Monthly Archives: April 2015

24th April, 2015: Celebrating Freedom

Peerneef evening - Fouriesberg roadMG_0018

 

Celebrating Freedom

On Monday (27th April) South Africa celebrates Freedom Day.  Freedom Day (27 April) is a national public holiday in South Africa and serves to commemorate the country’s first democratic post-Apartheid elections, held in 1994.  It’s also a day where we can all take a little time out to reflect on the role which each and every South African needs to play to ensure that our country moves forward – and who could say it better than Nelson Mandela:

Our daily deeds as ordinary South Africans must produce an actual South African reality that will reinforce humanity’s belief in justice, strengthen its confidence in the nobility of the human soul, and sustain all our hopes for a glorious life for all. 

Clarens News would like to take this opportunity to wish all our readers a wonderful weekend, and a meaningful Freedom Day on Monday.


Ashburton MTB Clarens


The Ashburton MTB race held in Clarens last weekend was a resounding success.   The event attracted 2200 entrants – many of whom had travelled from Europe – and comments ranged from “this is the best in the world” to “fabulous route, fantastic scenery…it simply couldn’t be better.”    Advendurance organizers put a large part of their success down to the wonderful co-operation they got from the farmers en-route, who went to great lengths to make sure that the event would be a success.   The Clarens Village Nature Reserve’s new trail (Caracul trail) which formed part of the route also got rave reviews.   This is an event which Clarens can certainly be proud of and speaking to Clarens restaurants and businesses, it quickly becomes obvious that this event helped to make for a bumper weekend in the town itself, so a big THANK YOU to Advendurance for bringing MTB to Clarens.
Local organizer Paul is very pleased with how well the event went off, and anticipates that interest in Clarens MTB will continue to grow and to go from strength to strength.   He did however add, that the size of MTB Clarens will always be limited by the amount of accommodation available in Clarens.
Have a look at the Ashburton MTB series website:  http://www.nationalmtbseries.com.  to see their video feature, highlighting this year’s race.


Classic Cars:  SARRA MacGregor Maluti Meander

Classic car enthusiasts are in for another treat this Sunday.   (And didn’t you just love the jaguars that visited us in March.)   This weekend SARRA are holding the MacGregor Maluti Meander and the 29 Classic cars participating in this event will arrive in Clarens on Sunday, where they will be joined by classic cars belonging to the Maluti Auto Club.
SARRA stands for the South African Regularity Rally Association.   Classic Regularity Rallying is modeled on the rallies of earlier times where a crew of driver and navigator needed to keep their rally car on the route and on time, catering for many scheduled speed and direction changes, the weather, traffic and road conditions. The famous LM rally was run on this principle until the 1970’s, as was the Monte Carlo rally. It is a sport of precision and accuracy, rather than an all out quest for speed like the modern special stage rallies.
To learn more about Regularity Rallying visit the SARRA website: http://www.sarra.co.za/


7 Things to Do in Clarens

We love it when we find a blog about Clarens.   Have a look at http://myslowjourney.com/2015/04/21/7-things-to-do-in-clarens/
There are of course a lot more than 7 Things to Do in Clarens.   Just have a look at the Clarens News Website page for Activities:   http://clarensnews.co.za/activities


And even MORE Things to Do in Clarens

Dons Kritzinger has sent us a list giving information on activites, clubs and the churches in Clarens.   Dons put this list together specially for  Newly Arrived Inhabitants of Clarens.   (And even though we’ve been around for a while, we found quite a lot of information we didn’t know about.  Thank you Dons.)
Click here to see the list


Plants found in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve

 

Article and photography by
Damien Coulson
Head ranger:
Clarens Village Nature Reserve

Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts.  After some time out due to the recent MTB Cycle Series race through Clarens this past weekend, the CVC can now breathe a sigh of relief…and continue producing interesting articles. This week we’re going off on a slightly fresher tangent – we’ll be focusing on an exotic member of the Asteraceae (Daizy) family.

Cirsium vulgare (Scotch Thistle in English, Skotsedissel in Afrikaans) is considered a naturalised exotic in S.A. This group are Alien & Invasive Plants (A&IP’s) that have occurred within our country for a long enough period of time, measured in decades, to be deemed “natural” (though not to say beneficial, and more likely detrimental to local ecosystems). C. vulgare occurs naturally in parts of Africa and Asia, New Zealand, Australia, USA, Canada, South America, Hawaii and the Pacific islands, but is classified as a Category 1 weed.  Read more

 

 

 


Foot Clinic in Clarens

 


The editorial staff had a special treat this week.   Sister Julie visited us on the Golf Estate and tended our feet.   Oh what bliss.   And to think we didn’t even have to go anywhere for this amazing treatment.   Sister Julie works at Hospice in Bethlehem, but is happy to call on you after hours and over weekends  to make your feet happy for you .


Street Numbers in Clarens

(Letter from the Clarens Chamber of Commerce)

The CRA has put communiques out regarding the implementation of street number changes, specifically the deadline.  This process was kicked off several years ago before the existence of the Chamber of Commerce.  The Chamber has received complaints from businesses regarding the changes, specifically the cost of change,  and has had meetings with the CRA to try and determine the reasoning and where in the process the change is. Besides wanting to conform to street numbering in the rest of SA, the CRA is concerned that erf numbers do not appear on GPS tracking data making it impossible for emergency services, deliveries and visitors to track places down.  Whilst this may have been the case many years ago when the process was kicked off, it is not the case today and every erf number in Clarens appears on GPS data maps; probably a result of Google charting the data 2 or so years ago.   As part of the process the CRA has  contacted Garmin to determine how long it would take for street numbers to be listed as opposed to erf numbers and the answer is quite simply that they don’t know.

 To this end, the position of the Chamber is that none of the businesses (or the residents for that matter) are obligated to display the street number as opposed to the erf number until such time that the electronic and print versions of the relevant maps have been updated.


Big upcoming Event in November – Get ready NOW!

 BMW Motorrad Days 6 – 8 NOVEMBER 2015 Make Life a Ride – all the way to BMW Motorrad Days 2015 WANTED:  Your Accommodation WHY:BMW are bringing their Motorrad event to Clarens in November, attracting 2000 – 3000 enthusiasts. Every single bed in Clarens and its surrounds will be booked out for this event. Problem is, not every bed is known! Please supply the details of your establishment/guesthouse/B ; B/farmstay etc., with email address, to ensure that you do not miss out. Please spread the word to those who do not have access to the internet. Tell your friends, family, neighbours, etc. Details can be sent to: TAMMY HANCOCK ctf@clarenssa.co.za   or NATALIE MEYER clarenschamber@gmail.com


EVENTS:

25 April  2015
Clarens Country Market

See you from 10 am onwards 

29 April, 2015
Clarens Garden Club Meeting
St. Fort
30 April – 2 May
Photography Workshop – Rosendal
Presented by Hanne Koster
1st and 2nd May 2015
Andre the Hilarious Hypnotist
Martie Lotz Hall
2nd May, 2015
Gule Wamkulu
Ism-Skism Gallery“Gule Wamkulu:The Big Dance”
by Africa Geographic photographer Andrew Brukman.
  3rd May, 2015

Book Launch: Bibliophile
The Pursuit of Life, David Zefferit

David Zeffertt has been a soldier, a shepherd, a trade-union organiser, a public servant, an advocate, and, for over forty years, a professor of law. He continued full-time lecturing until the age of seventy-two and published his last legal book in his eighties.
This delightful collection of short stories is his first published work of fiction. and will be launched to the public at 10 am on 3 May 2015 at our bookshop, Bibliophile.

 

9th May, 2015

Cluny Animal Trust Golf Day

  15-17 May, 2015
Dan Patlansky Guitar Weekend

Only 30 places available – book now if you want to attend.

  16 May, 2015

Anglican Autumn Fair

Uitkyk Farm (Green Goose)

  18-21 May, 2015

Richard Rennie “Paint with Me” workshop

 

 

 

 


Win 2 tickets to the Smoking Dragon Adrenalin Festival

It sound like fun, fun, fun.   To win 2 tickets be the first person to print a page of this newsletter and take it round to Lauren at Peter Badcock-Walters Gallery On the Square.


And – Speaking of Events:

SA’s most loved festival will be back in 2016. We cannot wait to see all you craft beer lovers again…
Tickets will go on sale in November, take our advice and book your accommodation now.


Classifieds

Remember to have a look at our Classifieds page on the website, especially if you have property to let.
Browse around – you’re bound to find something of interest.

Cirsium vulgare

Cirsium vulgare 1 Cirsium vulgare 2
Cirsium vulgare 3

Greetings to all our Village plant enthusiasts.  After some time out due to the recent MTB Cycle Series race through Clarens this past weekend, the CVC can now breathe a sigh of relief…and continue producing interesting articles. This week we’re going off on a slightly fresher tangent – we’ll be focusing on an exotic member of the Asteraceae (Daizy) family.

Cirsium vulgare (Scotch Thistle in English, Skotsedissel in Afrikaans) is considered a naturalised exotic in S.A. This group are Alien & Invasive Plants (A&IP’s) that have occurred within our country for a long enough period of time, measured in decades, to be deemed “natural” (though not to say beneficial, and more likely detrimental to local ecosystems). C. vulgare occurs naturally in parts of Africa and Asia, New Zealand, Australia, USA, Canada, South America, Hawaii and the Pacific islands, but is classified as a Category 1 weed.

Many of you will have recognised this striking purple flower from disturbed areas including roadsides, old farmlands, along riparian zones and urban fringes. Make no mistake though – once those spiny leaves make contact with your skin you’ll be itching and scratching for the rest of the day. A&IP’s such as this species rely on wind and avian dispersal and through some feed-stocks to spread into new areas.

The leaves of C. vulgare (are pretty vulgare when catching one’s bare skin) are 70-300 mm long, roughly lance-shaped with spine-like margins and covered in fine hairs. The stems extend up to 2 m on average, spreading from the base into a mess of dense, multi-stemmed and near impenetrable foliage. Flowers develop at the apex of the plant, flowering takes place in late summer to early autumn (Feb-Apr). The purple flower heads typically measure 40-50 mm in diameter by 25-50 mm wide, complete with narrow, spine-tipped bracts. The wind-dispersed fruits have several bristles on the tip and are up to 5 mm long. Uses:

Traditional uses

The seed fluff makes excellent tinder that is easily lit by a spark from a flint and the petals have been used as chewing gum/tobacco alternative. The oil from these seeds has reportedly been extracted for use in cooking and in lamps for lighting.

Ecological Threat

The fluffy-white seed of C. vulgare are highly viable and once introduced spreads rapidly if not swiftly controlled. This is one of several species that the CVC actively strives to eradicate and is most simply done through uprooting using a spade, cutting off of the flower-heads, placing them into a bag and burning in an enclosed chamber (or in an area with no wind). The spiny form of this species renders it unpalatable to both wildlife and livestock. If left unchecked, this species encloses old farmlands and grazed grassveld areas, leaving the land largely fallow and vulnerable to erosion and subsequently, degradation.

Conservation Status

The SANBI conservation status for C. vulgare is listed as Not Defined.

 

Click here for more information on plants in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve

Click here for more information on the Clarens Village Nature Reserve

 

Damien1-100x100Article and photography by Damien Coulson

Head ranger: Clarens Village Nature Reserve

 

10th April, 2015: Welcome to Autumn

 

AutumnIMG_0025

 

Nights are getting cooler, and it’s time to start ordering your firewood, and unpacking your winter coats.   There are signs of seasonal change everywhere, so despite the sunny days, and the greening brought about by our recent rain, we need to start preparing for much colder weather ahead.   People are predicting snow for Clarens this winter.   Oh well, we just have to wait and see.


 

Meiringskloof

Meiringskloof has always been a very good reason for people to visit Fouriesburg.   We sent Lauren Moorcroft to go and have a look – and she’s written an article about her “Day out of Clarens.”   Click here to read it.  (We really enjoyed her recount of the creatures she met in the cave – and can only hope that Damien had nothing to do with this particular part of her adventure.)

If you’re planning to visit Fouriesburg, have a look at the articles on the Self-Drive pages of the website.
Clarens to Fouriesburg
C
larens to Fouriesburg (The Caledon Loop)


Creative Hands – 60 artists/crafters receive their certificates

 

You could almost taste the excitement when 60 local artists and crafters gathered in the Martie Lotz Hall yesterday, to receive their Clarens Creative Hands Certificates.   The Creative Hands project has been working with these artists and crafters for nearly two months, and it has been extremely exciting to see how the Art Aid team have managed to coax and inspire our local artists, giving them the encouragement and confidence needed to go forward and establish successful careers in a most demanding field.   It was a very special occasion.  Not least because we had the opportunity to meet  Dr Narissa Ramdhini, CEO, of the Ifa Lethu Foundation.   You very quickly get the impression that she is not only committed but also extremely determined not only to enable artists and crafters to build sustainable businesses, but also to preserve our cultural heritage with skills from the past being developed and passed on to the next generation.   What’s more Ifa Lethu is committed to continue helping our local artists and hope to establish a retail outlet for these talented artists and crafters right here in Clarens. Read more


Clarens Fire Association Newsletter

Everyone will remember the devastating wildfires of 2014.   During these fires we had tremendous goodwill from the community which helped to keep the morale of the firefighers high.   We also had great support for our fundraising golf day held on Saturday 1st November 2014.   This was our most successful golf day held to date and enables us to keep or Clarens Working on Fire team operational.  The cost of transporting and providing food only for the WoF teams utilised over the last fire season was nearly R100,000.   Read more


Foot Clinic in Clarens

 


Welcome Sister Julie
Sister Julie specialises in foot care and especially foot care for diabetics.
So now there’s no excuse not to go walking in the Clarens Village Nature Reserve.


Clarens has a new Pub.

Clarens has a new pub:   Jack & Jill, Pub & Grill.
They’re opening today.   You’ll find them in Sias Oosthuizen Street (next to Fully Connected.)


 

China in South Africa Week:  12-20 April, 2015

The Free State Provincial Government, lead by the Hon. Premier. Mr E.S. Magashule will be hosting approximately 500 Chinese investors during the week of the 12th – 19th April 2015.

The objective of hosting this event is as follows:
1. To improve the relations and partnership with our current and future Chinese investors;
2. South Africa imports more commodities and goods than we export, our aim is to sell our province and its potential to the Chinese, work towards providing an enabling platform for the Chinese to invest in our province with the intention and view to increase our export profile.
3. To provide a holistic tour experience across the province, in an aim to temporary increase consumer spending during the tours and to sell the Tourism sector as a growing sector in the Free State Province.

Click here for more information


 

Big upcoming Event in November – Get ready NOW!

 

BMW Motorrad Days 6 – 8 NOVEMBER 2015

Make Life a Ride – all the way to BMW Motorrad Days 2015

WANTED:  Your Accommodation

WHY:  BMW are bringing their Motorrad event to Clarens in November,

attracting 2000 – 3000 enthusiasts.

Every single bed in Clarens and its surrounds will be booked out for this

event. Problem is, not every bed is known! Please supply the details of your

establishment/guesthouse/B & B/farmstay etc., with email address, to ensure

that you do not miss out. Please spread the word to those who do not have

access to the internet. Tell your friends, family, neighbours, etc.

Details can be sent to: TAMMY HANCOCK ctf@clarenssa.co.za   or

                                   NATALIE MEYER clarenschamber@gmail.com


EVENTS

11 April 2015
Clarens Country Market

2-12 April, 2015Stars of Sandstone

A large collection of Heritage items from 2-ft narrow guage locomotives, steam traction engines, vintage agricultural machinery, old cars, aircraft and military vehicles are brought to life during the show.

Josie Field

10 April, 2015

Josie Field in Rosendal

Rosa Theatre

    11 April, 2015
Clarens Sector Police Forum, Kia and Radio
Maluti Golf Day.
 18-19 April 2015
Ashburton National MTB Series – Clarens
Clarens hosts #3 of the Ashburton National MTB Series: an exciting 7 leg  National marathon mountain biking series spanning 6 South African provinces.

Classifieds

Remember to have a look at our Classifieds page on the website, especially if you have property to let.