TOPIC: A vernacular restoration: Towerwater Aan de Breede Rivier
SPEAKERS: Thys Hattingh and Keith Loynes
DATE: Tuesday, 21 October 2014
TIME: 19h45 for 20h00
VENUE: The Athenaeum, Boundary Terraces, Newlands, at the intersection of Mariendahl and Campground Roads

Our Chairman, Thys Hattingh and Treasurer, Keith Loynes, will present their personal restoration project which commenced in 1991 and which is on-going. The much-altered buildings, a closed-H house (circa 1820s) and what had been a longhouse and later outbuilding, had been unoccupied since 1987 and were facing inevitable demolition. As young enthusiastic and inspired Vernackers, they decided to devote twenty-five years to researching the history, sensitively restoring and preserving the remains of a nineteenth century farm werf on the loan farm Aan de Breede Rivier, later to be known as the quitrent grant Boschemansdrift.
Much of the work, including the reconstruction of a werf garden, was undertaken in person, researching, learning and applying traditional skills in the process. Professional traditional specialist trades were also enlisted in the process and included, the reconstruction of a unique traditional roof structure, the work of a coppersmith, blacksmith and a Batavian floor-tile maker, traditional brick-making (and a qualified wagon-maker!).  Visiting friends over the years (some also Vernackers) have also found themselves with rolled-up sleeves lending a helping hand!
The presentation will touch on aspects of land tenure, architectural history, restoration principles, challenges and approaches with specific reference to the project.