Thursday, November 14, 2019

Lighthouse Green Point Natal, Clansthal

Green Point lighthouse, Natal.
The Green Point Lighthouse, otherwise known as the Clansthal Lighthouse is in Clansthal, between Scottburgh and Umkomaas and shouldn’t be confused with the other Green Point Lighthouse, known as Mouille Point Lighthouse, in Cape Town.

Erected in 1905 it has a cast-iron structure and is painted in red and white striped bands.  It served to warn mariners of the presence of the Aliwal Shoal, 5km offshore, and was the second last lighthouse to use petroleum vapour burners. This building is a national monument. Since 1961 the lighthouse has been fully automated.

To avoid the Aliwal Shoal, ships rely on three lighthouses – Ifafa Beach, Port Shepstone and Green Point. Aliwal Shoal, named after the ship, Aliwal, that sunk here, consists of incredible hard and soft corals and diverse tropical and subtropical fish, and is considered a “hub” for scuba divers around the world.  The lighthouse at Ifafa has a radio beacon that has helped prevent further shipwrecks along this coast.

Early days at the Green Point Lighthouse; ca 1905

Address: Clansthal, Ezembeni
Height: 21 m
Opened: 1905
Light source: mains power

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Monday, November 11, 2019

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Remembrance Day 2019

Image result for world war 1

The time you won your town the race
We chaired you through the market-place;
Man and boy stood cheering by,
And home we brought you shoulder-high.

Today, the road all runners come,
Shoulder-high we bring you home,
And set you at your threshold down,
Townsman of a stiller town.

Smart lad, to slip betimes away
From fields where glory does not stay,
And early though the laurel grows
It withers quicker than the rose.

Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut,
And silence sounds no worse than cheers
After earth has stopped the ears.

Now you will not swell the rout
Of lads that wore their honours out,
Runners whom renown outran
And the name died before the man.

And round that early-laurelled head
Will flock to gaze the strengthless dead,
And find unwithered on its curls
The garland briefer than a girl’s.

A E Housman

Image result for poppy day

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Lighthouse hauntings 3

Image result for danger point lighthouse gansbaai

Danger Point Lighthouse, Gansbaai
Danger Point Lighthouse was previously one of the less-enjoyed postings for South African light-keepers. Though legend has it that this was due to the presence of the infamous Flying Dutchman ghost-ship that haunted the waters, it was more likely due to the isolation of the structure, positioned along a notoriously treacherous stretch of coastline. 
Authorities built the lighthouse after several notable disasters, including the tragic case of the HMS Birkenhead, which struck an unmapped rock in 1852, killing more than 440 people. Danger Point is a fully operational lighthouse.
According to legend, the Flying Dutchman is a phantom ship doomed to sail the open seas and oceans for infinity, never being able to return home. The myth can be traced back to 17th-century nautical folklore that was heavily nurtured by superstitious beliefs of all sorts among sailors.
Early written accounts of the Flying Dutchman are dated to the 18th century and alleged sighting of this otherworldly vessel was well reported through most of the 19th and 20th centuries, too.
Image result for flying dutchman

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Lighthouse hauntings 2

Lighthouse Keeper Japie Greeff (currently at Cape Columbine light) shares an unusual encounter with us;

‘I was stationed at Cape Point Light from 1990 to mid-1993 and I very soon became aware of a little girl, about nine years old, who would often appear in the sitting room with me when I was watching television in my cottage. She was a dear, sweet little girl and would come and sit in the chair next to me and quietly watch television with me.  

Many times I attempted to find out who this little girl had been.

Was she the daughter of a Lighthouse Keeper?  If so, which Lighthouse Keeper?

Perhaps the daughter of a Captain from one of the ships of old, lying wrecked on the shore?  Which Captain?  Which ship?

Might it have been the Lusitania?  Eight people died when a lifeboat capsized from Lusitania, could this little girl have been one of those lost souls aboard the lifeboat?

What year did she pass away and under what circumstances?   

All these questions lay unanswered as no-one knew anything about the history which surrounded her.  I tried in vain to discover something about my dear little sweetheart and all I know, and can tell you, is that she was an endearing and gentle little soul.

To this day she still remains at the Cape Point Lighthouse and forever in my heart.’

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Lighthouse hauntings 1

Pensacola - ghostly lady

Green Point Lighthouse Haunted
The Green Point Lighthouse is one of the most famous haunted sites in the Mother City.It was first built in the early 1800s and is one of the most recognised beacons along the promenade. But while it looks pretty in daylight, it gets weirder after dark.
For many years, rumours have long swirled that the tower often visited by the spirit of a one-legged man by the name of W.S – or Daddy West, who is believed to have once worked at the lighthouse. Go to the link below for more.

Sunday, November 3, 2019


The Castaway

Obscurest night involv'd the sky,
Th' Atlantic billows roar'd,
When such a destin'd wretch as I,
Wash'd headlong from on board,
Of friends, of hope, of all bereft,
His floating home for ever left.

He shouted: nor his friends had fail'd
To check the vessel's course,
But so the furious blast prevail'd,
That, pitiless perforce,
They left their outcast mate behind,
And scudded still before the wind.

No voice divine the storm allay'd,
No light propitious shone;
When, snatch'd from all effectual aid,
We perish'd, each alone:
But I beneath a rougher sea,
And whelm'd in deeper gulfs than he.

by William Cowper (abridged) 

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Hamilton, William and Elizabeth, Stevenston, Ayrshire

William and Elizabeth Hamilton, my great grandparents, photographed
at Stevenston, Ayrshire ca 1900. William was born in 1854 in Dalry, Ayrshire and died June 29, 1920 in Stevenston. Elizabeth Smith Hamilton was born at Cooroading Street, Stevenston July 05, 1857 and died September 03, 1943, Caledonian Road, Stevenston. The couple's children were: Elizabeth, Jane, Sarah, Mary, Joseph, Alexander, Margaret, William, Thomas Craig, Ellen and James.

William Hamilton was a Coal Miner, stated so in 1871, 1881 Censuses for Stevenston Ayrshire.  By 1891 he was a 'Check Weigher at the Colliery'.  This was a 'lighter' job: having a 'weak heart' William couldn't work underground any more and had to get work at the pithead. A Check Weigher at a Colliery was on the surface, not underground - it consisted of weighing the hutches of coal brought to the surface after it had been dug and filled by the miners underground.  Every coal miner had his 'tally' which was put on the hutch to identify whose production of coal it contained and the Check Weigher had to list the weight of the contents against the identifying 'tally'.  It would not have been a well-paid job.  Neither would that of Schree Man, which is how he stated his occupation in the 1901 Census - this was someone who picked out the bits of 'rubbish' in the coal hutches when brought to the surface. So, until 1901 William Hamilton was firmly stuck in occupations related to coal mining and there is no confusion whatsoever about that.

The place names shown in the above map occur frequently in the story of the Hamilton family of Stevenston. There's Dalry, where William was born, Stevenston where so many Hamilton events occurred, and Ayr where the Burns Museum can be visited.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Hamilton Family of Stevenston, Ayrshire

Hamilton Family Group pictured in front of their home 'Genoa', Stevenston, Ayrshire.

Joseph (Joe) is at extreme left, back row. William Hamilton, his father, is 2nd left middle row. Elizabeth Hamilton, wife of William, is 2nd right middle row. In front are the younger children, James (Jim) and Ellen (Nell). Alex Hamilton was not present but can be seen peeping out from 2nd right in the back row. Next to him is Thomas (Tom) later killed at the Dannhauser Mine in the Transvaal.

Genoa, Stevenston, July 2000