Our forthcoming visit to Swellendam and district follows on previous visits, the first being for the third annual general meeting of VASSA in 1966.

We were there in 1994, as part of our 30th anniversary celebration, and again in 2000. On that occasion we visited places in the town and to the west of the town.

This time we shall be exploring little-known vernacular places in the Swellendam district between the N2 and the coast, mostly on the eastern side of the Breede River.
There’s much material for photographing!

On day one we go to Sandkraal, which has a restored Victorian homestead in which the owners live. Adjacent, on their property, is Koesanie, with an earlier farmstead as well as its first house, now in ruins but showing interesting materials and construction.

On day two we shall go walkabout in the town, seeing a restored house in Railton, the suburb above the N2 and the railway, as well as looking at the Drostdy Museum complex and several buildings restored by Rupert Erskine. On day three, before we take to the N2, we visit a longhouse at Uitvlug, west of the river.

And there’s more in store: along the way, beyond Riviersonderend, is an 18th-century farm near Stormsvlei and another unusual and exciting find. These visits are still under wraps, as also the famous van Reenen farmsteads at Rhenosterfontein and its neighbour, both of which were visited by the legendary Lady Anne Barnard in 1796.

Participants will receive further details by e-mail.
Travel is by bus; departure at 0830 on Saturday 30 April; return at about 1800 on Monday 2 May.

Meals include picnics, meals at interesting local restaurants and a braai at Rotterdam (with a beautifully restored house and old and new outbuildings) near Buffeljagts.

Accommodation is in the thatched municipal chalets in which we have stayed on several occasions.

Cost: R1000 for travel by bus to and from Swellendam and to venues in the district, accommodation, and several meals. Payment in full by Friday 8 April, please.

A few places are still available. Last-minute bookings will be welcomed. Deadline is 1500 on Tuesday 5 April.
New bookings and enquiries: please phone Joy Saxon 021 674 4717 / 073 024 2747