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Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Newsletter No. 12 June 2011

 Historical & Museum Society

(Himeville, Underberg and Bulwer)

PO Box 207, Himeville, 3256 Tel. 033-702-1184

Newsletter No. 12 June 2011

Annual General Meeting

Our Annual General Meeting is to be held on Thursday 11 August 2011 at 10h00, in St Michaels Church Hall (across the road from the Museum). Members: please make an effort to attend the AGM. After the AGM, at about 12h00, there will be a talk by Dr Rodney Maud entitled “The origins of the landscape” (non-members welcome) followed by refreshments.

Note: Committee members are elected for a two-year term, approximately half the Committee standing down each year. Would you be interested in serving on the Committee, or do you have a candidate in mind? Nomination forms will be going out soon, along with the Notice of Meeting and other documents.

A reminder that annual membership fees are due in August. Your Committee is pleased to say that these remain at R20.00 per adult (R5.00 for junior members, 10-18 years of age) for 2011/2012.

Since our last newsletter:

We held another book sale outside Spar on the Easter weekend, at which we raised some R2100. As usual, books were “sold” on a donation basis, which we have found more effective than fixed pricing. We had quite a bit of new stock, and even some of the old, out-of-favour authors seemed to attract interest this time around.

At the beginning of May, we held our regular Autumn picnic at Kenmo Lake (courtesy of Jack and Di Lund), and raised almost R3400. Neil Prior again provided some recorded “music over the water”, supplemented this year by a “live band”.

For the benefit of those who may have missed our earlier newsletters, and without wishing to pre-empt anything our President may cover in his report at the AGM, here is a short review of our other events during the past year:

Liz Mackay received an Amafa Heritage award for her “contribution to local history, curation work at the Himeville Museum and the establishment of Himeville Historical Tours”. This was the Society’s second Amafa Heritage Award, the other going to Diana de Nagy in 2005. We again held our Heritage Day Children’s Art Competition in September 2010. The selected theme was the Soccer World Cup, and winning entries were displayed at the UFA Show in October. In October 2010, the Society visited the ruins of the old Home Rule farmstead (courtesy of the Blomeyer family), and Liz Mackay gave an overview of its, and the Alcock family, history. Afterwards, we went on to Pevensey Place, the local cerebral palsy institution, where we learnt about its background and had a tour round the facility. The Christmas Fete was again held at the Museum, mid December. As usual, there was a wide variety of stalls, Christmas music, hot and cold refreshments—and a jumping castle for the youngsters. In all, some R12000 was raised for the Museum funds.

February 2011 saw us finally achieving the unveiling of the new plaques, erected on those previously-unmarked graves at the Watermead Cemetery, at a brief ceremony with the Revs. Paul Mosdell and Edward Petersen officiating. Afterwards, we visited the original Watermead farmstead (now the home of Anthony and Linda Palframan). In March, we visited King’s Grant, near Ixopo, where we were given a guided tour by the owner, Cheryl Biggs. This was followed by a picnic lunch in the gardens.

Also in March, we joined up with the Ladysmith Historical Society on an outing to Pietermaritzburg to explore some of the Voortrekker history associated with the city, including the Voortrekker Museum and the Church of the Vow.


We extend a warm welcome to Barbara Bruynse, who joins the Museum in the capacity of Assistant Curator.

Other happenings

The old ox wagon (in front of the main (double) doors into the Museum courtyard), which had deteriorated very badly over the years, was eventually replaced by one of the wagons previously on display in the courtyard. There are plans to obtain and exhibit further examples of old transport.

With the renovations at the Shell Garage in Underberg, and the construction of the KFC outlet, the Society became involved in trying to arrange for the preservation and display of the “Tarboton generating plant” which provided electricity to Underberg and Himeville before Eskom power became available to the villages. Regretfully, due to what we understand to have been bureaucratic delays, the generator could no longer be stored locally and was relocated to Baynesfield, where it will also be put back into commission.

As many of you will be aware, the pin-oaks between Himeville and Underberg, planted in 1970 as a symbol of unity and to commemorate the “burying of the hatchet” with regard to previous “animosity” between the two villages, has, over the years, suffered from the ravages of weather, fires and the like, leading to several gaps along the line of trees. It is planned to replace those trees which have been destroyed, and we are gratified to hear that the KwaSani Municipality is prepared to become actively involved in the maintenance, care and preservation of this integral part of our local history.

Internet Presence

For those who have internet access, the Museum is already present on the World Wide Web— either with a page on one of the museum or tourism sites, or through links found on such sites. These include and

But, did you know that the Society also has a presence? See and also a listing on

Have a look and tell us what you think.

Himeville Museum

Have you visited the Himeville Museum recently? It is open every day, except Mondays, and the Curator will be very happy to tell you about the Museum and its exhibits, and perhaps to take you around.

Open Tuesday-Sunday, 09h00-12h30 Tel. 033-702-1184 Curator: Michael Clark

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Watermead Cemetery

Historical & Museum Society
(Himeville, Underberg and Bulwer)
PO Box 207, Himeville, 3256 Tel. 033-702-1184
Watermead Cemetery
As previously announced, the Historical & Museum Society, at the request of its members, arranged for the manufacture of headstones for the unmarked graves in the Watermead Cemetery. These headstones have now been erected in the cemetery.

Many thanks go to Phyl Palframan, who is planting some trees and hedging plants at the cemetery, and to Anthony Palframan for his efforts in clearing the resurgent growth. Phyl plans to beautify the cemetery with indigenous plants, and any assistance with plants and/or their planting will be much appreciated.

Afterwards, we will go on to Watermead Farm, where Anthony Palframan has very kindly agreed that we may look around the old farmhouse. We will finish up with a picnic lunch in the gardens.

Sunday 27 February 2011, at 11h30, there will be a short ceremony to "unveil" the new headstones. We envisage that Rev. Paul Mosdell, of St Michael’s, and Rev. Edward Pietersen, of the Underberg Congregational Church, will officiate, and Andy Corfe, whose father was the first Congregational Minister here, will do the unveiling and also give a short talk on the history of the cemetery.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Historical & Museum Society (Himeville, Underberg and Bulwer) PO Box 207, Himeville, 3256 Tel. 033-702-1184 Newsletter No. 10 December 2010 Events

Historical & Museum Society
(Himeville, Underberg and Bulwer)
PO Box 207, Himeville, 3256 Tel. 033-702-1184
Newsletter No. 10 December 2010

Events Home Rule and Pevensey Place In October, we visited the ruins of the old Home Rule farmstead (courtesy of the Blomeyer family), where Liz Mackay gave an overview of its, and the Alcock family, history. We then went on to Pevensey Place, where we were joined by Bob Mulder (a former director), who described the background to this important institution, and Mike Mingay, who showed us around. Christmas Fete This was, once again, held at the Himeville Museum. We had our usual stalls of Collectibles and White Elephant, Cakes, Second-hand Books, Plants and Fresh Produce. Other stalls included Sani Wildlife, Home-made Christmas Cards, Baby-ware, Clocks and Woodwork, Home Industries and Soft Furnishing. Country Women again provided teas, and Robert Hicken catered hot snacks and cold drinks. Neil Prior once again acted as Master of Ceremonies, and provided Christmas music. A jumping castle was provided for the children. The raffle was won by Graham Davies (Christmas cake), with runners up L. Knowles (Food Hamper), Liz Stayt (Wine) and Geraldine McFarlane (Chocolate cake). Congratulations to the winners, and many thanks to Charles and Pat Hicken, and Bella Guy, for sponsoring prizes. Although there was a perception of lower attendance than last year, we did well, with some R12 000 being raised for the Museum funds. Many thanks to Pat Hicken for her organisational efforts, and to all those members and their families who helped with setting up and manning the various stalls, or who provided items for sale. And thank you to you, our members, who turned up to support us. Dates to diarise for 2011 Please note that we have scheduled three events for 2011:
Sunday 01 May—Autumn Picnic at Kenmo Lake
Thursday 11 August— AGM
Saturday 17 December—Christmas Fete
If you have any ideas or suggestions for further events and outings for 2011, please let Graham Kletz (033-701-1167) or Andy Piper (033-701-1741) know before the end of January, so that these can be put before the Committee for consideration. Projects
Watermead Cemetery We are pleased to report that the headstones (which we had made for those graves which had none) have now been erected. As mentioned previously, we understand that Phyl Palframan would like to beautify the area with indigenous plants. Anyone wishing to help with this, please contact Graham Kletz (033-701-1167), who will co-ordinate with Phyl Palframan.
Ox wagon The ox wagon in front of the main (double) doors into the Museum courtyard has been steadily deteriorating over the years and, at last, succumbed to the ravages of weather and old age. The remains have now been dismantled (whatever could be salvaged has been moved to the Forge area, at the back of the courtyard), and one of our other wagons moved into the front. We would like to put up a shelter, to protect the wagon from the elements, and have been promised some further wagons (on loan) once we have suitable housing available for them.
Annual Subscriptions
Annual fees, which remain at R20.00 per adult per year, became due in August. We note that several subscriptions are still outstanding. Please note that, in terms of the Constitution, as amended at the AGM in August 2010, member-ships which have not been renewed by 31 January (2011) will be considered to have lapsed.
Junior membership, for those aged 10-18, is only R5.00 per year. Do you have children who would be interested in becoming members of the Society.
And finally, on behalf of the Committee, our best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year and throughout 2011. you up to date with your subs? If you have paid, but not been issued with/received a receipt, please contact Lynn Butt on 033-702-1059/031-764-3322 or by email to