Notes from the Editor

With a trickle coming out the tap this morning, my shower took a record 10 minutes to get wet, the whole time I found myself thinking that the Beer Festival (see below) can’t come soon enough, then we can bathe in the stuff. To find out the latest about the town’s water issues, please click here For those of you sick of the taste of Caledon water and interruptions to your supply, please have a look at what DEW water catchers can do for you in terms of atmospheric water – click here I was quite surprised to discover that one of the oldest steam trains in the country is running just down the road from Clarens, at Ficksburg, in the Sandstone Estates. A 2 foot railway line allows them to rebuild engines and trains, and recreate an era of bygone times with what is called Narrow Gauge Locomotion. Their Steam Heritage Festival runs from the 4th to the 12th of May this year, and promises historic trains, a Sherman Tank, vintage tractors and dozers, as well as a Model T Ford grain truck, all of which are in operation and function in conjunction with the agricultural nature of the area it inhabits. Well, maybe not the Sherman tank (I hope), but all the rest. I will make a mission in the next couple of weeks to meet and interview the people who put this together and maintain a unique slice of history for us all to enjoy. In the meantime to see more about the event, click here And in other news I should tell you all that the last printed version of the Clarens Newswas snapped up over the festive period, the 1500 copies vanished at high speed, and special thanks to Clarens 66 Petrol Station for handing out so many of them. The next issue out at the end of Jan, you decide what you want it to do for you, and email me at

Craft Beer Festival News

With the Festival coming up late in February, the News has done a little research into Beer as a concept and as a recreation. So far, we like it. To find out more about the Festival and Craft Beer in general, please click here

Live Music and Specials

At Street Cafe the pool table and darts board are waiting for you, and their delicious prawn special (click here to hear more) is on again on Saturday and Sunday, as well as double Richelieu & coke special for R 25  for this weekend too. And daily specials to follow- watch this space. Their Happy Hour is on Monday evenings, and they will be having Christiaan performing there on Saturday evening. Also look out for the Highlander Happy Hour on Friday evenings, and the Friends Pub Happy Hour on Wednesday evening with live music from Slipstream. Also at FriendsBendover (click to see the event) will be up late on Friday night, and Slipstream will do the dirty work on Saturday night, see you there. Artichoke Restaurant has Christiaan van Zyl on Sunday from lunch to sundown. To find out more about this very regular and interesting musician click here

Things to do

Explore Clarens and the surrounding area for crystals. The local sandstone cliffs are part of the Clarens Formation which extends across the Drakensberg, and are rich in volcanic tubes and crystal bearing agate. You can also find Khoi-San artifacts, tools and arrow heads scattered around the top of the mountains overlooking Clarens. For more info on the Conservancy trails go to the Old Stone Bottle Store, Bibliophile or Mountain Odyssey and buy a Conservancy map (website still under construction)

Community News

Been a busy week for the News, Sector Policing Forum meeting to discuss the unfortunate incident which befell Richard Rennie on Old Year’s Eve is discussed in the Forum and the latest Ratepayers Newsletter is under Community News, click on either of the links to find out more.

Photo Competition

Summer time and a whole new look for Clarens, if anyone would like to sponsor prizes for this then the competition will carry their name. Please feel free to contact with ideas and suggestions.

Ornithological Notes

Well, only 226 shopping days to Christmas and the ankle-biters are all off to school again to rack up another year of educational achievement.    Thank goodness Clarens is not in Limpopo or we wouldn’t even be able to say that.   On a domestic note, several readers have called to claim sighting of the creature reported in last week’s Clarens News but as yet no-one has come up with a decent picture of this elusive visitor.   The ‘Creature Wall’ in the Clarens Brewery is yet to have any postings, so please come forward if you have anything to report.   Your faithful scribe has meanwhile done further research and can confirm that in the USA, where rates of obesity would make any Bigfoot hard to spot in a crowded mall, sightings of this creature seem quite common… (to read more please click here)