Thursday, October 6, 2011

Despatch attractions

Even though the town of Despatch between Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage is part of the Nelson Mandel Bay metropolitan area, its a fairly quiet place and most people from outside the area only knows it as the home of rugby legend Danie Gerber.  One wouldn't really call Despatch a bustling tourist destination, but there are one or two attractions one can visit if you have time on your way through.

On the outskirts of the town next to the railway line is the historic brickworks chimney which was built in 1882.  Despatch originally started as a siding on the main railway line between Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage which was used to transport bricks from the flourishing brickworks to PE for use in construction.  That is actually where the town got its name from as the bricks were "despatch"ed from here. 

Standing in the main road through town visitors will be able to fond the Despatch Museum.  The interior boasts a mini model of the Stegosaurus, which was discovered in Despatch in 1903. (The original dinosaur is currently on display at Bayworld). Alongside it, are examples of the original bricks produced in the town, as well as a further two models of beautiful, red brick chimneys built by a former town engineer.  Given the fact that many well-known sportsmen originated from Despatch, numerous sporting memorabilia festoon the walls of the museum.  These include six rugby Springbok blazers, along with the jackets of two South African cricket umpires and the running gear of a Comrades Marathon winner. Names such as Danie Gerber, Adri Geldenhuys, Rudi Koertzen and Charl Matthys, amongst others, are synonymous with Despatch.


  1. Cool. Did not know there was actually anything worth seeing/photographing out there.

  2. That chimney is very cool looking yet seems so out of place on the landscape.