Hi, this week I have a bit more history for you…
I met Harry Croome whilst photographing the firing of some historical cannon in the past few weeks. Harry Croome is a serving member of the Navy and is curator of the SA Navy Museum in Simon’s Town. He had invited me to visit, so I did.
The SA Navy Museum is based in the original Dockyard Magazine/Storehouse (1743/44) in Simon’s Town naval base. In 1810 when the Royal Navy moved its headquarters from Cape Town to Simon’s Town. It was gradually extended to become the three-storey building it is today.
Throughout the years it served ships as a Magazine and Storehouse and also as a: Masthouse, handling masts some 36 metres long; Sail Loft; Boat Shed; Rigging Shop; Store for a Rocket Wagon and Life saving Apparatus; and, as St. George’s Church.
They have many fascinating displays and I found it most interesting. As one enters the Museum one is welcomed by the person manning the reception desk with a pleasant smile.
There are models of ships that sank, with their history written up next to the display.
They have life size replicas of the interior of a Daphne class submarine, a ships bridge, and many other wonderful displays.
To me the most beautiful part of the museum is the church. Apart from the lovely stained glass window, there is a mural drawn by Joy Collier – an artist from Somerset West. The first section of this mural was completed in 1955 and the second part in 1978. The mural pays tribute to the Royal Navy and the South African Navy as well as some characters and events that played a part in history. The photograph I show here only depicts a small section of the mural which spans nearly 3/4 of the length of the building.
The following link is to The Museums website: http://www.simonstown.com/navalmuseum/index.htm
I recommend a visit to this museum, even if it is just to see the magnificent building with it’s huge doors on the ground floor.