Although Covid is no longer an issue, we were obviously unable to host the number of events that we normally would have held at Sandstone Estates over the past few years. However, the demand is returning and we did have a successful Easter Festival.
Our next event will be the Cherry Steam Festival which has always been well attended. We will again be partnering with a number of local attractions as in 2021. The Cherry Steam Festival will run from Friday 18th November to Saturday 19th November 2022. - Click here to view full details and how to book
We recently featured, on the 19th May, the presentation of a large Skoda works plate by Svatopluk (Sváťa) Šlechta from The Czech Republic. Sváťa has now sent us the full history of the plate and pictures of the two locomotives that carried the plate during their service in the former Czechoslovakia. Click here to read the story.
Recent weather events at Sandstone Estates led to a unique harvesting approach for the Soya crop from way back in time. Click here to read more
One of Sandstone’s long time European supporters is Svatopluk Slechta, an engineer from the Czech Republic and a great rail enthusiast. He has visited Sandstone many times on his tours of South Africa, most recently at our Easter Steam Festival. We were pleased and honoured to be presented with a brass Skoda works plate by him. Today most people imagine that Skoda, founded in 1859 by Emil Skoda, just made cars but, in years gone by, they also built many steam locomotives including a batch of South African Railways (SAR) 19D class. To this day they are still in the rail transportation arena producing trams and propulsion units for trolleybuses, albeit now a separate company from the car manufacturing arm.
Svata, as he is known, is also currently writing a book on the history of Skoda steam locomotives and was looking for assistance in obtaining pictures of the fifteen Skoda built 19D locomotives. These were manufactured in 1938 and carried SAR numbers 2626 to 2640. Three examples survive today of which number 2633 is plinthed at Sandstone. This was sold by the SAR in the 1980s to become Sappi No. 2. It was donated to Sandstone in 2019.
Through our connections with railway photographers, both in South Africa and overseas, we were able to obtain a large number of photographs of Skoda 19Ds in service in South Africa. Sandstone’s thanks Svata, for his generosity and wishes him well with his new book.
Our gallery shows the presentation of the Skoda plate to Sandstone, L to R, Mike Myers and Dave Richardson from Sandstone and Svata Slechta.
Our second picture shows Skoda built 19D number 2633 plinthed at Sandstone.
Sandstone has two of these fascinating steam powered drilling machines. Both are with a restorer in the Western Cape where it is hoped to build one out of two. Click here to read the full story.
Torsten and Ilona Eggert from Germany arrived at Sandstone on Freedom Day, 27th April, with their Hanomag camper van that they restored themselves to travel the world. They started their journey in 2017.This year they arrived via ship at Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) and started their journey through northern Africa and SA and then back to Gqeberha to take a ship back to Germany. Torsten Eggert has a passion for Hanomag and Lanz Bulldog machinery, so our Visitor Coordinator, Mariette Palmer, took him to the tractor shed area and he was all over/underneath/on top of the Lanz machinery and couldn't believe that Sandstone has such a variety of items. He advised that his home in Germany is just 20km away from the original Lanz Bulldog factory that was later bought by John Deere. There they have a lot of show days where all friends come together and display their pride and joy machinery. He advised that the crawler in the Sandstone collection is a very rare item. At the conclusion of their visit they asked that we thank the owner for all the kindness and friendliness they experienced at Sandstone. Sandstone thanks Torsten and Ilona for their visit and wishes them a safe journey back to Germany.
You can follow their adventures on their web page eggert-koronczi.de It’s in German but can be translated and follows their travels around the world.
Keith Simmons has been a regular visitor to Sandstone for many years and assisted us with some of the technicalities of our web site when we moved service providers and webmaster some years ago. He has a passion for Stationary Engines and has brought his small Stirling Engine to many events at Sandstone including Stars of Sandstone 2019 and our recent Easter Steam Festival. The attached PDF from Keith describes the Stirling while the attached photo illustrates the size of the Stirling, Click here and enjoy the read!