Heritage signage

August 14, 2021

Heritage signage

On Monday 3 September 2018 the Swellendam Heritage Association had two heritage information boards erected in the town.

One of these information boards is erected on the site of old lemmetjiesdorp (Lemmetjies Town) which area is still referred  to by this name. The inscription on the information board which is self explanatory reads as follows:

Lemmetjiesdorp

The area known as Lemmetjiesdorp was sold to one Dawid Lemmetjies in 1849. Upon Dawid Lemmetjies’ death in 1863 the plot of land passed on to his son, Arend Lemmetjies. Thirteen brown families lived on this land alongside the Glen stream.  In the 1970’s the Group Areas Act forced the Lemmetjies family descendents off their land.

This panel has been erected by The Swellendam Heritage Association as a dedication to the Lemmetjies family.

Lemmetjiesdorp

Die gebied bekend as Lemmetjiesdorp is in 1849 aan ene Dawid Lemmetjies verkoop. Met Dawid Lemmetjies se dood in 1863 is die stuk grond aan sy seun, Arend Lemmetjies, oorgedra. Dertien bruin gesinne het op die grond langs die Glenstroom gewoon. In die 1970’s het die Groepsgebiedewet die nageslag van die Lemmetjies-familie van hulle grond gedwing.

Hierdie paneel is opgerig deur die Swellendam Erfenisvereniging as erkenning aan die Lemmetjies-familie.

Lemmetjiesdorp Sign Erected 03. 09. 2018

Lemmetjiesdorp Sign Erected 03. 09. 2018

The second information board was erected at the old Anglican Cemetery and is again dedicated to members of the Lemmetjies family who were the stone masons who built the lovely old stone wall around the cemetery. Again the inscription is self explanatory and reads as follows:

THE ANGLICAN CEMETERY STONE WALL

This beautiful wall of dressed stone bonded with clay was built by one Arend Lemmetjies circa 1855 when the Anglican Church was built in Swellendam. Arend Lemmetjies was a sought after stone-mason in Swellendam in the 1800’s along with his builder father Dawid Lemmetjies.

This panel has been erected by The Swellendam Heritage Association as a dedication to the Lemmetjies family.

DIE ANGLIKAANSE BEGRAAFPLAAS-RINGMUUR

Die Anglikaanse Kerk is in 1855 in Swellendam gebou. Die Anglikaanse begraafplaas is ongeveer dieselfde tyd geopen. Die pragtige klipmuur, wat met klei gebind is, is deur ene Arend Lemmetjies gebou. Hy en sy vader, Dawid Lemmetjies, was in daardie tyd gesogte klipkappers en bouers in Swellendam.

Hierdie paneel is opgerig deur die Swellendam Erfenisvereniging as erkenning aan die Lemmetjies-familie.

More projects

August 19, 2021

PRESS RELEASE SWELLENDAM FAMILY CRESTS 2019

The Swellendam Heritage Association has commenced on a project to have Swellendam family crests displayed on metal hoardings attached to the lampposts along the West end of Voortrek Street. The Swellendam Municipality has approved a pilot project in this respect. The pilot project saw the erection of four hoardings displaying eight family crests (two crests, one on each side of a hoarding). The purpose of the pilot project is to gauge public opinion with regard to heritage, inclusivity and aesthetic value before commencing with the full project. Examples of these family crests in the pilot project can now be viewed on the lampposts opposite Moolmanshof.

The Heritage Association wants this to be a Swellendam community project. All families, whether with historic ties, who currently reside in or are involved in Swellendam are asked to be part of this project.

Our picturesque town is unique in terms of situation, landscape and natural scenery. Her history is illustrious and diverse, created and formed through contributions of all ethnic, social and administrative role-players. So special is she that Dr. Joan Prins, a Swellendammer of old, once referred to her as ” The Swellendam Mixed Grill”. The Heritage Association, through this project, aims to give recognition to those past or present within the greater Swellendam community.

The pilot project will continue for the balance of this year and next year, if all goes according to plan, a huge effort will go into filling the western end of the main street with family crests.

The Heritage Association would also like to record its thanks to the Municipality for approval of the pilot phase of the project, support and the erection of the hoardings. The association’s thanks also goes to the participants in the  project and Alex Hayn of Atelier Studio for design assistance. Francois and Shaun from Lotz signs for the manufacture of the Crest Boards. Johan van Schalkwyk for the manufacture of the frames and assisting Francois du Rand and Frik Erasmus and their team from the municipality for the mounting of the Crests.  Without their  participation SHA could not have commenced the project. We are convinced that this project will make a unique contribution to the distinction of our town..

All families who would like to participate or would like to give recognition to an old Swellendam family, can submit the names and their contribution to the association. Families who do not possess an existing family crest will be assisted to create a crest using the background of their family’s history. It would also be appreciated if contributors would sponsor families who may need assistance financially as a way of possibly repaying such a family or any other personal reason.

We are geared to launch the main project in January 2020 so get ready to order your families crest in the meantime. We will advise costs in due course.

Philip Bromley

p.bromley05@gmail.com

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June 4, 2023

Restoration of the Swellendam dipgat

The committee of SHA took on the task of restoring the old "dipgat" on the corner where the Ashton Road meets the R60.

Under the guidance of Philip Bromley & Hennie Steyn, work is well under way.

There was a lot of preparation but the whitewash has now been applied and the results are looking really good - take a look as you Enter & Exit the town.

A new sign will be placed by the dipgat which will include a list of sponsors who have provided skills & materials .

The muicipality has been asked to make a car park so passing visitors can stop and look at this unusual artifact.

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August 16, 2021

Request for donations

Die Swellendam Erfenisvereniging het onlangs 60 nuwe bykomende familiewapens langs hoofstraat aangebring. Dit is moontlik gemaak met finansiering deur mense wat spesifieke families verteenwoordig of erkenning aan ‘n spesifieke familie wou gee.

Hierdie versoek gaan aan mense wat:

  1. Aan die bogenoemde families behoort en nie die geleentheid gehad het om daartoe by
    te dra nie.
  2. Mense wat graag aan die projek wil deelneem en hul familiewapen borg omdat dit nie
    verteenwoordig word nie.
  3. Mense wat graag ń ander familie se familiewapen wil borg. Of miskien ‘n familiewapen
    van een van die ou vaders van die dorp wat nie meer hier verteenwoordig word nie. Bv Ds Von Manger
  4. Mense wat voel dis te duur, maar tog ń klein bydrae tot die projek te maak.

Alle families in Swellendam, toe en nou, is welkom om deel te neem. Ons het ook bydraes vir toekomstige instandhouding nodig. Geen bydrae is te klein nie en alle bydraes word erken. Alle donateurs se name word in ons argief aangeteken en bewaar.
Ons is baie bly oor al die positiewe kommentaar en hoop dit sal almal inspireer om hiertoe soos bo uiteengesit is, by te dra.
Die Swellendam Erfenisvereniging


Bank Besonderhede vir skenkings:
Nedbank Swellendam
Branch / Tak 19876500
Swellendam Heritage Association / Swellendam Erfenisvereniging
Rekening Nr / Account Nbr 1118273125
Please enter your surname as reference.
Meld asseblief u van as verwysing.

The Swellendam Heritage Association recently erected 60 new additional family crests along Main Street. This was made possible with funding from people who represented specific families or wanted to give recognition to a particular family of their choosing.
This appeal is addressed to people who:

  1. Belong to the above-mentioned families and did not have an opportunity to contribute to
    the cost of their family’s crest at the time.
  2. Families who would like to participate in the project and sponsor their family crest as it is
    still not represented
  3. Persons who want to sponsor a family crest for a family who financially find it difficult to
    participate or perhaps the crest of one of the past families of Swellendam no longer
    represented here. For example Ds Von Manger etc.
  4. Persons who feel the cost is too high but would still like to make a small contribution to
    the project

All families of Swellendam, past and present, are encouraged to participate. We need contributions for future maintenance of the crests. No contribution is too small and all contributions will be acknowledged. All contributors’ names will be recorded and preserved in our archive.
We are encouraged by the positive comments we have received about this project and hope this will inspire everyone to make a contribution along the lines suggested above.


The Swellendam Heritage Association.


Banking details for donations are above.

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August 15, 2021

Sugar Bridge

Named, legend has it, because they ran out of cement and used sugar instead.

The Bufflesjags river bridge was built 1845 by the Royal Engineers. It is referred to as a Mitchell/ Montegu bridge. It was part of the”Groote Wagen Weg’  that carried the eastern highway until the 1950s.

It has long been considered a local landmark and is described by historians: Hans Fransen, Dr Mary Cooke & Edmund Burrows : as consisting of 10 red sandstone buttresses joined by teak struts brought up the river to Malgas from the wreck of the Robert.

The bridge was damaged by floods 11/11/1936 and has been the subject of proper restoration ever since. It was declared a National Monument 6 Feb. 1989 Number:  18541/9/2/092/0067  and has become a grade 2 heritage site. Various local municipal departments and heritage bodies applied for repair /restoration work in 1950s, 1980s, 2000s.

One of the piers sagged and concrete and cables were used to shore it up, but without real repair  the wood has degraded further and with successive floods, notably 2009, most of the wood has gone completely.

In 2016 the Heritage Monitoring Project set out to define the Ten Most Endangered Heritage Sites in the country. Swellendam Heritage Association entered the Sugar Bridge and it was named second  on the list. The heritage listing received a lot of media attention and Heritage Western Cape took up the cause placing the bridge as their profile photo on social media.

Members of Swellendam Heritage Association attended a BELCom meeting where restoration of the bridge was on the agenda 22/11/16 and the decision was  to support the restoration.

The problem remains getting a Provincial department to take the responsibility.

Support includes; Swellendam Municipality, Swellendam Heritage Association, Swellendam Aesthetics committee, the Drostdy museum, Bufflesjags farmers, visiting architects & engineers.

Beside the bridge now is a drift for vehicles and there is a railway bridge close by.

The consensus of opinion is that the sugar bridge be restored as a pedestrian bridge for the use of local people who need to cross the river to and from work and who at present use the railway bridge for the purpose. Steel would seem to be a more economic material for the replacement.

Several visiting experts have offered their services towards the restoration, most recently Dennis Walters, a civil Engineer with experience working on Eastern Cape bridges, who has offered to prepare a proposal with costings at no charge.  Fassler Kamstra +  Holmes  Architects have also worked on a restoration plan. Local farmers feel their workers need a safe method to cross the river and would look to make the bridge a tourist site.

Swellendam Heritage Association (Swellendam Trust) has made many applications over years for the restoration of this bridge and would bring their support, time & skills to this venture.

CAROL PODD

Swellendam Heritage Association

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