Sandstone Heritage Trust - News

International Museum Day

18 May 2004

International Museum Day is celebrated annually on 18 May. This year the International Council of Museums decided on the theme of ‘Museums and intangible heritage’

While Sandstone Heritage Trust does not claim to be a Museum, it certainly contributes to the preservation of ‘intangible heritage, mainly through the vehicle restoration programme. The Trust has two steam workshops, one in Bloemfontein and the other at Sandstone Estates near Ficksburg in the Eastern Free State. Here young apprentices are trained to become steam fitters, to care for the locomotives in the collection and to drive them as and when required.

Wickham Type 28 Flying Gang Trolley. One of three, nos. 8066-68 despatched to Durban in December 1958. A development of the Type 27 trolley it was powered by a Ford 591E petrol engine developing 30hp and was fitted with a three speed gearbox to which was attached a Wickham totally enclosed bevel geared direction box. Drive from this box was by a duplex roller chain to the rear driving axle. A cooling fan and radiator were fitted at the front of the trolley. 01

Since Spoornet phased out steam and left it in the hands of Transnet Heritage Preservation, Sandstone is making a major contribution in keeping this skill alive. Sandstone also sends out many other types of vehicles for restoration to experts in their fields eg wheelwrights, thus ensuring that these crafts are still practised.

Museums have great collections but most of the exhibits are static. What a thrill to see a veteran motor car being driven or a boiler being fired up. The ability to achieve this must not be lost!