Removal and rstoration of the old fire Engine to the Drostdy museum

April 9, 2024

Removal and rstoration of the old fire Engine to the Drostdy museum

SHA have undertaken to remove the little fire engine from in front of the old library to the Drostby Museum, the engine and its casing will be restored, this is a costly process and the association is looking for donations to help with this process. The fire Engine will stand on paving with a wall behind acknowledging the donors

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April 9, 2024

Removal and rstoration of the old fire Engine to the Drostdy museum

SHA have undertaken to remove the little fire engine from in front of the old library to the Drostby Museum, the engine and its casing will be restored, this is a costly process and the association is looking for donations to help with this process. The fire Engine will stand on paving with a wall behind acknowledging the donors

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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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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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August 12, 2021

Replacement Facsimile Bronze Plaques Available

(Article from the Heritage Portal)

Over the past two decades, many bronze old National Monuments plaques have been damaged or stolen. For those owners and institutions looking to replace these plaques there is a cost effective ceramic substitute which is incredibly durable and looks exactly like the original. It is resistant to sun, rain and wind and is worthless to bronze thieves. The plaques are easily attached to walls with ordinary silicone adhesive.

*Only Registered PHS (Provincial Heritage Sites) should apply.

*It is recommended that where such an original bronze plaque is still in place, the owner of the building remove the original plaque and have this re-affixed safely inside the building and the facsimile plaque affixed in its place outside.

The ceramic plaques cost R700 each. The cost includes prompt delivery with Postnet’s courier service.

Contact Marthinus van Bart for more information or to order – kultuurkroniek@gmail.com  or 072 740 5203.

* Text inserted by The Swellendam Heritage association

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