that very pony!

1920 Jack Shannon & Peter Bell
Jack and Peter Bell

=======ooo000ooo=======

1930 Bland group at NJV
Jessie & Annie sitting with Janet & Mary between them – (two guests) – Frank lying with Pat
Annie in old car
Annie in a ___ with canine driver

Here’s Mary in 1990 cruising above her old farm in a boat the ole man built, with her old home somewhere underwater below her:

1990 April Sterkfontein 50003

Author: bewilderbeast

It's about life, marriage, raising kids, paddling rivers, travel in Africa . . . re-posting thoughts written over decades - at random, I'm afraid.

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