A Yacht on the Vlaktes

One day I went for a drive with Dad out to a farm in the Swinburne district, Rensburgs Kop in the background. We stopped outside a big tin shed and walked inside. To my amazement there was a huge skeleton iron structure in there. I knew immediately what it was: It was an aviary. IContinue reading “A Yacht on the Vlaktes”

Harrismith & District Gymkhanas

Dad remembers the gymkhanas he took part in and so enjoyed in the late 1930’s and early 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 wasContinue reading “Harrismith & District Gymkhanas”

Abe Sparks

I thought of Abe Sparks as the “Lord Mayor of Swinburne”. Ever since he went to Texas he wore a stetson, cowboy boots and a string tie with a polished stone clasp. He was a larger than life character, colourful. He and Lulu were always very friendly to me. He drove an old Rolls RoyceContinue reading “Abe Sparks”

Jock Grant

Jock Grant was a Harrismith legend. “A legend in his own lunchtime” as they say. Fresh out of Scotland he joined the golf club and announced to the usual crowd leaning up against the bar in his broad accent that he was taking Afrikaans lessons. “Jock”, said Jannie du Plessis, “We think you should firstContinue reading “Jock Grant”

River Trip Swinburne – Walton

Down the Mighty Vulgar River (Wilge really) in a borrowed canoe ca 1970. An Accord double kayak borrowed from the ‘Voortrekkers’ thanks to Ou Lip’s kindness. He had a good heart, Ou Lip Snyman, and I’m sure he thought he looked dashing in his Voortrekkerleier uniform. I’m with my mate Claudio Bellato. We embark inContinue reading “River Trip Swinburne – Walton”

River Trip Swinburne – Harrismith

Fluffy Crawley and I were dropped off in Swinburne on the banks of the Mighty Vulgar in the grounds of the Montrose Motel with our open red and blue fibreglass canoe. We were aiming to head off downstream, camp overnight and finish in Harrismith the next day. This was circa 1970. But we bumped intoContinue reading “River Trip Swinburne – Harrismith”