Sandstone Heritage Trust - News

HTN 59 - Stationary engine open day at Neville Botha's - 2006 South Africa


Neville Botha, the doyen of stationary engine collectors in Southern Africa, held one of his popular annual Open Days at his home, some 70-kms from Johannesburg recently. Even though the weather was dreary the enthusiasts brightened up the day by showing their engines and support.

Neville is an inveterate collector of old items and has a wonderful cross-section of stationary engines, tractors, vintage cars, petrol memorabilia and agricultural machinery.  He also has a priceless collection of detailed items such as cream separators, tools, blow lamps, refrigerators, ox yokes and literally too many items to begin to list or photograph.

Neville’s Open Day is a relaxed affair in his garden on the banks of the Klip River.  The emphasis is “Bring your own – be it a machine, wife, mistress, or something to eat or drink”. 
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Neville Botha in a jovial mood
It is all about comradeship between people with a common interest.  Visitors were treated to a meal of Ox tripe and side dishes provided by Neville and Lu-ann.


While South Africa is not blessed with big shows which happen every weekend through the season as in the UK for example, they are compensated for by these little shows which still provide quality items on display, excellent ambience and the enjoyment by owners and visitors which is tangible. As Rodney Burnett (who brought along his 1920's  Fairbank Morse 7HP) commented “ It is an absolute honour to be involved in an event such as this".
Of interest, Jacqui Evans (daughter of Jerry Evans) noted as the first lady in the country to restore and run a stationary engine (Wolseley WD 9) was proud to show off her “work of art”. 

Neels Booyens brought along his 1927 Open Crank Ruston Hornsby (Model AP 6HP) . When Neels acquired this engine two months ago it was considered to be beyond restoration with many parts missing. It is a credit to Neels' talents that it is now running beautifully and is in pristine condition.

Norman Spykermann had a display of Lister D's and vintage Ransomes lawnmowers. Gerald Buitendach showed a Slavia diesel  powering a water pump  as well as his Delco Lighting plant.

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Jacqui Evans & Shaun Fourie with her Wolseley WD9
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Hendrik Massyn ponders while Justin Ludewig tinkers
Justin Ludewig showed his  recently restored 3 & 6 H.P. International M's  running on L.P.G. as well as his McCormick powered Gorilla.

Hendrik Massyn from Kroonstad was there with his BSA and Douglas aircooled engines. His ever ready hip flask of mampoer (for overseas readers mampoer is similar to "moonshine") was in great demand and exhibitors were kept well lubricated.

It was a joy to see the children operating Neville's corn grinding driven mill driven by a Bamford. They had a field day and sold packs of freshly ground mealie meal to all and sundry for pocket money.

Neville’s magnificent private museum was open to all visitors.  One could spend many hours in the museum looking at the magnificently restored and presented engines and other items which covered every wall in a number of different rooms.


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Two of his big Ruston & Hornsby engines ran all day in the engine room.

It was a fun filled day enjoyed by all and we look forward to the next one!
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Lister D shown by Norman Spykerman
Slavia Diesel shown by Gerald Buitendach