THE DATE:       8 August 2017
FEATURE:        KZN: A Photographic and Historical Record – Hugh Bland

Between 2012 and 2017 Hugh Bland has diligently compiled an amazing and greatly underrated photographic record of significant historical, heritage and architectural places in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Come and hear more about this amazing project from SA National Society member Hugh Bland. We promise you will be astounded at the value and depth of Hugh’s compilation with its more than 65000 images.

Extraordinary General Meeting
Members are reminded that there will be an Extraordinary General Meeting immediately before Hugh Bland talks about his amazing website. It would be smart for us to be seated by 1710 so we do not lose any of Hugh’s astonishing story.

This meeting is solely to discuss changes to the Society’s constitution, which has been sent to members along with the notice of the meeting. Please read the proposed constitution which has already been circulated, carefully and raise any questions before the meeting by email to either:

Memory Coutts – Secretary
Hardy Wilson – Chairman 

Click to download the proposed 2017 SA National Society Constitution SANS 2017 Constitution – for approval no sig page EGM 2017-08-08

Another amazing website found when researching a replica Stagecoach

Reporting as a member of the Railway History Society (RHS) some of us have been trying to find people who can restore a replica stagecoach. This particular coach was paid for by the City of Durban and used during the 300th Anniversary in 1952 to take a group of ‘Voortrekkers’ to the Cape. The coach is at the Msunduzi Museum in Pietermaritzburg.  Paul Yates who is an enthusiastic RHS member who spends half his time in London and half in South Africa came across the following website when researching stagecoaches. It is highly recommended and packed full of historical material that should appeal to members.  Click to view Graham Leslie McCallum  

Wikipedia has some excellent information about stagecoaches so follow this link to learn more Some of you will doubtless be amazed at the size of the later vehicles which in the main were displaced in the UK and the USA by railways. One firm made such excellent and long lasting vehicles that their second hand coaches were exported to both Australia and South Africa decades after being built. The first Concord stagecoach was built in 1827 by Abbot and Downing. This firm used leather strap braces under its stagecoaches which gave a swinging motion instead of the jolting up and down of a spring suspension. So we are delighted to report that a quiet and anonymous supporter of the Society has arranged for a KZN tannery to produce the same special leather to rebuild the springs as its contribution to the restoration.

But that’s only part of the story for we now need a sponsor to help with the refurbishment of the vehicle. There is a skilled craftsman capable of doing the work and a first step might be to get him down from Gauteng to examine and quote for the work. Is there any member who would consider helping or knows of someone who could help?

Hardy Wilson 

We have encouraged members to sign up to the weekly newsletter from the Heritage Portal but the latest edition screams for your attention.

Do you know of a struggle site that is neglected? Is mining activity threatening ancestral graves? Is your local town hall standing empty and abandoned? Is gentrification irreparably altering the character of your community? Is a museum threatened with closure? Tell us about these sites and the local efforts to save them. We’d like to share your story with the rest of South Africa – and hopefully inspire action.

For the month of August, the Heritage Monitoring Project (HMP), in association with The Heritage Portal and the Heritage Association of South Africa, is calling on South Africa to identify our most endangered heritage sites.

This is the second year that the campaign will be running. In 2016, the sites that made it onto the list included a pre-colonial archaeological site, living cultural landscapes, historic colonial forts, a mine workers’ hostel and a 19th century bridge  (click here to view).

The purpose of the campaign is to identify and raise awareness of cultural heritage sites that are at significant risk through natural or manmade forces.

“We believe that cultural conservation management cannot be left to the state or lobbyists on their own but is firstly, about communities actively being encouraged and empowered to take action as primary custodians and a first line of defence of our national estate. This can only be achieved if we highlight stories that can inspire other communities, gain media exposure for specific causes, raise awareness among potential funders and heritage authorities and encourage the general public to take action by supporting advocacy campaigns or donating time, money or providing other forms of support. We also realise that heritage conservation is often about David and Goliath battles where communities are pitched against powerful developers, mining interests, industrial lobby groups or even the state. Here too, it’s important that these cases receive all the publicity and awareness they can get”, says Jacques Stoltz, co-founder of the HMP.

Sites of cultural significance that are within the territorial borders of the Republic of South Africa may be submitted for consideration. Sites may range from cultural landscapes to individual buildings or structures, to groups of structures, public monuments or memorials, open spaces, archaeological sites, palaeontological sites, significant or rare geological sites or similar.

Submissions will have to reach us by midnight on the 28th of August 2017. Click here to view the nomination form.

For more information contact: Jacques Stoltz – 083 455 9688 |

For help with the nomination form or to submit your nomination form via email contact James Ball –

Submitted by Robert Suberg

Pietermaritzburg Heritage – Highway Heritage – SA National Society
Joint Outing to Nagle Dam

A big thank you is due to Simon Haw and Pietermaritzburg Heritage Society for organising this most successful outing.  43 people participated and we discovered there were several talented photographers taking shots of this brilliantly engineered facility. Thank you to everyone who collectively sent several dozen photos. Simon Haw’s notes have been loaded onto the Society website so we need add nothing further about the dam but here are one or two of those photos together with apologies for being unable to show many of them.

Hugh Glen took this photo of the diversion channel which is empty at present but a raging torrent when the Umgeni is in flood
Roger Bailey was in creative mood when catching this ghostly shot of the access tunnel which runs through the dam wall


This photo by Graham Allan of the dam and its environs shows why the area around the dam is both picnic site and popular nature reserve

SA National Society 110th Anniversary Celebration

And please mark your diaries now because the Society’s September evening will not be held at KwaMuhle Museum but Muckleneuk. Dr Killie Campbell passed away in September 1965 so the Society always celebrates her life and awards its bursary in her honour during the month of September if it possibly can.

We promise that the celebrations will be true celebrations but it will be an invitation only evening when members will be given priority and booking will be essential.

Hardy Wilson – Chair 2017

This month’s newsletter will have a third part when we write up the story of The Mazeppa – the intriguing history with its complex web of relationships which we enjoyed so very much. Hopefully Tony Voss can be persuaded to talk again when he is next in Durban.

Click here to download this newsletter as a pdf SANS Newsletter & Program Part 2 2017-08

Click here to download the first part of the August Newsletter & Program SANS Newsletter & Program 2017-08

Newsletter & Program for August 2017 – Part 2