Kensington Heritage Walk – 24 Sept 2018

The Kensington Heritage Walk 2018 “Rand Lords Heritage Walk” was well attended and enjoyed by all.

Following the Anglo-Boer War, many British professionals and artisans settled in South Africa. ‘Lion House’ was built in 1907 – 1909 by George Wollacott who was a master stucco decorator.

Jan Whitehead, a long time resident of Kensington wrote: “The walk was very well received by a number of people, not familiar with the area’s Heritage, they remarked that it was the first time that they were seeing these hidden gems.  They loved the Lion House interior and exterior, the Chapel of Kensington Clinic and Martin Ledwaba’s short talk at the Jeppe High School for Boys Hall visit. Two of the group were Jeppe old boys, and remembered him, and he could remember one of them from the early seventies.  We concluded at the Kensington Club with drinks and boerewors rolls”.

A BIG thank you to everyone who contributed in many different ways: the Organisers and Hosts Isabella Pingle and Jan Whitehead; Jan Whitehead and Pieter Mattheus for all the great photos; Paul Vermeulen and Management and Team of the various Institutions visited viz. the Kensington Bowling Club, Lion House, Kensington Clinic, Jeppe High School for Boys; Martin Ledwaba of Jeppe High; Charlotte Dreyer van Vuuren for promoting the event on her much respected and popular Facebook Group “We Love Kensington” and lastly but certainly not least to everyone who participated in the walk. Thanks to all!

For a bit of Kensington history please scroll down to the bottom of this page.

Bowling green (right of the image) at the Kensington Bowling Club.

 

Paul Vermeulen, President of the Kensington Bowling Club delivering his welcoming address.
Paul Vermeulen is holding the 1st Bowls trophy that was recently given back to the Club made out of wood by one of the first founder members great-grand-daughter.
Long time Kensington resident and co-Host of the Kensington Walks and Klipriviersberg Walks addressing the group.
The just published ‘Kensington Heritage’ Map.

Kensington Sanatorium (Pink Fairy Castle) was managed by French Catholic Sisters of the Holy Family Order from 1888 – 1915. Currently the complex houses the Kensington Clinic.

Mohandes ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi’s Family home in Johannesburg. Mohandes ‘Mahatma’ Gandhi came to South Africa in 1893 as a lawyer, settling first in Durban before moving to Johannesburg, where he lived from 1903-1913.
Employing nonviolent civil disobedience, Gandhi led India to independence.
Martin Ledwaba addresses the group at Jeppe High School for Boys. Martin Ledwaba started working at Jeppe High School for Boys as a Laboratory Assistant in 1971. He has a teacher’s qualification. His final exam at Unisa (University of South Africa) earned him his NPDE.

This tree was planted at Jeppe High School for Boys in 1937 to commemorate the Coronation of King George VI.
Martin Ledwaba bidding farewell to the Group. In the background: the main building to Jeppe High School for Boys. Named after Julius Jeppe and built in 1909 by renown British Architect Sir Herbert Baker. Artisans were brought over from Britain for the stone-work. Prime Minister Jan Smuts unveiled the First World War Monument at the school in 1926 in memory of the many South Africans who lost their lives during World War I. Jeppe High School for Boys have contributed to many famous Alumni in Science and Sport alike particularly rugby, cricket, swimming and rowing.

Participants commented that the walk was fun, informative and that the boerewors were tasty.

A bit of Kensington history

Within a few years of the discovery of gold in 1886, and following the Anglo Boer War, Kensington became a prestige residential suburb particularly for mine managers and middle class English, Scottish, Irish, Afrikaans and Jewish residents and later Greek, Italian and Portuguese. Streets in Kensington all have British names.

Interestingly the first Europeans to arrive on South African shores were neither the Dutch nor the British but the Portuguese. The Portuguese discovery of the sea route to India was undertaken under the command of Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama during the reign of King Manuel I in 1497–1499.

Named after Kensington Gardens (London), Kensington is one of the oldest suburbs in Johannesburg. It was founded in 1897 by Max Langerman.

Sir Herbert Baker left many landmarks in South Africa as well as in India including the Union Buildings in Pretoria and Parliament House in New Delhi.

In present-day Kensington all races and people of different faiths live in harmony. Challenges including street safety and litter are being actively addressed by many members in the Community.

Young Professionals are purchasing property in the area and renovating their new assets as property in Kensington is more affordable than in Northern Johannesburg.

 

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