go! Platteland - - LETTERS -

The ar­ti­cle about Norvalspont in the Spring 2017 is­sue of Plat­te­land – and specif­i­cally the pic­ture on page 51 of the two bridges across the Or­ange River – had me trav­el­ling far back in time. My fa­ther manned the pump sta­tion and treat­ment plant that pro­vided wa­ter to the steam trains and the vil­lage from 1961 to 1973. In the pic­ture, the zinc roof of the pump­house is clearly vis­i­ble.

In the pump­house were four Rus­ton & Hornsby diesel pumps, and there was a deep well sunk down to the level of the river bed that you could climb down to see the pistons in ac­tion. The pump­house was my dad’s pride and joy, and the in­te­rior and floors were kept sparkling clean.

The English fort just be­hind the pump­house was a pop­u­lar play­ground for us kids, and my dad’s veg­etable gar­den and his fruit trees pro­vided our ba­sic ne­ces­si­ties.

It was a spec­ta­cle of note to see the vol­ume of wa­ter com­ing down when the river was in spate, be­fore the Gariep Dam was built.

In those years, Norvalspont was a close-knit, busy farm­ing com­mu­nity with a twoclass­room pri­mary school un­der the com­mand of Mr Con­nie Stander, a po­lice sta­tion (Sergeant Frank Lot­ter), a busy road trans­port dis­tri­bu­tion ware­house, a sta­tion man­ager, a gen­eral dealer (Mrs Lot­ter), a ho­tel (Oom Eben van der Walt) and a post of­fice (Shorty Cor­nelius).

On walks in the veld as a kid, I used to pick up all kinds of pot­tery shards at the site of the An­glo-Boer War con­cen­tra­tion camp at Norvalspont. An in­ter­est­ing fact is that the jour­nal­ist, poet and au­thor CM van den Heever was born in this camp.


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