Passers-by might have been forgiven for thinking the TV show Top Gear had come to town. The lovingly cared-for E-Type in the photo above was just one of the marvels from an earlier age that made the trek to the Dome from Johannesburg and other towns. This was a collection of fairly antique Jags (and a Daimler) driven by gentlemen enthusiasts who insisted on sticking mostly to the tar of course! They ventured ever-so-slightly onto the dirt to visit the meteorite melt rocks of the Salvamento Quarry (below). The club was treated to a lecture tour by Graeme Addison, followed by a sumptuous lunch at Dome Inn. Sadly for club chairman Gerry Kramer his beautiful car conked in on the way and he missed the tour – though not the grub. He finally made it by lunchtime. Way to go! Gerry commented afterwards: “Thanks for the wonderful day you arranged for us. Received only compliments from the members for the very informative lecture and tour, which was presented in quite an informal yet very interesting manner – really sorry I missed it all!”
The group showed interest in a Battlefields Tour of the Dome area next time around. We call this the Crucible of Chaos, for not only did the world’s biggest meteorite hit here, but human beings have been fighting over the rich grasslands, the Vaal river and the gold for generations. A two-day battlefields route would be best. Accommodation over night could be at Otters’ Haunt. The tour could take in the Battle of the Vaal (Mzilikazi’s first attack on the Voortrekkers, 1836), the “Blood River of the Free State” (Vegkop, 1836) as well as gold rush events (1887-1911), the Boer Wars of 1880-1 and 1889-1902, the Rebellion of 1914, the Miners’ Strike of 1922, the Ossewa Brandwag and World War II, and the apartheid era with Sharpeville and attacks on Sasolburg. In fact, conflict comes to the present because this is the heartland of the Afrikaner rightwing and quite recently a radical group planned to blow up Vaal Dam. Not quite the peaceful area it appears!