Jerry's Old Engines in South Africa

RSME Logo Rand 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 pictures of 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.

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