Archive for the ‘Lake District’ Category

Ton Sanders, resident in Chrissiesmeer is an authority on the area and a published author on both Lake Chrissie and the Anglo Boer War which focuses on the Battle of Chrissiesmeer which took place on 6 February 1901.

Make sure you watch the video – there is a little connection to Scotland – a little legend about this town. This is what the article is about from a SA family magazine.

Images above and below: http://gmssocialmediaservices.blogspot.com/2015/01/wildflowers-and-bird-watching.html

I got more interested in Chrissiesmeer after a post on a FB group. Years ago, a radioprogram, about small villages in South Africa, actually got me interested, but I never got to find out more about this place – it was placed on my memory-list. It was only after this post on FB, that I started asking questions and realised some people do know more about this place and they were willing to share.

After a few references and my old friend Google, I found all of this you can read in this entry! I copied the news articles because previously, I’ve found that some articles ‘disappear’ from sites over time and I end up with broken links to posts. I did though, linked to one or two gorgeous sites for you to read more and to enjoy the actual beauty of this amazing village in South Africa. Do make sure you visit the two links, you will not regret it. One news article below is in Afrikaans, the rest is in English.

Chrissiesmeer is named after the former President Marthinus Pretorius’ daughter, Christina. It was established in 1860 as a trading post. Chrissiesmeer is a delightful gem located in the lake district of South Africa, with more than 270 lakes and pans in a 20km radius. 

On the site of airbnb, HERE you can view more pictures of the above historic house, which you can rent for a nice holiday! (The link will not open in a new window).

Read on this next link more about this area called: South Africa’s Lake District. You will find some amazing pictures and an interesting read about this small village. eagerjourneys.com/chrissiesmeer/

Chrissiesmeer blomme

Interessante stukkie geskiedenis.

Chrissie en die professor

Prof. Sanders is van Nederlandse afkoms en het in 1963 as 22-jarige in diens van die Nederlandse Bank (vandag bekend as Nedbank) Suid-Afika toe gekom.

In 1968 het hy die akademiese wêreld betree waar hy aan die regsfakulteit van die Universiteit van Suid-Afrika (Unisa) verbonde was. Later jare het hy ook hofverslae vir Swaziland gedoen en het gereeld vanaf Pretoria via Carolina na Mbabane gereis. So het hy op ‘n dag op pad terug van Swaziland besluit om sy roete te verander en deur Chrissiesmeer gereis.

Dié dorpie het sy hart gesteel en hy het besluit om daar ‘n blyplek aan te skaf sodat hy naweke uit die stad kon wegbreek. Dis toe dat hy in 1989 die ou tronkie wat slegs uit twee selle bestaan het vir R2 500 van die buitestedelike administrasie gekoop het.

Ná sy aftrede in 2002 het hy permanent na Chrissiesmeer verhuis, die tronk verkoop en die gewese Barclays Bank sy nuwe tuiste gemaak.

Hy het nog altyd in geskiedenis, argeologie en antropologie belang gestel en het begin om die gebied te verken en die ryk geskiedenis van Chrissiesmeer na te vors. In 2012 is sy eerste boek: “Chrissie is her name. The story of Lake Chrissie/Chrissiesmeer,” gepubliseer.

Dié boek is gevolg deur “Lake Chrissie’s Bushman Past” in 2013. Die volgende jaar het sy boek  “Lake Chrissie / Chrissiesmeer and the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1902″ die lig gesien.

Verlede jaar het hy twee boeke gepubliseer, die eerste “Carolina’s Ancient Sites. Fiction, Facts and Mysteries” en later “The Village at the Great Lake. Lake Chrissie / Chrissiesmeer / KwaChibikhulu”. Sy liefde vir Chrissiesmeer en omgewing skyn duidelik deur in sy boeke en hoewel hy nog nie ‘n nuwe boek beplan nie, sal nog stories oor die distrik verwelkom word. [Author of article: journalist Erika Nel]

Link: highvelder.co.za/46427/chrissie-en-die-professor/

Another article on the site of the highvelder dated 23rd March 2016. This article by: Gerald Young.

Another book, the fourth by Prof Ton Sanders, the adopted son of Chrissiesmeer, has been published.

This time round Ton has captured the history and fascinating stories of the town of Carolina in a book titled “Carolina’s Ancient Sites – Fiction, Fact and Mysteries,” and it promises to be just as popular as his previous books on the history of Chrissiesmeer (Lake Chrissie) and the town’s indelible connection to the Anglo-Boer War.

The book traces the history and unearths a treasure trove of archaeological sites in and around Carolina that yield fascinating stories of the town that have hitherto been left buried or untold.

Supported by a wealth of monochrome photographs which cleverly lend themselves to creating an ancient and historical “feel” to the publication, the reader is transported back in time to the late Stone Age and Iron Age and on through a historical journey of the Indian influence, the Shamanistic era of Bushmen rock paintings and the little known Koni petroglyphs in the Caroliina district.

Along the way, one invariably finds oneself quietly exclaiming: “That’s interesting,” or “I didn’t know that!” Backed by intensive and meticulous research, Ton is not afraid to disagree with theories and speculations of other historians, which makes for more interesting and fascinating reading.

All in all, this is another “must have” for any historian and those interested in the rich history of Carolina and the Southern African region. Copies of the book are available at the Highvelder offices at R120 per copy.

The author of the book, Lake Chrissie and the Anglo Boer War 1899-1903, Ton Sanders.

Prof writes third book on Chrissie

Lake Chrissie and the Anglo-Boer War 1899-1903 is new on the shelf and the third book by Prof Ton Sanders on the history of Chrissiesmeer.

A labour of love is the only way one can describe the latest book written by this resident of Chrissiesmeer who unashamedly declares his love for the town also known as Lake Chrissie.

Born in the Netherlands in 1941, Ton came to South Africa in 1963 and followed a career as a law teacher and researcher. After retiring in 2002, he settled in Chrissiesmeer and so began an intense love affair with the town, its people and its history. He has since established himself as a true son of Lake Chrissie, pursuing a passion for documenting the rich and eventful history of this quaint town.

The first of Ton’s three books on Chrissiesmeer documented the history of the town (Chrissie is her name) and the second explored the history of the Bushmen of the area.

Although there are many books and essays describing the Anglo-Boer War, Ton has succeeded in capturing and condensing a plethora of information and anecdotes concerning Chrissiesmeer and the war without neglecting important and relevant facts or diluting the spellbinding charm that the town still holds today. As can be seen in the bibliography section of the book, Ton has waded through piles of references and works in an effort to capture and summarise the events that unfolded all those years ago. The many illustrations that adorn the pages do justice to this fascinating account that is a must-have for any history lover’s book collection.

From before the Great Trek to the Anglo-Boer War when Lake Chrissie was known as the Bothwell Trading Post, through to the effect the war, particularly the Battle of Lake Chrissie, had on the town, on to the rich Scottish history and through to the New South Africa that resulted from aspects of the Anglo-Boer War, this book, originally intended as a coffee table book to be digested in more than one session, has evolved into a can’t-put-it-down goldmine of history, heritage and spellbinding reading.

Copies of the book at R130 each can be obtained from the Highvelder offices in Murray Street, tel. 017 811 2221 or the Matotoland Eco-Tourism Association at tel. 082 640 5650 (email: jean.justcountry@gmail.com)


Prof Ton Sanders and Mr Terry Tsujii show the book “Paradise in the world – Chrissiesmeer in South Africa” written by Terry.

Terry honours a promise

The Highvelder was privileged this week to receive a visit from Mr Teruyuki Tsujii, a 65-year-old retired teacher from Tokyo, Japan.

He kept a promise he made during a visit last year to bring a copy of a book he wrote in Japanese, reflecting the history and people of Chrissiesmeer.

His book, Paradise in the world – Chrissiesmeer in South Africa, was born of his desire to share the rich history of the town and the role it played in the Anglo-Boer War with his fellow countrymen, who, he says, generally do not know much else about South Africa other than Johannesburg and Cape Town.

Terry, as he is known by his “Western” name, has become a firm friend of Chrissiesmeer since befriending Prof Anton (Ton) Sanders, a resident of Chrissie who has written three books on this quaint town, steeped in history.

The two gentlemen who have been friends for more than 30 years, met while Ton was a lecturer at the University of South Africa (Unisa) and Terry was studying through correspondence. 15 years ago, Ton, who had since retired, invited Terry to visit him at Chrissiesmeer and his fascination with the town’s history was spawned.

Regular visits soon followed and were reciprocated by Ton who visited Terry in his home country.

Last year, the Highvelder reported on Terry’s visit to Chrissiesmeer and Ermelo and at the time he promised to bring a copy of his book on his next visit. This week he made good on his promise.

He has also made copies of the Highvelder’s report on his visit and these are displayed in shops of his friends in Tokyo. “Now, Ermelo and the Highvelder are also my friends,” he said.

In this photo: Ton Sanders and Terry met in 2014. Image: the highvelder

A book about Chrissiesmeer, its people and history, written in Japanese – why?

This is the obvious question one asks when meeting the sprightly 64-year-old, ever-smiling Teruyuki Tsujii, a resident of Tokyo, Japan.

Terry, his “Western” name, started a love affair with Chrissiesmeer as a result of a 30-year-old friendship with Prof Ton Sanders , a resident of Chrissiesmeer.

The two first met through correspondence, when Terry, a high school teacher, was studying through correspondence at the University of South Africa where Prof Ton was a lecturer at the time.

Ton retired to Chrissiesmeer after becoming fascinated by the town and has since written three books about its history. Over the years, the friendship continued and when Ton invited Terry to Chrissiesmeer for a visit 14 years ago, the fascination rubbed off on Terry and the proverbial writing was on the wall.

Terry became so interested in the rich history of Lake Chrissie and the role the town played in the Anglo-Boer War that he felt compelled to share the story with his fellow Japanese.

“The Japanese people generally don’t know anything more about South Africa than Johannesburg and Cape Town. There is so much more to South Africa and Chrissiesmeer with its quietness and slow pace of life is just one example. Unlike South Africa, especially the smaller towns, life in Japan life is extremely fast paced. In Chrissie one can relax and find oneself again and recover from the rat race,” Terry explained.

5 000 copies of Terry’s book, titled “Paradise in the World – Chrissiesmeer in South Africa” have been printed and the book is selling extremely well in Japan.

“It has been accepted very well by the Japanese people and their knowledge of South Africa, especially with regard to Chrissiesmeer, has been expanded,” he said.

Another book by Terry, “How to live”, is in the offing and was inspired by life in the quaint town of Chrissiesmeer.

“I want to teach people how to live a more relaxed life. Still work hard and be productive, but learn to relax as well.”

Terry is a man that lives by this philosophy, a fact that became evident during his interview with the Highvelder.

Still smiling, he related how an amount of R20 000 was stolen from his baggage at the OR Tambo Airport shortly after his arrival.

“I had just exchanged Japanese Yen for SA Rand and waited inside the terminal building where I thought it would be safer. When I checked again, the money was gone. This will, however, not make me negative. The smiles and hospitality that I receive and experience from South Africans more than makes up for the loss of the money,” he said.

He will be going back to Japan on Monday. “But I will be back again soon,” he said.

In the early 1990s, Terry expressed his feelings for Chrissiesmeer on a sandstone pillar at the entrance gate to the Old Jail. The intriguing Japanese characters mean: “To Chrissie, with love.” Chrissiesmeer and South Africa is indeed honoured to have a friend like Terry.

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Enjoy the music of Sweet People and Barcarolle..and as I said before, knowing now how to give you a taster only…you can now only listen to about 3/4 of the track…sorry!

This mosaic has got different pictures and I don’t want to say too much. In short…you can see pictures from Loweswater Lake…I’ve blogged about Cockermouth and Mockerkin before and if you read my entries about it, you will also know where Loweswater is…in the Lake District. You can see a few pictures about Hawkshead, where Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top farm is, I have done an entry about her two days ago, read and see more images on this link. On this link you will also find the Cockermouth/Mockerkin-links….https://chessaleeinlondon.wordpress.com/2008/09/10/beatrix-potters-hill-top-farm/ Then you can see pictures that I took at Hadrian’s Wall and at Whitehaven. I’ve got some links for you to follow and to read about. The best to view this mosaic, is to click on it and you will see a lovely large picture. Do enjoy it!Please click HERE to read more about Hadrian’s wall-trails…

Image: aboutscotland.co.uk…click on the image for a larger view
 On the map, nr 3, is where we visited Birdoswald Roman Fort and remains of the wall. The third last picture on my image is a photo which I took at the Fort. In two pictures in the bottom row you can see remains of the wall.  Read on this link  why Hadrain built this wall.

Wikipedia-link about the Wall……http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hadrian’s_Wall

On this map I’ve indicated where the actual remains start…at Brampton, near Carlisle. Click on the image for a larger view.

Whitehaven….has many links with the USA, but perhaps the most famous link of all is that of John Paul Jones. Jones was born in Scotland, but raised in Whitehaven and trained as a seaman. These skills were transferred to the American military as Jones became the founding father of the US Navy. In an amazing turn of events, Jones, and his fleet, attacked Whitehaven during the American war of Independence, in 1777. Read also on this great link more about this Georgian town. http://www.visitcumbria.com/wc/whaven.htm

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On this link HERE you can download Peter Rabbit MP3-stories for free! The link will open in a new window

We recently visited the Lake District and in particular, the western area, where you can see the purple-pinkish spot at Cockermouth. We stayed in an apartment at Mockerkin, just about 7 miles from Cockermouth. See my entry about Cockermouth here:https://chessaleeinlondon.wordpress.com/2008/08/30/i-wandered-lonely-as-a-cloud/ and about Mockerkin here….https://chessaleeinlondon.wordpress.com/2008/09/06/mockerkin/. For my South African readers reading here…I know it’s funny to say “miles”, but in England, all distances are in miles, which was a ‘surprise‘ to us, as we are used to kilometers and the metric system in South Africa. I grew up with the metric system, but they try to keep the Imperial System in England….sort of part of “tradition”.

On this map you can see whereabouts  the farm of Beatrix Potter is…the other purple spot at Hawkshead. It’s also at “Near Sawrey”…we travelled about an hour from where we stayed to Hill Top farm. You have to buy a timed ticket. We went really very early, bought our ticket -for 5 past 12. You can choose your time, but we didn’t as we wanted to go as early as possible…..so we had just more than an hour to wait. To while the time away, we were doing some sightseeing. They don’t allow many people to go in at any one time and they’re very strict. If your ticket says 5 past 12, you can’t try to slip in at 3 min past 12…ask me!! lol! You have to wait till they call the time your ticket says!  On the map you will also see a spot at Carlisle…and that will be my next stop with a next entry…as we visited Hadrian’s Wall there. The remains are actually more near to Brampton…which is near Carlisle. Just south of Cockermouth you will see Whitehaven, a coastal town and it has a historical ‘story’ too. I’ve got some great images which I took there, Whitehaven has an American “connection”. If you’re curious, you can go and read about it…I will upload images about it later.

This image was taken in front of Hill Top farm

Part of the house, as there were many visitors, it was difficult to take a complete picture without any visitors. We were not allowed to take any pictures from the inside of the house, but I have images from “The tale of the Roly Poly pudding”….and if you visit the house, you are given this book and as you wander through the house, you can look at images in the book and the house too, as Beatrix Potter was an illustrator herself, you will see how perfectly she illustrated her books. In particular this tale, the setting was Hill Top farm! I also have a link where you can read the complete story online.

Front door

Part of the house that is not accessible to tourists. A farmer lives here and I think he looks after the farm too. Beatrix extended the original house, but it was asked in her testament that this part will not be accessible to tourists.

hmm…think you know what this is…this was taken a few meters away from the front door..

Samuel Whiskers! The title of this tale is…”The Tale of Samuel Whiskers or the Roly Poly pudding.” Of course you can’t leave this place without a little book and I bought myself this very tale as it has images that will remind me of the house…as the setting of this tale is this house!

Read the complete story here on this link.

‘Tea time at Hill Top ‘ by..Stephen Darbishire – Image: visitcumbria.com/amb/hilltop.htm

This piece of art gives you a great idea of what the kitchen looks like. I love it!

Beatrix Potter was born on 28 July 1866 in South Kensington, London. She lived a lonely life at home, being educated by a governess and having little contact with other people. She had many animals which she kept as pets, studying them and making drawings.

Her parents took her on three month summer holidays to Scotland, but when the house they rented became unavailable, they rented Wray Castle near Ambleside in the Lake District. Beatrix was 16 when they first stayed here. Her parents entertained many eminent guests, including Hardwicke Rawnsley vicar of Wray Church, who in 1895 was to become one of the founders of the National Trust.

His views on the need to preserve the natural beauty of Lakeland had a lasting effect on the young Beatrix, who had fallen in love with the unspoilt beauty surrounding the holiday home.

For the next 21 years on and off, the Potters holidayed in the Lake District, staying once at Wray Castle, once at Fawe Park, twice at Holehird and nine times at Lingholm, by Derwentwater, famous now for its rhododendron gardens. Beatrix loved Derwentwater, and explored Catbells behind Lingholm. She watched squirrels in the woods, saw rabbits in the vegetable gardens of the big house. She made many sketches of the landscape. They still kept in touch with Rev Rawnsley, who after 5 years at Wray, moved to Crosthwaite Church just outside Keswick.

Rawnsley encouraged her drawings, and when back in London Beatrix made greetings cards of her pictures, and started a book. Rawnsley encouraged her to publish, and eventually Frederick Warne published ‘The Tale of Peter Rabbit’ in 1902. Her third book, ‘Squirrel Nutkin’ had background views based on Derwentwater, Catbells and the Newlands Valley. Fawe Park featured in ‘The Tale of Benjamin Bunny’.

In 1903 Beatrix bought a field in Near Sawrey, near where they had holidayed that year. She now had an income from her books, Peter Rabbit having now sold some 50000 copies. In 1905 she bought Hill Top, a little farm in Sawrey, and for the next 8 years she busied herself writing more books, and visiting her farm. In 1909 she bought another farm opposite Hill Top, Castle Farm, which became her main Lakeland base. Seven of her books are based in or around Hill Top. Tom Kitten and Samuel Whiskers lived there. Hill Top is still as it was then, and is now the most visited literary shrine in the Lake District.

Beatrix Potter married William Heelis, a solicitor in Hawkshead, in 1913. Then started the next stage in her life, being a Lakeland farmer, which lasted for 30 years. The office of William Heelis is now the National Trust’s ‘Beatrix Potter Gallery’.

In 1923 she bought Troutbeck Park Farm, and became an expert in breeding Herdwick sheep, winning many prizes at country shows with them. Beatrix continued to buy property, and in 1930 bought the Monk Coniston Estate – 4000 acres from Little Langdale to Coniston – which contained Tarn Hows, now Lakeland’s most popular piece of landscape.

In 1934 she gave many of her watercolours and drawings of fungi, mosses and fossils to the Armitt Library in Ambleside.

When she died on 22 December 1943, Beatrix Potter left fourteen farms and 4000 acres of land to the National Trust, together with her flocks of Herdwick sheep. The Trust now owns 91 hill farms, many of which have a mainly Herdwick landlord’s flock with a total holding of about 25000 sheep. This was her gift to the nation, her own beloved countryside for all to enjoy. Beatrix was the first woman to be elected president-designate of the Herdwick Sheepbreeders’ Association, which continues to flourish.
Read more on this link…

Beatrix Potter bought Hill Top in 1905 with the royalties from her first few books, written at her parents home in London, but inspired by her annual holiday visits to the Lake District. She visited as often as she could, but never for more than a few days at a time, sketching the house, garden, countryside and animals for her new books.

After she bought the house, she busied herself writing more books, and visiting her farm. In 1909 she bought another farm opposite Hill Top, Castle Farm, which became her main Lakeland base.

Beatrix wrote many of her famous children’s stories in this little 17th century stone house. Characters such as Tom Kitten, Samuel Whiskers and Jemima Puddleduck were all created here, and the books contain many pictures based on the house and garden.

Beatrix bought many pieces of land and property in and around Sawrey, including the Old Post Office, Castle Cottage and a number of small farms. In 1913, aged 47, she married William Heelis in London and moved to Lakeland, living at Castle Cottage which was bigger and more convenient than Hill Top.

When she died in 1943, she left Hill Top to the National Trust with the proviso that it be kept exactly as she left it, complete with her furniture and china.

Roly Poly pudding–from uktvfood.co.uk

200g plain flour
pinch of Salt
1 tbsp Baking powder
115g suet
50g light brown sugar
150ml water
5 tbsp Jam, warmed
2 tbsp Milk
1 tbsp demerara sugar
custard, to serve

Method 1. Set the oven to 200°C/gas 6. Lightly grease a baking sheet.

2. Sift the flour with the salt and baking powder.

3. Stir in the suet and sugar.

4. Add enough water to bind to a stiff but not sticky dough.

5. Roll the dough out on a floured surface, until it is about 5mm thick.

6. Spread with warm jam, leaving a border of 1 cm around each side.

7. Roll up loosely and pinch at the ends.

8. Place on the prepared baking sheet and brush with milk. Sprinkle with Demerara sugar.

9. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.

10. Serve hot with custard.

Part one

Part two

Part three

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I looooooooove this piccie!  It was one of those “make way”-moments that you get used to when travelling in the Uk…but it suited me…as I could take this pic the same time! Click on images for a larger view.

“Drive slowly”…the second small sign says…this is one entrance to Mockerkin…

“….them sheep, them sheep, them sheep…everywhere!”

“I can see clearly now…” why these mugs look like they do!  hehe These were some of our mugs in the apartment…cute hey!

On this google-map you can see where Mockerkin is! On the edge of the Western part of the Lake District! Cockermouth is 7 miles away, the nearest town with a Saintsbury’s and that’s also where Wordsworth’s house is. I’ve done an entry on Wordsworth’s house a few days ago.

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