Newspaper Cuttings from the Eastern Cape - W
EP Herald, 9 Mar 1984
Granny WALSH is 94 years old by Anne ROGERS
The oldest resident of Laubscher Park retirement village in Port Elizabeth turned 94 yesterday, and entertained numerous friends and some family members in her tiny cottage.
Mrs. Susanna WALSH - who was born on a farm in the Western Cape, but settled in Port Elizabeth in 1912 just after she was married - said yesterday she was still as fit as a fiddle because she enjoyed hard work and did 'exercises every day in the bath".
A former dressmaker, she still finds time to sew and crochet, despite failing eyesight and enjoys visitors - except on Wednesdays when she attends "a Salvation Army meeting in the morning and a church meeting in the evening."
Historic Table Farm, outside Grahamstown provided a gracious setting for the 80th birthday celebrations of Mrs. Louie WHITE, old DSG scholar and Old Rhodian, and the daughter of Rhodes mathematics professor James MARTIN.
Mrs. WHITE is the widow of the fourth T. C. WHITE to own the farm, originally bought by 1820 Settler Major WHITE in 1827. Their womenfolk were all keen gardeners' and Louie WHITE is no exception. She was responsible for planting a tremendous number of trees on the farm, renovating the old mill and the garden below it, building stone bridges and designing the new entrance gates to Table Farm. She also assisted her son Francis in writing a record of the family's history.
Her three sons, Tim, Francis and Adrian and their wives, Aileen, Carol and Judy, organised the party which was attended by; approximately 80 guests. From Bedford came Mr. and Mrs. Egerton WHITE, from Cradock Mr. Castle WHITE and from Port Alfred Mr. Donald WHITE and Mr. Cliff CARTER and his wife Lovell. Lovell has been a friend of Louie's for 68 years and Cliff proposed the toast. The most senior guest was Mrs. Nell WHITE, a perky 96-year-old. Many of the dozen grandchildren were there, too. Through their BOWKER ancestry there were numerous relatives present, BARBERs, MITFORD-BERBERTONs and NORTONs, to name a few.
The spacious rooms of the homestead in which Louie WHITE and her late husband Tommy lived, are furnished almost exclusively with antiques and fascinating bric-a-brac which she bought over a lengthy, period at auction sales. "I got the reputation of being a bit of a menace at sales," she recalls with a smile and she can quote chapter and verse about each purchase.
WHITE, Eleanor Gertrude (aka Nell). born December 15. 1883, died in the Settlers Hospital, Grahamstown, on April 26 1983. She was the widow of Percival Lorraine WHITE, she has two daughters, Eleanor FLEMMING and Louise MULLINS of 5 Bedford Street, Grahamstown. The funeral service will be held in the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. George, Grahamstown on Thursday, April 28 1883 at 2.30pm, followed by interment at Table Farm. Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent to the library for the Blind, Red Cross, or the SG Guild.
The early death of her mother was directly responsible for bringing the late Mrs. Eleanor Gertrude ("Nell") WHITE to South Africa and eventually to Grahamstown. Mrs. WHITE died suddenly in Settlers' Hospital this week, aged 99, and will be buried today at Table Hill Farm, where her husband is buried.
Mrs. WHITE was born in Britain. After her mother's death, she was adopted by an aunt, whose husband was sent to South Africa by his firm, "Alien and Hanbury's" His family, including young Nell, accompanied him to the Cape Colony.
Nell took a job as companion to two small girls in Cape Town. Her next post, companion to five small children brought her to Vaalkrantz, home of Mr. Joseph CURRIE, in the Grahamstown district. Next door was the farm of Mr. George WHITE, father of Mr. Percy WHITE. He and Nell became engaged and were married by the Rev. Bob MULLINS in 1908 at St. Andrew's Preparatory School.
Mr. Percy WHITE farmed sheep, cattle, race horses and ostriches with his father. When the feather market collapsed, however, their farms were sold, with the exception of a small farm on the Fish River, where they continued until Percy's death. Mrs. WHITE then moved to Grahamstown to live with her daughter, Mrs. Louise MULLINS, wife of Mr. C. G."Griff" MULLINS, long-time headmaster of St Andrew's Prep.
Mrs. WHITE's elder daughter is Mrs. Eleanor FLEMMING, wife of a Zimbabwe Senator. Mrs. WHITE was an honorary member of the DSG Guild.
Herald, 25 July 2005
Fascinating story behind old mill ruins.
by Ivor Markman
Those were not the days for one persevering soul who seems to have found his hell instead of his earth in the Eastern Cape. The new immigrant had to deal with the consequences of unpredictable winds, drought and fire.
Standing alone on a barren hillside above the Waterkloof, north of Adelaide, are the ruins of an old mill. It doesn't look like much, but it's origins are fascinating.
Isaac WIGGILL was one of Bradshaw's party who arrived with his wife and four children in the Eastern Cape in 1820. Like many of the settlers, he struggled to make a success of his farm and, eventually, being a wheelwright and wagon-maker by trade, he moved to Grahamstown.
WIGGILL decided to erect a windmill on the crest of a hill on the south side of town, beyond the old Albany Hospital. It was a round timber tower, surrounded by light boarding. His residence and workshop were included in the design.
One day Isaac and his son, Eli, went to the woods some kilometres away to collect timber for use in their trade. At the same time Isaac's wife decided to go into the town to do some shopping. Unfortunately, the design of the house was not good and the fireplace, which was used for a multitude of purposes, was built too close to the building. A sudden gust of wind sent embers flying onto the mill and by the time the family returned home, all they found of their home was a pile of smouldering
charcoal. The main building, the pillar, the millstones and the sails of the mill remained for a while after the collapse.
Thanks to the research of Eric TURPIN, an eyewitness account exists of what followed next. "The sails, fanned by the wind, flew round with frantic velocity like some giant, fighting with the fire until, becoming burnt at the bottom, they came down with a crash," said a local old-timer, Mr. C. WEBB.
The WIGGILLs lost everything including most of the tools of their trade. The Landdrost took pity on the family and offered assistance. WIGGILL asked for some land in the valley to the west of the town so that he could build a watermill. Without thinking too much about the future, the well-meaning Landdrost granted his wish and gave him a piece of land that became known as the Waterkloof, possibly somewhere below the Grey Reservoir.
"Now WIGGILL," said the Landdrost, "you can consider this your property as much as if you had bought it."
So WIGGILL built a little watermill close to the water. He also built a millpond and millrace with which he could drive the mill. The system worked well for a while, but eventually the Landdrost was transferred to Cape Town and one of the periodic droughts set in causing the streams to turn into a trickle.
Now there wasn't enough water to fill the millpond without depriving the local inhabitants of their share of the water. Obviously, they protested and the water fiscal was sent to break down the millpond wall. Undaunted, WIGGILL built another windmill, not far from the watermill and when the drought ended, he was given permission to rebuild the millpond. Apparently Isaac was able to earn quite a decent living by running both mills.
Later, WIGGILL decided to convert the watermill into a residence of sorts. Together with the windmill he let them out to a Berkshire man. All went well for a while till WIGGILL asked that a young man be allowed to grind his load of corn. The Berkshire man agreed, but when the young man ground his corn he was in too much of a hurry. He dumped his grain in the hoppers and set the sail to spin as fast as the wind would drive them. The older man kept telling him to slow down. "Don't put on so much power," he said, you'll set the mill afire."
The youngster refused to listen and by midnight the corn was ground. The young man hopped on his cart and drove away. An hour later the mill was ablaze. A strong west wind was blowing in the direction of the thatched cottage and very soon embers had set the other building on fire as well. Fortunately, the Berkshire man was able to get his family and belongings out in time. So ended another of WIGGILL's endeavours.
WIGGILL was a persevering soul and he decided to move on. Detail and dates are scanty, but by 1843 he was in the Kaal Hoek Valley on which both a windmill and watermill were erected on the farm Thorn Valley, off the Bush Neck road to Fort Fordyce. The windmill had a rather unusual design in that instead of having rotors in front of the building, they were situated on top, turning like a helicopter's blades. This way, no matter which direction the wind blew, it could always be utilised.
A visit to the Waterkloof area led to the discovery of the mill and the meeting of the present farm owner, Brian MILES. "My father, who is quite old now, remembers talking to an old man when he was a youngster and he described the blades as being horizontal, not vertical," said MILES. "Unfortunately, I don't know if there are any paintings of the mill. All that is known is that it was a ruin by the end of the Eighth Frontier War," he said.
Isaac WIGGILL survived the Frontier Wars and was eventually compensated by the government for the land confiscated in the Waterkloof in Grahamstown.
Isaac WIGGILL died at Uitenhage on February 21, 1863, at the age of 73.
SOURCE: Grahamstown - Hub of the Eastern Cape, 1967, by Eric W Turpin.
Herald, 16 Jan 2004
100 years ago
News from the week ending, 17 Jan 1904.
While a Transvaal game-ranger named WOLHUTER was returning from a patrol along the Oliphants River about an hour after sunset, his dog barked at something, which in the dusk the ranger took to be reedbuck. The next instant he saw that it was a lion preparing to spring, and turning his horse sharply, he managed to escape it. But he was thrown from his horse, which at once galloped off with the lion in pursuit.
Before WOLHUTER had to time to realise what was happening, another lion was upon him. Almost before he had reached the ground the second animal had picked him up, gripping him by the right shoulder, in such a position that he was facing upwards, with his legs and body dragging underneath the lion. The animal trotted off with him down the path.
"My thoughts were horrible, as at that time I saw no possible way of escape", WOLHUTER recalled. "The lion took me nearly 200 yards, my spurs all the time catching in the ground until the leathers broke. Suddenly I bethought me of my sheath knife, which I carry on my belt behind my right hip. As the lion had hold of my right arm and shoulder I had to reach behind with my left hand with a matter of some difficulty, but I at last succeeded, and I am sure no one ever gripped anything so tight as I did that knife after I got it out.
"On reaching a large tree with overhanging roots the lion stopped, and I stabbed him twice in the right side with my left hand, near where I judged the heart to be. "The lion immediately dropped me, and I again struck him in the throat with all my force, evidently severing some large artery or vein, as the blood poured over me. He jumped back, and stood two or three yards off facing me, and growling."
As WOLHUTER stood facing the lion, waiting for his final spring, which must have meant his inevitable death, the thought suddenly came to him of the influence of the human voice upon wild animals. And in the depths of the primeval forest there was presented the astounding spectacle of a wounded man shouting at a wounded lion. Calling him the most opprobrious
epithets he could think of, abusing him for dear life.
After a few moments the lion turned and went slowly away. The growl grew fainter as he went, and then became groans. These too ceased after a while. Then the lion turned, and WOLHUTER scrambled up a tree as rapidly as he could. He was hardly securely seated, some 12 feet from the ground, when the other lion came back to the spot where he had been seized, and tracked him by his blood to the foot of the tree.
"He had been pursued throughout by my dog, a large, rough, and very courageous animal, with whom I had often hunted lions previously. I now shouted to my dog, and set him on the lion. He came up barking furiously, and the lion retreated, but came back again and made a rush at the dog, who dodged him and continued to bark all round him, until presently the lion went off. By this time I was feeling faint, and tied myself to the tree for fear of losing consciousness and falling off."
Soon after this his assistants found him and helped him walk the four miles back to the camp.
Nostalgia and entertainment made a fine blend during the centenary celebrations of a beautiful Grahamstown building now named Jacques House, Kingswood, but originally the Wesleyan High School for Girls. The foundation stone was laid in February 1882 by the Honourable George WOOD, so it was appropriate that the guest speaker should be his granddaughter, Miss Bay WOOD. Her mother was a foundation member of the old WHS which closed its doors in 1928 during a recessionary period. Miss WOOD and her sister Mary, Mrs. LESLIE, who came up from Port Alfred for the occasion, are possibly the only surviving grandchildren of an 1820 Settler.
George WOOD was just 14 years old but already an articled apprentice when he came to this country. He was only 18 when he married 15-year-old Susan DONOVAN. He achieved great honours in the Settler community, eventually becoming a Member of the Legislative Assembly.
Further WOOD relatives there were Mrs. Gay ZEEDERBERG of Port Elizabeth, Mrs. Helen DOBROWSKY of Salem and Mrs. Alison ARNOLD of Bathurst, as well as present Kingswoodiennes, Elizabeth ARNOLD and Anne PURDON. After tea everyone moved into the garden where senior pupils in period costume read excerpts from old WHS magazines. There was some community singing and then a selection of items by the Kingswood brass band. Conducting the band was deputy headmaster Mr. Stewart THOMPSON who, assisted by his wife Ann, was in charge of Jacques House for eight years. Ann had spent 22 years there prior to her marriage. It was her father and her late mother Irene who started up the building again as a home from home for scores of small boys when Kingswood took it over after being shut for several years. Brookshaw Home for senior citizens was originally his family residence, Woodville, and Miss Josie WOOD, founder of Grahamstown's Library for the Blind, was one of his descendants.
Introduced by Kingswood's headmaster, Mr. Gordon TODD, Bay WOOD gave her delightful address to about 100 listeners.