Het Stellenbosch al ooit afgebrand?

Het Stellenbosch al ooit afgebrand?

(English follows)

Stellenbosch het 2 groot brande gehad, die eerste in 1710 en die tweede in 1803. Met die verwoestende brand van 1803 het 42 geboue afgebrand, omtrent ‘n derde van die dorp op daardie stadium. Hierdie twee rampe (sowel as stormsterk winde wat soms die geboue beskadig het) is ‘n groot rede hoekom al die historiese geboue in die middedorp nie behoue gebly het nie. Pleinstraat (en Van Riebeeckstraat) is veral beïnvloed. Hier is ‘n paar interessante feite oor brand en brandbestryding in Stellenbosch se vroeë geskiedenis:

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Stellenbosch se ou brandblusser

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Brande was nog altyd ‘n groot bedreiging vir Stellenbosch omdat meeste van die geboue se dakke van riete of strooi gemaak is. Mense het aanvanklik ‘n soort strooi gebruik (rogstrooi) omdat dit goedkoper was as platdakke (van klip), maar die strooi is later met riete vervang. Meubels, plafonne en vloere was alles van inheemse hout.

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Stellenbosch se eerste ‘brandweerstasie’ was by die tronkselle by die ou Drostdy (die kweekskool vandag). Toe die tronk later self die ruimte benodig is die brandweer geskuif na die markgebou in Markstraat – vandag die Kruithuis.

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In 1736 is daar kennisgewings in die dorp opgeplak wat mense verbied om te rook op straat. Mense mag nie brandende kole uit ‘n pyp blaas of om met enige ander brandende stof op straat rondbeweeg nie.

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Met albei groot brande het die dorpenaars hulp gepleit van die owehede (die Kompanjie en politieke raad) om hul lewens te herbou. Die slagoffers van die tweede brand sou net in aanmerking kom vir staatslenings as hul belowe om nie weer rietdakke te bou nie.

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Een van die grootste behoeftes van brandslagoffers was hout omdat dit duur was en die afkap van bome verbode was in dele van Stellenbosch (lees hoekom hier). Een van die versoeke van die dorpenaars was dat die owerhede ‘n skip van Plettenbergbaai of Mosselbaai moet stuur met hout om hul huise te herbou.

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Voor die oudtydse brandblussermasjien (foto bo) het die brandweer meestal emmers van leer gebruik. Om die nuwe masjien te stoor is daar ‘n brandblussershuisie gebou op die hoek van Dorpstraat en Drostdystraat. Twee brandmeesters en vier assistente is aangewys, een wie se naam Lambert Fick was.

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Hoek van Drostdystraat en Dorpstraat vandag

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Toe die dorpie se enigste kerkgebou afbrand in 1710 was die gemeente vir 12 jaar sonder ‘n kerk. Hul het in hierdie tyd in ‘n wynkelder van Welgevallen bymekaargekom vir kerkdienste. Die geboutjie staan nog en is vandag deel van die Morkelhuis. Lees nog details oor die kerk se geskiedenis op hul webtuiste.

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Morkelhuis

Onthou Stellenbosch is ‘n unieke dorp met ‘n ryk geskiedenis! Help ons om ons erfenis te beskerm. Neem jou kinders en gaan kyk by die Stellenbosch museum na die ou brandblusser of ondersteun projekte en innovasies om brande in Stellenbosch te bestry – lees oor een so ‘n unnovasie hier.

——–lééf Stellenbosch———-

Artikel: Y Coetsee 2017
Bronne/Sources: Stellenbosch drie Eeue (1979)

 


English

Stellenbosch had 2 big fires, the first in 1710 and the second in 1803. With the devastating fire of 1803, 42 buildings burned down, about a third of the town at that stage. These two disasters (as well as gale force winds that occasionally damaged the buildings) are big reasons why all the historic buildings in the town center weren’t all preserved. Plein Street (and Van Riebeeck street) were especially affected.

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Stellenbosch’s old fire extinguished

Here are some interesting facts about fire and fire fighting in Stellenbosch’s early history:

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Fire was always a major threat to Stellenbosch as most of the buildings had thatched roofs. Initially they used a kind of straw (‘rogstrooi’) as it was cheaper than flat roofs (which was made of stone). The straw was later replaced with reeds to form today’s thached roofs. Furniture, ceilings and floors were all made of indigenous wood.

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Stellenbosch’s first ‘fire station’ was at the jail/gaol at the old Drostdy (the theological seminary today). When the jail later needed the space the ‘fire department’ was moved to the market building in Mark Street – today the Kruithuis.

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In 1736 notices were distributed across town to ban people from smoking in the streets. People weren’t allowed to discard burning coals from their pipe or move around with any burning object in the street.

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In the case of both big fires, the villagers pleaded help from the authorities to rebuild their lives (the Kompanjie and Political Council). The victims of the second fire were only eligible for government loans if they promised not to build thatched roofs again.

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One of the greatest necessities of fire victims was wood, as it was expensive and the chopping of trees forbidden in parts of Stellenbosch (read why here). The town pleaded with authorities to send a ship from Plettenberg Bay or Mossel Bay with enough wood.

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Before the time of old fire extinguisher (pictured above) the firemen usually used buckets made of leather. To house the new machine a small “fire house” was built on the corner of Dorp Street and Drostdy Street. Two firemen and four assistants were appointed, one whose name was Lambert Fick.

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Corner of Drostdy Street en Dorp Street

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When the town’s only church building burned down in 1710, the town was without a church building for about 12 years. During this time the congregation gathered in Welgevallen wine cellar which is now part of the Morkel house (pictured below). Read more about this time in the church’s history on their website.

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Morkelhuis

Remember, Stellenbosch is a unique town with a rich history! Help us protect our heritage! Take your kids to see the old fire extinguisher at the Stellenbosch Museum or support projects and innovations fighting fires in Stellenbosch – read about one such innovation here.

——–live Stellenbosch———-

Article: Y Coetsee 2017
Bronne/Sources: Stellenbosch drie Eeue (1979)

 

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