The last industrial archaeology meet was overbooked. Therefore, it was repeated on Sunday 18 March 2018, for the benefit of those members who have the misfortune to work during the week.
We left Constantia Nek at 07h40, from whence we uneventfully walked up Orange Kloof to Journey’s End and the upstream entrance to the Woodhead Tunnel, where we looked inside the entrance. From the Woodhead Tunnel we ascended to the entrance of the Apostles Tunnel, which was locked, and to the Woodhead Dam. Thence to the top of the dam wall, along the railway track bed, past the concrete of the Public Shelter floor to the remains of the cableway at the top of Kasteelspoort. We then walked towards Echo Valley, and across to the Club Hut where lunch was eaten.
After lunch, we walked past the old quarry to the Waterworks Museum which was closed, despite a phone call the previous day to the relevant functionary. After examining the Hely Hutchinson Dam wall, we continued up the Disa Gorge, along the Aqueduct to the Smuts Track, and the top of Skeleton Gorge.
We then walked in low cloud past the top of Nursery Ravine, below the Victoria and Alexandra Reservoirs, to the former Wynberg Reservoirs overseer’s cottage, now a SanParks upmarket visitors’ residence. Finally we walked down the Jeep Track, arriving at Constantia Nek at 16h45.
A big thank you to Ariva, Paul Coulthard, Niamaat Gamildien and Nic Van Zyl for sharing the photos they took on the meet.
Further information can be found in the late Terence Timoney’s account of the waterworks history, as well as in Wall, K. (1998) Of water, mountains and megacities. Journal of the Mountain Club of S.A. (101), 36 – 46.