The Mk IV Sherman, which does not come out every day, was put through its paces a few days ago at Sandstone Estates in the Eastern Free State.
We were asked by the authorities to prepare a report on the border road which had fallen in to disuse and the Sherman was the best equipped machine on the farm to cope with the challenge and in any event it is the policy of the Sandstone Heritage Trust to use everything and to ensure that everything is kept in running order.
The Sherman heads out through the wheat lands for the border
The border can be quite daunting. The soil laden Caledon River is a sluggish piece of water which never looks particularly inviting
The road down to the border is fairly rugged. No problem for the Sherman
The Sherman traversing the edge of the Sandstone Estates wheat crop which grows right down to the border
We have to pass between the wheat and the edge of the river bank. Tough call
Time to stop for a breather and take a look around. It gets hot on those tanks
The bush is closing in
As we progress further along the border the road starts to disappear and is basically overgrown
At best it is reduced to a footpath
The Sherman is now into really thick bush, jungle in fact which is unusual for the Eastern Free State but obviously there is a micro climate along the river bed
All of a sudden we come across a short section of road. It seems somebody tried to repair the road and gave up in disgust
The end of the short piece of road construction
Is there actually a road here?
Complete with obstacles
Covered in branches
We decided to stop at a neighbour's house for tea but he was not in. The crew, Desmond and Wilf, were delighted with the performance of the Sherman in all respects.
The Sherman climbed back onto the escarpment and proceeded through wheat lands back to base