Granny Bland

The baby in the feature picture is Mary Caskie, daughter of Alexander Caskie and Mary Craig. Her father Alexander Caskie became mayor of Harrismith. She married JFA Bland II and gave birth to JFA III. Frank (JFA III) Bland married Annie Watson Bain, daughter of Stewart Bain, mayor of Harrismith. So much of mayors, yourContinue reading “Granny Bland”

Annie’s Abodes

Annie was one of the seven Royal Bains in Harrismith. She was born in the cottage behind the hotel where her parents Stewart and Janet raised all the kids. Her daughter Mary says they were Ginger, Stewart, Carrie, Jessie, Annie, Hector and Bennett. They had eight cousins who were ‘Central Bains’ – children of JamesContinue reading “Annie’s Abodes”

Granny Bland

Part of the stone wall which surrounded Granny Bland’s home in Stuart Street, Harrismith; and the oak tree her grand-daughter Pat Bland planted. Our great-grandmother ‘Granny Bland’ was a Caskie who married a Bland who begat Frank (JFA) Bland who married Annie Watson Bain. Bain Sisters Annie Bland and Jessie Bell lived there with GrannyContinue reading “Granny Bland”

The Grand Old Man of Harrismith

Stewart Bain was born in Wick, Scotland on 9 September 1854; He and his brother James came to South Africa in 1878, to Durban. Then they trekked on to the metropolis of Harrismith in the Orange River Colony, building bridges for the railway line extension from Ladysmith up the Drakensberg to Harrismith; Stewart married JanetContinue reading “The Grand Old Man of Harrismith”

The Two Annie Watson Bains

By the time we knew her she was Annie Bland. Never ‘granny’. Only Annie. She was our dear Mom’s dear Mom. In fact ‘Annie Watson Bain’ to me was the lady who died in World War 1 and whose name was on one of the monuments outside the Town Hall. She was our Annie’s firstContinue reading “The Two Annie Watson Bains”

Harrismith Xmas 1979

Mary and Manie Wessels Rietvlei joined the folks Mary and Pieter Swanepoel for Xmas 1979 at 37 Piet Uys street. Barbara and Jeff, Koos and Sheila and Annie were there, too. As was poor Selina! Hopefully she got time off for being on duty on Xmas day! Looks like colour film hadn’t been invented yetContinue reading “Harrismith Xmas 1979”