Mary and Jean

Mom: When the Colemans arrived in Harrismith for Ken to start work in ‘the milk factory’ we met them right away as Dad was a great friend of Ken’s older brother Wally. Wally had been his tutor as an appy electrician in the Pietermaritzburg Post Office back in 1938. I recall visiting Uncle Wally asContinue reading “Mary and Jean”

Buckle the Blacksmith

After Maritzburg College, Dad joined the General Post Office as an apprentice electrician. Around 1st April 1938. Here’s a spirit level he was issued that day: While he was still apprenticing, he tried to enlist to join the WW2 war effort, but was sent back. He was transferred to Harrismith, from where he again madeContinue reading “Buckle the Blacksmith”

Running on Women Power

A lovely post on Women in Ornithology by ornithology historian Bob Montgomerie led me to thinking about Women in – well, My Working Life. First there was Mom. Mary Methodist. In the Platberg Bottle Store. And Annemarie Maeder, also in the bottle store with Mom. Always in the background, too, was your ‘panel of Moms’Continue reading “Running on Women Power”

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 Bland III. JFA III Bland, called Frank, married Annie Watson Bain, daughter of Stewart Bain, mayor of Harrismith. So much ofContinue reading “Granny Bland”

A Slice of Vrystaat

I was born in Harrismith in 1955, as was Mom Mary in 1928, and her Mom Annie in 1893. Annie thought “the queen” of that little island left of France was also the queen of South Africa (and for much of her life she was right!). To balance that, there’s this side of the family.Continue reading “A Slice of Vrystaat”

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’s Home

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’s Home”

Honeymoon Hudson

Mom & Dad went to Lourenco Marques in Mocambique for their honeymoon in 1951. With cars being very scarce after the war, Dad looked around for anything he could afford. He found a Mr Smith selling a fifteen year old Hudson Terraplane 4-door for £100. It came with a spare engine in the boot –Continue reading “Honeymoon Hudson”