Society of Model Engineers.
1st October 2005
The Rand Society of Model
Engineers (R.S.M.E.) held their annual open day on Saturday 1st October
2005 at their clubhouse in Roodepoort.
For the benefit of overseas readers: The word "Rand" comes from the
Afrikaans name for this area - "Witwatersrand" which translates
loosely to "White Waters Ridge". This is the area of South Africa where
gold was first discovered and is our biggest industrial region.
It consists of a number of towns and cities spread along this
"ridge" of which the most central (and probably best known) is
Johannesburg. Roodepoort is just to the west of Johannesburg. Our unit
of currency is also known as the Rand (ZAR) and this is also named
after this area.
The club covers model steam as well as stationary engines and has
a very nicely laid out model railroad track complete with station,
shunting yard, workshops, bridges and tunnels. Unfortunately I have no
the railroad layout - my interest being on the stationary engine side.
I plan on doing a feature on this club sometime in the future and will
include the railroad then.
On the engine side the club boasts a very nice collection of restored
engines and equipment on permanent display in the "Arthur Prescott
Stationary Engine Museum.". Arthur Prescott was the doyen of this club
and sadly passed away on 5th August 2005. He will be sadly missed by
all who knew him as he was a wealth of information and is credited with
starting the old engine restoration movement in this part of the world.
The day went off well and although the turnout of engines was not very
big there were some interesting ones to see. Neville Botha's
recently restored 1913 Ingeco and David and John Menasce's Fairbanks
Morse were probably the biggest visiting engines on display. Other
engines of interest were a small Lorenz shown by Louis Boshoff, Hein
Stroh's Deutz (making
it's show debut) and Gerrie de Jong's display of 7 Villiers engines. Of
course the big engines in the Arthur Prescott Museum are always
worth the visit and most of them were running.
Disappointing was the fact that the show ended abruptly and very early.
The clubs engines were stopped at about 1:30 and thereafter most of the
engines were loaded and on their way. Mine were of the last to be
loaded and the time was then 2:20 pm. This caught me by surprise as I
had intended to take photographs in the afternoon when the sun would
have been in the correct position. As it was I had to rush around and
get pictures as quickly as possible before the engines disappeared and
also did not have time to get all the engine details to include in
these pages. This is also the reason I did not have time to photograph
the model railroad.
Maybe next time!
As usual - click on these links to go to the pics.