C J Rhodes’ stables…

Just outside of the REPS school grounds is this wonderful old building:

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C J Rhodes lived on top of a hill a short distance away. His house is no longer there, but this stable block remains. Built with huge granite boulder foundations and red brick above, its stood for more than one hundred years.

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It needs renovating now – the sash windows are in a sad way, and the staircase has rotted away. The top deck is made of solid teak and I think the winch, for hauling stockfeed up, is still all there.

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It seems Rhodes’ horses lived well! As a kid, I knew a man who insisted he had been alive in Rhodes’ time. He reported that Rhodes didn’t ride very well – probably why he wanted to build a railway all the way through Africa.

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A short distance away are the Matopos Research Centre buildings – also old colonial style:

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http://zimfieldguide.com/matabeleland-south/rhodes-summer-house

 

 

 

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REPS School, Matopos…

I’ve been wanting to take photos of this marvellous old school for some time. Built in the old colonial style, its white buildings are clearly visible when traveling to the Matopos.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhodes_Estate_Preparatory_School

Pictured above are the boarding hostels which are now for both boys and girls.

P1260370.jpgThe wing on the left is the girl’s hostel, the main entrance on the right.

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What a lovely view from the hostels – the Matopos very close by – perfect playground for energetic boys at boarding school.

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Across the lawns is this stunning chapel. When I took the pic below, the sun was streaming into the round window in the front gable.

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Please excuse this pic! My interiors are not very good! Dito, the image below….the dining hall!

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I’m much better at taking exterior shots! This, below, is the dining hall at REPS.P1260373

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I didn’t realise that REPS was such a small school. From the Kezi Road, it seemed to be a large complex. In fact, many of the buildings belong to the Matopos Research Station. REPS only has about 120 pupils! Of which about 80 are boarders. The classrooms are built around a quadrangle, very much in the colonial style.

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The school hall (above.)

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This last photo is a building now used as a library. It’s built with iron sheeting walls. Anyone who grew up in Zimbabwe will recall these buildings – many of the government offices were initially built this way, as were railway housing, offices and sheds. This building is likely to be one of the oldest buildings in the complex.

I hope you enjoyed this walk around an historic school with me. If you did, please comment below or click the *follow* button to receive posts in your email.

Old Strip Roads…

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…Can still be seen in some places in Zimbabwe. Although built nearly 100 years ago, they have withstood the tests of time! Called strip roads because they only cover the road where the tyres go, they were much cheaper to build when developing a new nation. Zimbabwe is twice the size of the United Kingdom and three times the size of Ireland! Engineers charged with developing a country covered in thick bush, teeming with wild animals on a limited budget, came up with this idea. This section is from Bulawayo to the Victoria Falls. The road builders stuck to outcropping rocks as it provided a solid base for the road. When the wide tar road was constructed in the 1960’s, a shorter route over the top of the sand was chosen. (Ancient sand dunes are clearly visible on Satellite images from Lupane onwards.) This is what Wikipedia has to say: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strip_road

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If travellers came across someone driving in the opposite direction, both were expected to move over, so only their right wheels were on the right hand track! Thats pretty close when passing the on coming vehicle – takes some trust, that!

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By the time I was a kid, there was only a small section remaining as part of our National Roads: between Filabusi and Belingwe (Now, Mberengwa.)

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and I clearly remember my dad, cigarette between his fingers, elbow out of the window, only veering off to the left at the last possible moment – no reduction in speed!

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I took this (silly) short video driving on the section of this road near the turn off to Hwange Main Camp, near Netchilibi…

Fast forward forty years…and these guys are not going as fast, but still using the road!

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The day I took the above photo, the inbuilt temperature gauge in the car read 52 degrees C. In other words, very hot! And, we had to work outside in it…(I remained in the car with the air-conditioner running.)

 

 

Matopos Siding

Called ‘The Matopos’ this siding is no longer in use. Its close enough to the main Kezi Rd for a quick stop in…and the grove of trees nearby – wow – to die for!

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The siding is not far from the road leading in the Matopos Police station along this grassy track. You can just see the cattle loading ramp hidden in the trees. Built from thick steel bars, its still going strong, unlike the sign that used to read “The Matopos.”

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This view (above) is the one anyone hanging out of a carriage window would have seen as they approached the siding.

Cecil John Rhodes left a provision in his will for a spur line to be added onto the railway so people could visit the Matopos. Right next to this halt, a hotel was built for visitors and day trippers. I’m guessing it was wooden and got eaten by termites in time! On this website I found some photos: http://zimfieldguide.com/matabeleland-south/matopos-railway-terminus

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As I walked towards the siding I detoured into the grove of Umkhaya on my right.

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http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=125910

Click on this link for an Umkhaya tree.

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Centenary Park, Bulawayo

I recently received an email from a follower of my blog who doesn’t come from Bulawayo. She suggested I give more background about the places I photograph. So here goes. Please let me know what you think and if any of you have memories of the Centenary exhibition, Id love to hear about them.

The Centenary Park is close enough to our home in Suburbs, to walk but I went in the car cos I took Lizzy – and she is just a little puppy, with little legs!

That is my story, and I’m sticking to it.)

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Until 1953 (The Rhodes Centenary Exhibition) this park was called the “Central Park,” close to the first suburb in Bulawayo, called “Suburbs!” How original! I’m told the south side is officially still Central Park, but no one calls it that, everyone calls it the Centenary Park. Central Park is best known for the fountain where lots of newly weds have their photos taken. I took this photo with the light behind it, shining through the jacaranda tree behind.

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I took another pic later – an unusual view – but actually I was after that lovely ‘avenue’ through the trees in the distance.

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One of Bulawayo’s main roads runs right through the park – it used to be called “Selborne Avenue” named after the British High Commissioner to South Africa, (back in 1905) but now has been changed to Leopold Takawira a war hero of the Zimbabwe Liberation Struggle.

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Below is also looking west down L Takawira.

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In this pic (above) I’m standing with my back to the fountain looking towards Bulawayo. If you drive 1000 km in the other direction, you will get to Johannesburg, South Africa!

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The trees are huge and shady and I LOVE the palms!

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I’m guessing they have grown rather, since the Rhodes Centenary Exhibition, which was a pretty big affair, by all accounts, with royalty attending and all! Rhodes, born in 1853 came to Africa and made heaps of money! A commemoration of the one-hundredth anniversary of his birth was opened by the Queen Mother, in July 1953. (This country was still a British colony then.) Several of the events were held in this park. Rhodes, who founded the country we now know as Zimbabwe, is buried in the Matopos, about 50km from Bulawayo. I have previously posted photos on my blog here.

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The municipal caravan park is  just behind those trees.

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I want one of these in my garden!!! Its SO cute, so colonial!

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Her bright yellow jacket goes well in a park!

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The paths are plenty wide enough for both Lizzy and I, and park workers.

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I timed my visit to catch the evening light, and I think it worked OK.

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The smell under this tree is divine! That’s the park office behind the tree.

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This last photo is of the Museum, on the North side of the road in the Centenary Park. I do like the candle-light!