A HEAD’S UP
Talks happen on the third Tuesday of a month, at the Athenaeum in Newlands.
Outings happen on the last Saturday of a month (usually).
Attendance at Talks as well as Outings is subject to proof of vaccination.
There is NO TALK in May.
VISIT TO RUTH PROWSE ART SCHOOL, WOODSTOCK
DATE: 28th May 2022
TIME: Gather at the entrance by 10.30am
ADDRESS: Elson Road, 5 Birkdale Avenue Woodstock.
How to get there: Birkdale Avenue is on the left hand side of Victoria Road (aka Main Road) if you are travelling from the direction of Rondebosch. It is diagonally opposite Salt River Road. There is a robot on the corner and a small sign saying Ruth Prowse Centre. Elson is the first turning to the right.
To quote Hans Fransen: “Roodebloem is the example nearest to central Cape Town of a homestead with forecourt surrounded by outbuildings. This, together with its highly interesting history makes its preservation extremely desirable.”
The farm’s history begins in 1661 when it was granted to Hendrik Lacus, but there is no record of anyone living on the farm before Dietrich Potter who owned the farm during the late 17th century. He probably built the first structure that was subsequently added on and changed by the owners who followed him.
The outing will be lead by John Rennie who carried out extensive restorations at Roodebloem which were completed in 2006.
John graduated in 1966 and in addition to working on modern buildings, to us he is important for his long association with the restoration of many historic buildings, most lately as part of the partnership Rennie Scurr Adendorff Architects.
His many projects ranged from farmhouses, such as Stettyn and Nova Constantia to large city projects such as the Cape Town City Hall and the Drill Hall.
With regard to John’s work at the Ruth Prowse Art School, Mike Scurr writes:
“The award-winning Ruth Prowse Art School, Woodstock, Cape Town (conservation work completed in 2006) provides a clear reference point to John’s philosophy and recent work.
A c1915 concrete vaulted balcony structure (possibly by Salt River Cement Works) replaced an earlier version from the mid 19th century which had been captured by Arthur Elliot c1910. Previous heritage opinion had been to remove the decaying concrete structure and to “restore” the original form based on the photographic evidence.
In John’s words (Rennie Scurr Adendorff project document dated 2007), “sacrificing the lively and generous near century-old work, now so much a part of the whole seemed to be far too Philistine!
Extensive chiseling away of old repairs and bursting rib spalls confirmed the intriguing ingenuity and informed the remedial route.”
Much of the above text was taken from a comprehensive overview of John’s work which appeared in the tribute journal published by the Vernacular Architecture Society of South Africa Number 24 September 2011. Also available at Vassa.org.za
References: The old buildings of the Cape by Hans Fransen
PLEASE NOTE: The school follows strict Covid rules. Masks must be worn and all visitors must be fully vaccinated – bring you vaccination card in case checking is required.
OUTINGS ARE FOR PAID UP MEMBERS ONLY
Wear badges with BLUE tags. Wear masks and sanitise when we enter buildings.
A REMINDER ABOUT ATTENDING OUTINGS
As a point of etiquette, if you are interested in attending an outing but somehow can’t make it on the day, please remember to alert the organiser in advance – so as to free up your spot for another eager taker.
BE AN EARLY BIRD AND … BOOK FOR SEP NOW
Book your place on the Vernacs Away Weekend!
Read all about it here: Fynbos Notice
Space is limited. So sign up now!
SUBSCRIPTION FEES 2022
VASSA’s year starts in March 2022
Rates are being held at previous years’ fees.
Single member R250
Family membership R400
SACAP accreditation membership R500
Click here for HOW TO JOIN / PAY
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They are always on the look out for items for the newsletter … so if you have been anywhere, are aware of any newsworthy item or have photographs or anything to share, please do so.
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