----- Original Message -----
From: Ian McAnleister
Sent: Thursday, July 05, 2007 12:50 PM
Flick you are naughty
Where are the perfect scans of the old letters of PF, the stories of Alistair, the recollections of Rory and all the rest?
In the meantime, who is the bridesmaid? [Photo:- Wedding Allistair and Loraine (Kenneth-Rosalie-Wendy Collection)].
You are right and I am feeling very bad.....the letters are still in boxes packed away as we haven't replaced the cupboard in which they lived yet! This house is beginning to remind me a lot of Umvutcha - it takes 'years' for things to get done....it is significant - I suppose - that its the things I need to do that take a long time!!
I do have some photos and stuff I could scan - but the scanner also hasn't been reinstalled (so its not only me!!) but I have been jotting down memories etc
In the pic below the bridesmaid is/was (she died a few years ago) Jill de la Harpe - Moms oldest brother's oldest daughter.
I also saw there was a question about Fletcher Cottage in.......can't remember the road name, but easy to find out, it was the one that ran between St Peters junior school and the senior school - where I spent many unhappy years. I knew the house well, it had a wonderful cellar for making a ghost house at the annual Morning Market.
[Can you make a bit of a drawing on your typewriter/Paint of the general layout of the two parts of the school and where the house was.
Rosalie/Wendy told me a week or so ago that the house became a Sick Bay for the School. I had heard it was a library.Maybe we need to ask somebody to just go and see and photograph what is still remaing on that stand - if anything. I know the RA house was demolished. So we need a bit of plan from you to identify the stand closely with the school.
What I had been told:- Pat had bought the stand - it was a "double stand". I speculate there was already a house on it and that it was not DIY. I always heard that RA put up his pine house on the same stand later. This house it being referred to as the Rinderpest House on this Archive site - for reasons see John etc etc.
Pat bought a stand in xxx for pounds. I dont know if this was the same stand. Need to find out.
Re the Rinderpest House: on this site we do not have a positive identification. see the RA houses forensic. Chud Hull is going to provide an image of the RA house, some stage soon I hope. Do you have any photos of the RA house? Also have a think about the problem of the house called Umvutcha in the link
There is also a bit of a mystery re the PF house - see PF House forensics. Over the years as a kid we were occasionally driven past the PF house and it was pointed out and we just said "Oh yes" like kids do. We were probably in the Avenue rather than the Street, and I seem to remember looking west at it. I believe there was also an outbuilding that a maid lived in (Sheila anecdote: asked one night who was in the building the maid said "I've got a man..."). My recollection of the RA house was that it was "in the Street" (4th?) as mentioned in the extract below.
Rob imported the whole house - I'm not sure if it was from overseas and it was landed in SA or if was SA timber, but it was definitely "imported."
It was made entirely of wood and all the pieces had been cut, cured, shaped/carved etc at the place of origin - it was probably the first and last modular DYI house in the country as Rhodesia and Zimbabwe!
It was transported to Byo by wagon - when it arrived none of it was damaged but there were a few pieces missing - which infuriated Rob no end. When he tried to find out where they had gone missing the Wagoner said they had never been there and the shippers (shippers is the word I'm sure Dad used - I'm sure it wasn't suppliers) said the munts had stolen them!! They weren't important bits but Rob was a perfectionist and they always irritated him. The ones I can remember Dad pointing out to me were the down railings of the verandah on the street side - at the one end it looked -- l l l l l l. Those were the only ones I ever remember him mentioning - I suppose if you are a perfectionist and like equal spaces it would be an on going irritation -- might even irritate a non perfectionist! Can you do the drawing of the shape of the house, verandah etc in relation to 4th and Lawley?
I was just about to send when I remembered a book about houses in Byo (at least my books are back where they should be!) and have some information on the house that I will scan and send when we are up and running - but the details I can now add are - ' ...imported pre-fab, clapboard building... It was brought to Bulawayo in sections from Mafeking, by ox- wagon, having been railed there from Cape Town. It is of Canadian pine. The property occupies the north west corner of Lawley Road /4th Street, Suburbs........'
Does this book give indications of stand numbers in relation to streets? What else is there in it. What about the comparison of the Napier House in Hillside with Umvutcha/
Annie was staying there when the Matabele rebellion started, Rob was in town already and he sent a runner to tell her to get a lift in with ???? who would be coming past the house - she had a "devil of a time trying to sort out Kenneth and Hughie" ( Dad wasn't born and I'm not sure about Ben - I don't think so, [Matabele Rebellion 1896. Ben born 1900. Allistair 1903. NF}. but the older two were very energetic youngsters by all accounts) [Kenneth born 1892. Hugh born 1894. He was a "babe in arms" when Annie came up from Pretoria with her brother Bob in 1895(?)] .- She had managed to gather some supplies - clothes, food etc but not enough by the time the wagon arrived. There were other woman and children on the wagon and they picked up more as they made their way into town.
He said they just made it to safety before the first attack and Annie hid the kids under her skirt, between her petticoats - they all gathered in a laager - not sure where - ?Club ? City Hall - but I always had a picture of an American type fort in my mind when he spoke about it. [See Ida Fletcher Collection] I know there were shortages of food and a lack of clothing changes and it was a hard time.
His account of it was also obviously what he had been told by Rob and Annie and I know Kenneth talked about it because he told me Kenneth told him that he had wanted to see what was going on but "Mother" kept covering him with her skirts.
Strange as it may seem we do not yet have a positive identification of Annie in any photo yet. It would be a great help if you could remedy this as soon as you can. Please have a look at the photo "Xmas at Umvutcha" and comment/identify as you can.
I'm sure that Ben and definitely Dad was born when they were living at that house.They moved to Umvutcha in 1908 - I think Dad turned 4 just after they moved.
[How sure are you.? - I am not arguing - just under the impression that it had been earlier. Interesting. When did they buy Umvutcha?]
Its amazing - how when one starts thinking about all this the memories come flooding back - I can hear his voice - pity he isn't reminding me about all the stuff I've forgotten!
I hope I have atoned a little bit for my sins and you can use some of this stuff. Also hope you are all well - I wrote a long letter to Elwyn yesterday and the electricity tripped .... and it all disappeared - so I went back to bed! Please tell her I've done it once ...I'll do it again!! Soon!!
I am now so enthused and fired up that I would like to take all I have now and use the scanner at work - but I'm at home on sick leave with pneumonia so there might be some awkward questions if I did! I will do it late next week - I have to be in Bloemfontein presenting at a nurses conference at the beginning of the week.
Release Date: 6/7/2007 6:36 AM
Well I have finally moved my butt - slightly!!
I was looking through some stuff and found this - though it's is of very little importance in the bigger scheme of things - I think it's fun and might be of some interest - especially any chicken crazy RA's!
It may also impress some of Pat and Guy Cooper's descendants - Neil do you know if any of them have carried on with the expertise in the fowl field? [Doesn't seem so, Gavin is Soil Chemistry/Science, - but you must read the Rory Page for yourself, and see that anecdotes from you are awaited...]
It's 5 cm in diameter and heavy - Dad gave it to me many years ago, I think I may still have been at school, because I wanted turn it into a pendant but its far too heavy.
Love to all,
[Related threads? : Kenneth report to Annie on Umvutcha livestock, 1913}
Kenneth letter to Annie re buying cock at SA Show}
2nd March 08
The story about Kipling....
He was in Byo and went out to the Umgusa Hotel - situated on the banks of the Umgusa River - I don't know if he went out for the day or if he stayed there, but he drank in the bar, Mom and Dad's bedroom, and he ate in the dining room, the big front room, and when he left he tried to leap over the varandah railings - didn't make it and fell.
I have no idea how true all the details are, but it was evidently recorded somewhere, I have no idea where, that he did spend time at the Umgusa Hotel.
When Dad said they wouldn't be able to fix the dining room ceiling Mom used to joke about it - saying the ceiling might fall on our heads but at least it would be the ceiling that Kipling ate under!!
I have put that bit in italics as there was a newspaper cutting advertising the Hotel or the opening of the Hotel and I seem to remember that phrase from the advert....I don't know where the advert is now, but Mickey may have it - I will ask. I seem to remember that there was some mention of it being an ideal place to spend a honeymoon!
Have you received any work done by Angus (Sir Angus Fletcher USA) on the genealogy of the Fletchers? I found 1959 Xmas card from him saying that he would be sending Mom and Dad a form to fill in for his 'genealogical work of the Fletchers' - I haven't found any sign of the form though.
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