Categories
2_Free State / Vrystaat 8_Nostalgia

The Arbuckles of Somerby

A snippet:

It was schoolfriend Koos Beukes’ birthday today and I remembered he’s from Aberfeldy, so I asked him about a half-remembered memory that popped up on thinking ‘Aberfeldy:’

‘Who were the rooinek ladies that farmed out your way again?’

‘Natalie and Phyllis Arbuckle on Somerby,’ said Koos. He actually now owns the farm! He bought it from them around 1986 and Natalie then moved to White River to stay with Phyllis’ daughter Aileen.

Somerby was renowned for a big dam known for very good fishing. Fishermen actually paid to fish there! Natalie charged R2 a rod and donated the proceeds to her church. She was a staunch Methodist, and her R2’s probably doubled the takings!!

Mom says Natalie was in elder sister Pat’s class in school, so like Pat Bland, she was probably born in 1925. She remained single all her life.

Natalie died in 2010. The big damwall broke that year and Koos surmises the knowledge of that loss may have contributed to her death. Her ashes were scattered on Somerby.

~~~oo0oo~~~

rooinek – Engels; English-speaking, really; usually not English-from-England

feature pic: The bridge over the Elands River at Aberfeldy

Categories
1_Harrismith 2_Free State / Vrystaat 8_Nostalgia sport

Harrismith & District Gymkhanas

Dad remembers the gymkhanas he took part in and so enjoyed in the late 1930’s and mid-to-late 1940’s.

They were held in Harrismith, Eeram, Verkykerskop, Mont Pelaan and Aberfeldy; and on the farms Appin near Swinburne, Primrose near van Reenen, and Maraishoek.

The entry fee was one pound per event – and prize money was less than the entry fee!

Events included Tent pegging; Sword and ring; Sword; Lance & ring; Potato & bucket.

Races were the bending race, we’ll need to ask him what that was; and the owners race, where the owner him or herself had to ride, no hiring a jockey!

Regular participants he recalls are Manie Parkhurst Wessels; Bertie van Niekerk; Kerneels Retief; Richard Goble; John Goble; Kehlaan Odendaal; his son Adriaan and his daughter Laura; Laurie Campher; Hans Spies and his kids Hansie, Pieter and Anna (Anna later married Jannie Campher, who helped Frank Bland with his farming for a while).

Dad says he was the only non-farmer riding! Kerneels was usually his partner.

gymkhana-tent-peg

**  internet pics  ** If anyone has some real Harrismith district gymkhana pics I’d sure love to display them – with full acknowledgment of course.

~~~oo0oo~~~

– SA Champions from Harrismith – photo from Leon Strachan –

Here’s footage from a gymkhana in Cape Town in 1940. With hilarious Pommy-ish commentary.