Following my trip to Heidelberg earlier this year, I was determined to head out there again for a second look. I had missed some of the historical sites on that visit, and when the Johannesburg Photowalkers advertised a walk in Heidelberg I jumped at the chance. Their itinerary included the Klipkerk, Methodist Church, old jail, Kloof Cemetery and a walk around the area where the Town Hall was. I was itching to go back to Kloof Cemetery and to pick up the Concentration Camp Memorial I had missed in January at the Camp Cemetery.
I was led to believe that the graves were restored before these images were taken so I have no idea what condition they may have been in before.
The graves are mostly unmarked, and I do not know whether this is the original position of them or whether they are merely symbolic.
There are markers on some of the graves, but many of the markers are illegible after so many years.
I had originally missed the plaque that was on the road outside the camp (I have no idea how I missed it). but detoured to photograph it when I returned to Heidelberg in May 2012
Between my original visit and this one a memorial wall had been erected with the names of the inmates of the camp that are buried in these two cemeteries.
Again it is difficult to know what graves are of victims, although if they were children and died between 1900 and 1902 the odds are quite large that they were. There are a few mounds amongst the graves and these had been “restored” so I can make the assumption that these were graves associated with the camp.
I took a lot of photographs in this cemetery, and have added them to the relevant pages on the Eggsa website, but it is worthwhile making a return visit there one day, because hindsight often reminds one of the images that you should have taken but neglected to take.
I returned to Heidelberg in May 2012 and revisited the old cemetery and a number of other places in the town. Read about that visit here
The museum is housed in the old station building which originally opened as a station in October 1895 and served as such till 1961. It is a beautiful old building, but in dire need of restoration. The last restoration being done in 1975 when the original transport museum came into being.
Behind her, and shadowed by a building is a C-16, first class balcony coach 737, built in 1921 by Metropolitan Carriage and Wagon Company in England. She is very dark inside and my camera really struggled to work in her, a torch should be on your agenda if you intend visiting the museum. Like the other passenger coach, she looks very intact on the inside and her compartments and woodwork are beautiful.
The last major piece of rolling stock is the Class 16CR-816. Cosmetically she is in a reasonably good condition because she has been under cover, unfortunately the usual copper theft has robbed her of many of her pipes, and her cabside plate, but her cab is intact.
The assistant curator at the museum took me around and was very eager that more people come to visit it so that it can be put back on the map. Usual office hours apply, although the museum is closed over a weekend. Potential visitors are asked to call the museum first at 016-341-2091, and ask to speak to Sipho to arrange a visit. I do advise taking a torch along, especially if you wish to see the interior of 737. The coaches are very dusty inside, and everything is not perfect, but I live in hope. The fact that we still have these coaches is a good enough reason for the museum to reopen.
Special thanks must go to Sipho who showed me around, to Piet Conradie for his excellent blog, and to Carlos Das Neves Vieira for his information about the coaches.