The Jura, Scotland - Southern African branch.
Data capture and research notes. A work in progress.
RHODESIANA. Anecdotal. A photograph in the album of Ida Fletcher was for a number of years somewhat perplexing; more so for someone with a slight experience of Australia but not enough of Matabeleland history. The photo shows a stagecoach by a tin building with mopani trees around, and some rough looking characters.The coach is leaving Geelong. But wait a minute; that's in Victoria. Did we spread mopani over there while they were spreading bluegums everywhere else? [In Western Australia if you want to feel a bit homesick half close your eyes and squint at some redgum or jarrah scrub. You could be in Lupane.] Ida's sister Annie came to Rhodesia in 1895 in a Zeederburgh coach like the one in the photo. And it was possible to come via Geelong, in a roundabout way of thinking. At some point between Fort Tuli and Bulawayo on the old road there must have been a turnoff going to Geelong Mine, one of the earliest mines in the country. Records from the time show that it might well have justified a coach service; perhaps a subservice from the turnoff? [Further research required]. An article from "The Sketch" is interesting and amusing - for its old style of journalism, but mostly for showing the state of things at that time in the country under the Company. Achievement, excitement - and then the looming reality facing British investment interests. A reality which shaped the course of the country's politics for almost three decades to come. [Neil Fletcher. Nannup, Western Australia. 2016.] ======== POSTSCRIPTS: "Geelong was named in 1827, with the name derived from the local Wathaurong Aboriginal name for the region, Jillong, thought to mean "land" or "cliffs". The area was first surveyed in 1838, three weeks after Melbourne." ex Wikipaedia. ---------------------------------- [Geelong Mine, Rhodesia. Map: Rhodesia SF - 35- 8. Ref. point QG 40 75 Approx: 5.2km North of Jessie Hotel/Siding. Approx 29 deg 15min E, 21deg S. On west side of the Umzingwani R.] [For about 25 km west of West Nicholson maps show a dearth of mines.They become plentiful again in the area both sides of the Tuli River. Perhaps the coach ran between the Zeederberg route to Byo and the Gelong mine area. See article saying Geelong was the oldest producer in the area.] ------------------------------------- Where material appears without attribution it is because the information is lacking or unknown. It can be rectified through contact with this website. Corrections, contributions, etc. are invited. =========== Last Modified 26/7/2017 ===========

Coach Leaving Geelong

Article from "The Sketch", Nov. 16 1898


Annie Fletcher's account of Zeedeburgh coachtrip to Bulawayo, 1895.
Copyright © Neil Fletcher 2007-2017.
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