Volume 26 Number 1 - 1st March 2004

Editor : Alan Pike

The Museum is now on the World Wide Web thanks to my wife Glynis, this is up and running. You'll find the Museum page on www.bathurst.co.za. If you don't have access to the Internet then ask a friend to download and print it for you.

The number of visitors are slowly increasing although we still need to do much more regarding advertising, such as new road signs etc.

We are eagerly awaiting the first batch of ten thousand Glossy Brochurs Glynis kindly compiled. These we aim to distribute to hotels, B & B's, Tourist Information Centres and airports in an effort to attract more visitors. These brochures were made possible through sponsorship, the names of these sponsors appear on the reverse side of the brochure.

We have also placed many laminated posters of the Museum in and around Bathurst and Port Alfred.

A common visitor's comment is "oh, we only saw the Museum when we were almost past". The two beautiful and very well done murals on the walls of Hall 2 will surely change that. I would like to congratulate and thank Anna Woolf and her small team for undertaking and doing a wonderful job. They have certainly created a talking point and I have only heard good comments. As Johan says "She can really bend a wall" remarking on the 3D effect of the murals.

A successful Golf Day was held at the Royal Port Alfred Golf Club last year where we attracted 108 golfers and 28 companies, sponsored tees and greens. Most of the great agricultural orientated prizes of game, mutton, beef, fruit and vegetables were donated by Museum members and friends. Thanks to John and Nadine at Bathurst Butchery for storing, cutting and packaging the meat prizes. Thaks also to Garth, Buks and John for cooking and carving the warthog with which we fed the participants on the day. We plan to hold this event annually and this year's date is Sunday 30th May [2004].

A most enjoyable V.I.P. function was held at the Museum to thank businesses and individuals who have supported or sponsored the Museum in the past. Thanks to Trevor Linforth for cooking the delivious potjie, Cindi Louw for the pot bread, Craig Handley and Mark Elliott for manning the cash bar. This evening was made even more worthwhile by the siz new members we recruited. Four of them "Life Members" which included a couple from "Friesland" in Holland.

Geoff Palmer's book "My Bargain". What can one say! Congratulations to Geoff on this fantastic achievement (and of course Ann as his Muse!) The proceeds from the sale of this book are to be placed in a Trust Fund for the Museum which will ensure the future of the Bathurst Agricultural Museum. I would like on behalf of the Museum to thank Uncle Geoff most sincerely for his generosity in giving us this inheritance. I would also like to take this opportunity and I am sure you all join me in wishing Uncle Geoff Palmer (one of our founder members) a very Happy 90th Birthday in July this year!!

Other activities and projects that were successfully undertaken by some of our members were the dismantling of the Delmore Chicken House which was purchased a few years ago. This is now in the process of being erected at the Museum.

The windmill donated by Huby Webber was dismantled and the tower lowered by the donor, Allen Shields, Didie Hugo and myself. This has been repaired and will be erected soon with the help of Jerry Dixon.

Fred Tyson and myself had an interesting day collecting items from Holling Grove Farm in Southwell. Some of the unusual ones being a spiked tooth roller, cuckoo pan and rails, and a hand operated baler. On the same trip we also collected a M.F. (Vaaljaapie) 2 furrow plough. Thanks to Clyde Wicks for this.

Two three ton loads of farming implements were collected from Mr Roddy Tremeer's farm at "Stony Ridge". Some of these included 3 disc harrows, hay rake, Taylor-way 1 tine ripper on wheels, an old spiked tooth harrow, a GM75 dam scoop, grader blade plus many more items.

Three four ton loads were collected from the Tremeer's Butchery and Old Home in Alice (the late Rhodes Snr and Rhodes Jnr). These comprised of photographic and butchery equipment, farming items, some lovely old furniture and children's toys including a lovely steam roller - steam driven. We have been told the make is "Bing" hand made in Germany c. 1890. This was found in an old fashioned fridge which had been locked for years. I think the prize item here was the "Citroennette" Pedal Car built in France c.1927 with pneumatic tyres, suspension, headlamps, battery, handbrake, pedal driven with bonnet and boot lids that open and an adjustable seat. The owners manual in French has been translated into English. Thanks to John Higgs, Gavin Yendall and Fred Tyson for transporting all these valuable and exciting items to their new home, the Museum.

John Higgs and myself audited tractors at "Strowan" to ascertain what still needed to be moved to Bathurst. A substantial number of tractors and implements still have to be moved. This will only be undertaken once the Delmore Shed has been erected. We also had a pleasant outing to Roy and Yvette Nell's where we had the un-restored "Citroennettee" on display and we also attended Peter Elliott's open day in East London.

At the Museum we have installed an air line from the H H Norton Engine Room Compressor to the Geoff Palmer Hall, the Griffy Griffiths Hall and to Hall 4. This has simplified Johan's job of keeping tyres inflated. At last the "Old Steam Engine" has it's flywheel, crankshaft and flat pulley mounted on bearings and in place.

We are thrilled to report after an introduction through a friend of mine to an ex-Barlows director that we have an arrangement with them to restore and paint (hopefully all) our Caterpillars. Thanks to Potgieter Quarries who have kindly agreed to move them, three at a time, to Barlow's, Port Elizabeth workshops, at a greatly reduced rate.

We once again had a successful stand at the 2003 Bathurst Show. The theme was dairy. The late Royden King was the brains behind the theme and all the hard work putting it all together. Thanks to Sheena for loaning us her "cow", Irene and Winston Lisher for manning the stand and the Show for making it available.

We have started a yard clean up at the Museum and are scrapping some items that are rusted beyond salvaging and restoring. This was partly due to not having sufficient funds for painting and/or storage. Thanks to Johan restoration and painting is continuing. Many of the old machines and implements that had seized are once again turning and operational.

Some of our plans for more storage are well advanced and we hope to have this completed during this year. A building has been donated to us. This needs to be dismantled and re-erected at the Museum.

Another building project is a "Settler Cottage". We already have a number of items of furniture including a 4 poster bed, fireplace, stove, toys and many other kitchen and pantry items some of which are already on display. The Cottage would be built in memory of the Settler women and children who must have endured great hardships. We hope that families with Settler ties will donate in memory of their ancestors, and have their names on an Honours Board in the Cottage. The Museum epitomises the quote by H H Dugmore "Take Root and Grow or Die Where We Stand". They survived and grew. Many of the originaly family names are still alive and well in the Eastern Cape as well as around the world. The Cottage would be a tribute to them. We welcome your thought on this project.

The Museum is still happy to accept any unusual or unique items for display and is also in need of building material, tools, cupboards, shelving etc to improve our storage. Anyone out there with a contact to obtain a "container"??

Enclosed with this Newsletter, which we plan to publish regularly in future, is the A.G.M. Notice, March 26th and a draft of the new constitution we hope to adopt. Please indicate your intention of attending the A.G.M. for catering purposes to Johan 083 490 9624 or Alan 083 627 4351 or e-mail us. Look forward to seeing you at the A.G.M. and please bring a friend along!

Our grateful thanks to all our Sponsors. Please support them, they support us!

I welcome any suggestions for the Newsletter or any items of news you may like to publish to help make it more interesting for our members and friends. I hope this has in someway bought you up-to-date with what has been happening at the Museum. We also need this sort of information for our webpage to make it interesting and topical. Also please let us know of any change of address, postal, fax or e-mail so we can update our database.

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