Our grandfather bought our holiday cottage at Rheebok in 1929; we would come
from Durban for 4 weeks every Christmas holiday. There were just about 12
houses here on the seaside of the railway line.
The train was a big part of our holiday, particularly as our house in
Olivier road is only approximately 20 meters from the line. The train would
pass witha huge roar and the whole house would tremble. Children, dogs (and
adults) would rush out to wave and the driver would pull the cord and give
us an extra toot.
The 11 o’clock train was very important because it brought our daily meat order
from Mossel Bay. Our Gran would order the holiday’s meat in advance, by
letter, from the butcher in Cuff Street in Mossel Bay. The train would slow
down at the siding and toss out the meat wrapped in brown paper and tied
with string! The maid would be there to collect it. Our Sunday roast
chickens arrived alive in a crate at the beginning of the holiday from
Oudtshoornand each Sunday two were slaughtered. The 11 o’clock train was
also a signal for us,wherever we were on the beach, to gather together for
tea and biscuits.Gran carried her tea basket down to the beach every day.
By some miracle, the early morning train dropped of the Natal Mercury !
(Uncle John Robinson, also here on holiday, was the owner and editor of the
The train engines were decorated at Christmas time and gave special long
We all have very fond memories of the old steam trains, and get very excited
every now and then when a lone engine chuffs up the hill from Little Brak
and whistles as it passes with rattle and a shake of our old house.
Add photo’s sent by Mike with this caption:
These two locomotives owned by the Ceres Rail Company, were serviced locally and were photographed during their test run whilst passing Great Brak River before heading back to Ceres.
The Jessica (Class 19D-3321) was manufactured in the UK in 1948 with 235 of its kind being placed in service in South Africa between 1937 and 1949. It has a 4-8-2 Mountain-type wheel arrangement and a Watson Standard boiler.
Bailey (Class 19B-1412) was introduced to the Ceres Railway Line and was manufactured in 1930 in Germany and was virtually identical to the Class 19 locomotives with the exception of the wheelbase of the front bogie. It also has a 4-8-2 Mountain-type wheel arrangement and a Watson Standard boiler.
Visit the website of Ceres Rail Company (www.ceresrail.co.za) and book your trip along memory lane.