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THE ULOLWE SOUTH AFRICA – SUID-AFRIKA A monthly railway research / historical publication ‘n Maandelikse spoorweg historiese en navorsing publikasie “Everything to do with the former South African Railways; i.e. Railways, Stations, Harbours, Airways, RMT, Lighthouses, Pipelines, SAR Models & Diagrams of Locomotives and

Rolling

Stock”

Hennie Heymans, Pretoria, South Africa - heymanshb@gmail.com October 2010 Vol 1 No 1 (Revised 12 May 2011)

Hallo Cape Town! Arrival in Cape Town by Shosholoza Meyl. The Table has been set – photo taken from the new “small” train windows. This remains the fairest Cape of them all! Hennie Heymans, 17-3- 2011.

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Contents Welcome to Vol 1 No 1 (Revised) ...................................................................................................... 3 1924 E1 - Electric Traction in Natal .................................................................................................... 3 Electrification Natal Line .................................................................................................................... 7 Glencoe - Pietermaritzburg ........................................................................................................ 7 What I Remember - Lieut-Col DA Lane............................................................................. 7 Parys – Vrystaat, NOT Paris, France! .............................................................................................. 10 Van Reenen’s Pass on the Natal Free State border ........................................................................ 11 Nostalgia from Bosveld Train Safaris ............................................................................................. 12 Pretoria – Pietersburg Railway - Fruit wagon type D6................................................................. 13 Pretoria – Pietersburg Railway 26 Ton Saddle tank Nylstroom ............................................................ 14 Bloemfontein shunt ............................................................................................................................ 16 Railways and the transportation of Elephants...................................................................................... 17 Reserved Saloon - South African Constabulary ............................................................................ 18 The beginning of the Search ......................................................................................................... 18 Breakthrough during a chance encounter .................................................................................. 19 Visit to Gilwell Estate at Florida on the West Rand. ................................................................. 22 Description ...................................................................................................................................... 23 Plate “A”...................................................................................................................................... 23 Gilten Patrol Leader ................................................................................................................... 23 Oval Plate “B” ............................................................................................................................. 23 The (new) S. A. Railways / Central South African Railways Re-Numbering List ........... 24 National Monument .................................................................................................................. 25 Bibliography .................................................................................................................................. 25 The SAR Road Motor Transport – known as the “Ar-em-Tea” ............................................................. 26 Umzinto ................................................................................................................................................. 27

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SAR Fire brigade on Rails ...................................................................................................................... 27 South African Railways Police ............................................................................................................... 28 Conclusion .......................................................................................................................................... 29

Welcome to Vol 1 No 1 (Revised) Welcome to the first edition of The Ulolwe. Our railways are celebrating their first 150 years of railways in South Africa. This Railway Gazette pays tribute to what the Railways in South Africa has achieved; we also take the opportunity to pay tribute to all the old antecedent railway companies and the rail pioneers in Southern Africa. The Railways has been in the forefront to build up the country and to act as national carriers to the people of Southern Africa. Green Dining Car 405 (and Green Kitchen Car) pictured at Worcester on

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March

2011

–

Hennie

Heymans.

1924 E1 - Electric Traction in Natal

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Electric Locomotive at Colenso – Mrs ET

E1 at Mill Site – Hennie Heymans

Clifford-Jones Below are some pictures dated July 1924 of the first electric locomotives being landed in South Africa at Durban:

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Off loading from SS Umlazi Below is the finished product – the picture was taken during 1924 – place unknown, most probably Pietermaritzburg.

Note four pantographs up.

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Electrification Natal Line Glencoe - Pietermaritzburg What I Remember - Lieut-Col DA Lane1

An interesting period of my service occurred during the electrification of the Natal railway from Glencoe to Maritzburg2. Headquarters of this original undertaking was at Colenso. Prior to the electrification Colenso was a village with a couple of Indian stores, a hotel of the ancient type with store attached, a Police Station with two European members, and a Railway Station. A couple of tumble down houses with equally tumble down residents complete the picture. In a few days Colenso blossomed out into a roaring community somewhat similar to a construction camp when the3 [Concluded on page 374] Canadian Pacific Railway was taken across the continent of Canada. Men began to arrive from all parts of the world. Contracts were held by firms whose headquarters were in England, America or on the continent of Europe. The British Industries and Helsby Cable staff came direct from Australia where they had electrified a portion of the New South Wales Railway. Others blew in from South America. Many arrived from Europe. Hundreds of men were employed in a variety of jobs and thousands of native labourers accompanied them. Colenso developed into a canvas town. Barbells, tailors, butchers, fish shops, restaurants opened in canvas houses. Wood and iron huts shot up in a night. Wages were high and some ÂŁ28,000 was paid out on the first pay day, before they really got started. Every stiff in South Africa flocked in. On the afternoon of the first pay day, outside the only hotel in the main street, a public fight started. It was a free for all. Anyone could join. I watched, helpless to stop it. One Policeman was with me. I did the only thing possible. Closed the pub and let them get on with it. A limb or two were broken. An eye or two gouged out. They fought themselves to a standstill, and the majority crawled away on to the open spaces to lick their wounds and sleep it off. The old Natal Liquor Law did not operate on private land. 1

Part X: The Nongqai April 1938 p 337. Pietermaritzburg – HBH. 3 p 348 2

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With so much money kicking about, the usual crowd of parasites, European and native, gathered for the harvest. Every month-end after that first pay day, I had as many as sixty police on duty in Colenso. Detachments of C.I.D. from Durban, Pietermaritzburg and the Rand arrived for special duty regularly and many a wanted one was picked up. Police cases increased from a dozen to hundreds a month and a special court sat regularly. A second hotel was run up and filled immediately. A native beer canteen licence was recommended by me. It was better to have all the native crooks where we could find them when we wanted them, and the shebeens diminished in consequence. The Railway authorities relieved me of all responsibility in respect of their property and compounds, and this eased me of that part of the job. They also accepted my advice to bring all their money at month-ends by train under strong Police escort, and for three years we supplied two men in uniform every month to travel with the pay train. When Goosen4 escaped from Fordsburg we were on the look-out for him. A Colenso storekeeper rang me up one day and said a European was going from store to store, taking what he wanted and when asked for payment would threateningly put his hand to his back pocket as if he intended to pull out a gun. The town, according to my informant, was being more or less held up by this individual. Thoroughly windy he was. I asked him why he hadn't reported the matter to the local Police. They thought the matter was too serious for them. I had to go to a meeting with Railway Officials that afternoon at Colenso and, as I had Goosen in mind, I didn't want the local Police to get into any difficulty or flush the bird. Goosen had an unpleasant habit of shooting members of the Force. I sent two C.I.D. men over to get into touch with this individual and find out who he was. It might be necessary to hang on to him in one of the bars and lead him on a bit, until a favourable opportunity offered. They found him in a bar and got into conversation with him. When I came from the meeting, I saw the two C.I.D. men 37 with the suspect in the bar of the Electric Hotel. They were on perfectly friendly terms and having a

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Willem Goosen a ‘famous’ crook in South Africa – he died in Durban during the 1960’s and was buried by the police chaplain and carried to his grave by the police – the only people he knew outside prison!

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good time. The C.I.D. men were making it quite clear that they were just as hard cases as was their friend. Spotting me, one of my men came out and quickly reported that, by the visible tattoo marks, it was Goosen. I told them to work the man outside on some pretext and move along the road into a lonely part. We didn't want any fuss, and they had no justification to arrest him on any other matter than suspicion that he was Goosen. I had no arms with me but slipped over to the Police Station and got a Webley pistol. The three came out of the pub arguing. They moved along the road a bit. Then the suspect got in front of them and entered a coloured man's shoe repairing shop. The C.I.D. men waited for him, but I was tired of the messing about and wanted to get home. The suspect's back was to the door of the shop. Entering quickly, I put the muzzle of the gun into the middle of his back and said, “Hands up." Without moving, he shot his hands up and the C.I.D. men searched him. HE HADN'T A GUN AT ALL and had bluffed people by his moving his hand to his back pocket every now and then. It was obvious; however, that by his conduct on being searched, and the way he held his arms that he had been inside before. We took him to the Station, stripped him and checked up on his tattoo marks. He was covered in tattooing and many of the designs agreed with the description of Goosen's. Finger prints were taken and despatched and in the meantime he was held on a minor charge, pending notification. He turned out not to be Goosen, but had nevertheless a pretty list of "previous," and picking him up as we did doubtless prevented a serious crime of some sort or other. When liberated he made for the Coast as fast as he could go. No more Colenso for him. His bluff had been called. These scrappy notes of “What I remember “finish with this instalment. I remember a whole heap more than what I have committed to paper, but much of what I

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have not written is fit for private communicating than in the seemly pages of THE Nongqai. HAMBA GAHLE.5

Parys – Vrystaat, NOT Paris, France!

Note both the old NZASM locomotive and the famous South African ox-wagon on the right.

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Nongqai April 1938 pp 348 + 374

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Van Reenen’s Pass on the Natal Free State border

Above: Van Reenen’s Pass during the Anglo-Boer War. Below: Garratt 1649 on duty at Van Reenen’s Pass during 1925 - before the advent of electrification:

One engine driver lived at Van Reenen and he was well known to my Oupa Heymans – the Engine Driver had the sole source of water in the hamlet of Van Reenen and he sold water to the inhabitants. Every day he brought up a few nicely dressed sand stone blocks from the foot of the pass, on the footplate to build with.

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Boon Boonzaaier with Bosveld Train Safaris at Van Reenen’s Pass in the mist – Hennie Heymans.

Nostalgia from Bosveld Train Safaris

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Above: Ariamsvlei. Below at the top of Sir Lowry’s Pass – Hennie Heymans

Pretoria – Pietersburg Railway - Fruit wagon type D6

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Pretoria – Pietersburg Railway 26 Ton Saddle tank Nylstroom

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Bloemfontein shunt One lazy hot Sunday afternoon we were in Bloemfontein. A couple of trains have brought servicemen, policemen and their horses down from Pretoria for a state funeral of one of South Africa’s former state presidents. We were sleeping in the train and we received a subsistence allowance for food. However we could not buy food as there were no catering facilities on the train or any nearby shops. Fortunately for me we could watch the many trains shunting in Bloemfontein. These photographs were taken in the early 1980’s when most goods and passengers travelled by train. Soon I was friendly with the driver and visited him on the footplate. Here are some photographs of a 15F shunting around Bloemfontein taken with a small “aim and press” camera. Bad photos are better than no photos – however today we have the good memories and some bad photos of that memorable day:

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Railways and the transportation of Elephants

Left: Elephant truck GZ-6 94-829-667 (in Orange – then a Non Revenue Earning truck – Hennie Heymans. Below: SAR Magazine April 1942

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Reserved Saloon - South African Constabulary A photo of a coach marked “South African Constabulary” has come into my possession. The original was obtained during c. 1989 from the former South African Police Museum in Pretoria. Somebody who knew that I was “interested in trains”, gave me a copy of the photo. There was no information available about this coach in the museum. Coach built by Brown and Marshall, Birmingham, 1893.

The beginning of the Search

A photo thereof with a request for further information appeared in the SA Rail and Harbours. No information was offered. Enquiries were made at Railway Head Office, which drew a blank. The history of the coach remained unknown. I spoke to Mr. Mervyn Mark and followed the enquiry up by sending a fax to fellow enthusiasts, without avail. I learnt of the Railway History Group in Cape Town, and I joined them. Later I sent them an enquiry about the coach. Again no information was obtained! Later I

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thought that the photo was a propaganda photo taken during the Anglo-Boer War or that it was used for recruitment purposes. But I did not give up hope!

Breakthrough during a chance encounter One day I bought a few boxes containing old SA Railways and Harbours Magazines and old SAS-SAR’s. While paging through a 1959 copy, not looking for anything in particular, I came across an article by a certain Mr. Holtz. He has the following to say about a coach used by Baden-Powell: “At Modderfontein6, near Johannesburg, a disused railway coach with a background7 can be found, minus its wheels and resting on a brick foundation, in the recreational area of a huge chemical and explosives plant. This old coach was used by the late Field-Marshall Smuts when secretary (sic) of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek8. Later, the coach was used by Robert Stephenson Baden-Powell9 of Gilwell10, the founder of the Boy-Scout movement. Incidentally, Baden-Powell was the god-child of Robert Stephenson, son of the father of railways11” To date no identifiable reference of this coach can be found in the CSAR information that I have collected. If this coach was indeed used by General Smuts, it seemed logical that the British Army took possession of it as part of the spoils of war. President Kruger’s coach [later CSAR No. 20003 / SAR No. 17] went to the GOC, Lord Roberts, so why not General Smuts’ coach to the Inspector-General of the SAC? The Imperial Military Railway controlled the railways in the conquered ZAR and OFS. Lt.-General Baden-Powell was a living hero, so it presented no problem to obtain a coach for private use. In war anything is possible! Soldiers are normally

known for their fighting prowess and not for their literary ability! In war not everything is recorded. Later the coach was staged at Modderfontein where the SA Constabulary had its Head Quarters and finally the coach ended up as a club. I felt we have solved the riddle of

the SAC coach, but now we have to prove it! Modderfontein was the first HQ of the SAC. What’s the background referred to? 8 Dr WJ Leyds was the State Secretary of the old ZAR. 9 Lieut. -Gen. and Inspector-General of the SAC. 10 Apart from Baden-Powell’s own Gilwell the HQ of the Scouts on the West Rand is also called Gilwell. 11 See South African Railways and Harbours Magazine March, 1959, p 226 –227. 6 7

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I made several phone calls to the Modderfontein Dynamite Factory. There was a super lady on the switchboard, Ms Susan Kruger, who knew everything I wanted to know. She referred to me to a few people who “knew something about trains.” Speaking to a particular gentleman one day, a lady in his office by chance overheard our conversation and she, later identified as Ms Suzette Kotze, volunteered some information to assist with the enquiry. Ms. Kotze was the historian and she worked in THE DYNAMITE COMPANY MUSEUM, Modderfontein. We had a few chats but the bottom line was the coach had been donated to the Scout Movement somewhere on the West Rand near Florida. On the 20th of October 2000 she wrote me a letter. Attached to the letter, as an annexure, was a document entitled: SOME ASPECTS OF LORD BADEN-POWELL AND THE SCOUTS AT MODDERFONTEIN by KARL KOHLER12 dated 12-9-87. I have taken the following excerpt from Mr. Kohler’s notes she sent me: “””” As the pace of training and posting out from Modderfontein increased more districts were provided with police coverage and it became necessary for General Baden-Powell to visit them and inspect their activities and establishments. Lord Roberts had gained considerable quantities of railway rolling stock when he captured Pretoria and assigned the Transvaal’s State Secretaries’13 coach, which had been used by Dr. Leyds14 [see photo below] and General Smuts, to General BadenPowell. This coach was extensively utilized on regular inspection trips to the far distant ramifications of the Orange Free State and the newly conquered districts of the Transvaal. There was an arrangement with the newly re-instated railway systems that this coach could be shuttled through any system as required by the General. Eventually when he had completed his two tasks at Modderfontein he donated the coach to the factory where it was used for several years to provide transport for employees and their families between Modderfontein and Kempton Park Station. Later its wheels were removed and it was installed as the Bowling Green Pavilion at

12 Mr. Kohler was most probably a scoutmaster and employee of the Modderfontein Dynamite Factory. 13 NZASM and CSAR No.’s unknown at this stage. 14 Refer to “Kruger se Regterhand – Biografie van Dr W.J. Leyds”, by LE van Niekerk.

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the sports grounds, and fitted with a suitable plaque15 commemorating its previous history. In 1959 a second bowling green was constructed and a larger pavilion was required. The Factory Manager at the time, Mr EK Gibson, who was also a keen scout, obtained permission from the board of directors to donate the coach to the scouting establishment at Gilwell Estate, at Florida on the Witwatersrand, where it has been beautifully restored and is the centre of attraction and highly regarded because of its tangible association with Lord Baden-Powell, the founder of the Boy Scout movement. 16 “””””

The next thing to do was to phone the Scout Movement in Pretoria who referred me to their Head Office in Johannesburg who in turn referred me to the Warden at Gilwell Estate, Florida. Photo of carriage at Modderfontein used as clubhouse.

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Two plaques were eventually fitted onto the carriage. See outcome of visit to Gilwell Estate. Kohler p. 3 – 4

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Below is a photo of Dr. and Mrs. Leyds on an official tour by Railway.17

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However,

the windows don’t match the SAC coach. The chairs and windows have the appearance of Pres. Kruger’s coach.

Visit to Gilwell Estate at Florida on the West Rand. On the 20th of November 2000 I visited Gilwell Estate, Hamberg Rd., near Florida Lake on the West Rand. The Warden was not available and spoke to the Warden’s son, Michael Minnaar, who is also a Boy Scout. He took me to inspect the remains of the preserved carriage. It has no wheels and is set on the ground. The carriage did not have balconies at either end. A little roof is built over the carriage to protect it against the elements. It is set amongst some trees. Here is a rough sketch of the carriage:

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The windows of the carriage do not correspond with the original photo. Van Niekerk see photos between p.210 –211.

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Description The carriage has eleven windows on the side and two doors, one in front and one at the back. Each door has a window on each side. There is no balcony. How the windows open remains a mystery to me. The top part of the window has a pane around the glass while the bottom part appears to move down. The carriage was locked and I could not inspect the inside. No visible number or maker’s plate. A silver plate above the door reads: Plate “A” “This coach was rebuilt By Gilten Patrol Leader December 1981 – September 1982” Oval Plate “B” “This coach Built in 1893 Was used by D. Leyds And General Jan C Smuts Secretaries of State South African Republic 23


_______________ This coach was used By General R Baden-Powell As his Private Saloon During 1900 –1902” This is an example of a Pretoria-Pietersburg Railway carriage. It is not the same carriage but it is no doubt a “Reserved” or “Private” carriage. The windows, panelling and the air vents are similar to the SAC carriage. There is ample evidence available that Lord Baden-Powell used the Railways on official SAC business. “He set about performing this inspection by train … had travelled a distance of 13,503 miles by train …”19

The (new) S. A. Railways / Central South African Railways Re-Numbering List The coach in question could be any of the following reserved saloons: CSAR No.

SAR No.

Use

Year Built

Remarks

20010

Did not come

-

-

No Record.

into SAR

This is my bet!

service 20012

Do

Govt. Officers

-

-

Pretoria

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Hillcourt p 230

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20016

22

Reserved

1897

Saloon 20022

23

Do

1897

-

National Monument It is a pity that this coach, which is part of our national heritage, has not been declared a National Monument. It is in the national and international interest to do so. I think that the coach has great potential as a tourist attraction. The Scouts should receive recognition for their good work in preserving the coach. The coach should be utilized as a museum for either South African Constabulary or the Scout Movement or to remember Lord Baden-Powell by. This country needs the special values and virtues for which this great soldier, policeman and scout proudly stood for. We salute his memory! Bibliography • Article by Mr. Holtz in South African Railways and Harbours Magazine, March, 1959 pp 226 – 227. • Conradie, Eric: Support i.e. various letters, photographs, and diagrams on this subject. • Hillcourt, W: Baden-Powell – The Two Lives of a Hero, Heineman, London. • Kohler K: SOME ASPECTS OF LORD BADEN-POWELL AND THE SCOUTS AT MODDERFONTEIN. [Attached to a personal letter received from Ms S Kotze, Museum Curator, Dynamite Co. Museum, dated 20-10-00.] • Rhind, D. Interest through various letters and discussions on this subject. • Van Niekerk, L.E. KRUGER se REGTERHAND – BIOGRAFIE VAN DR W.J. LEYDS. JL van Schaik, Pretoria, 1985. ISBN 0 627 01430 5.

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The SAR Road Motor Transport – known as the “Ar-em-Tea”

Passenger Motor Omnibus - SA Railways Magazine of February 1923 page 159.

Hermanus during 1912

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Umzinto

Above the loco shed at Umzinto, Natal, when my Uncle, Mr DF Malan, was stationed there. Photo taken from his collection.

SAR Fire brigade on Rails

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Photos: P Botha.

South African Railways Police

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Conclusion The South African Railways was a proud institution that readily met the needs of our country in time of War, Rebellion and Strife but and also in time of Peace. The Railways was the barometer of our economy! The SAR was a strategic instrument, which helped to build our country.

The idea of the Railways Gazette of Southern

Africa is only to pay homage to our various railway men and women who served South Africa so proudly and to keep, in a small way, those wonderful times alive! Please send your memories, railway comments, notes and photographs. We will meet next month again! Stay well – Hennie Heymans

© 2010 © 2011

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Ulolwe Vol 1 Issue 1  

The History of the South African Railways & Harbours Vol1#1

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