Welcome. This is a rather unprecedented development- sending out a newsletter in January!

Our first talk of 2018 will be taking place on the third Tuesday in February, the 20th, and our first outing will be on Saturday 24th February. Details will follow at the beginning of February.

However the terrible fires that have ravaged the Western Cape have taken their toll on our vernacular heritage, so we thought that we needed to bring these to your attention if you had not seen the images in the newspaper or on Facebook. In addition, we have seen damage to one of our local heritage buildings.


Tragically two farms in the Paarl area were lost in the fires: Druk My Niet and Kleinbosch Augusta.
The photographs of the fire are courtesy of Sullivan Photography, while the last picture is one the John Kramer took in 2011.


Jim Hislop reports:
“I thought I’d bring this to your attention. I went to Oude Molen farm village in Pinelands today to check on the state of the 18th-century mill house (where King Cetshwayo was kept prisoner during the 19th century). The one side wall has collapsed and has apparently been like that for about four months, according to the manageress of the cafe there. She said they were told by the municipality that because the repairs would cost more than R10 000, the job has to go to tender. That was months ago, and nothing has been done since, although interior support was installed when this first happened.

The damage was supposedly caused by a leak in the roof that penetrated the wall, which then collapsed.  Any advice on how to speed up the process and get some action on this before the winter rainy season? Please feel free to spread the word”.

HANS FRANSEN 1931 – 2017

Former chairman Hans Fransen died 11 December.
André van Graan spoke of his formidable – and irreplacable legacy: Hans Fransen Eulogy 2017
Our thoughts go to his wife Aneen, daughter Kari and her family.


It is with sadness that we note the passing of Jan Niewmeijer.
Jan and his wife Maisie were members of the Vernacs for many years but with their health deteriorating they stopped being members a couple of years ago. We remember Jan’s insightful comments and his and Maisie’s enthusiasm for our vernacular heritage.