Many of you might, like me, not know very much about the Minerva Museum and Private Nature Reserve or for that matter have even heard of them. To put you in the picture, the museum is a Natural Heritage Site and is part of the private nature reserve at the very top of a hill overlooking the Byrne Valley in Richmond, KwaZulu Natal.
The museum is a fascinating place. The owner, Malcom Anderson has been collecting treasures for over 50 years … the oldest item on display is a jaw harp which he got when he was nine! The museum has a large collection of old cars – all of these are under cover just outside the large shed that is home to the museum.
On display is woodworking equipment, typewriters, a candy floss machine, agricultural machinery, an old washing machine, a potato sorter, water pumps, engines of all sorts, telephones, a rather large aeroplane engine, an iron lung … and that’s just part of the collection!
Visitors to the museum are permitted, under supervision, to start up the engines and see how things run.
The museum also has a beautifully restored railway cattle car that has now been converted into a pub. The car includes the original toilet with the ‘hole in the floor’ and the small stove that the guard would have lit to keep warm! It really is fascinating stuff!
Both the museum and reserve are open to the public. The reserve provides beautiful hikes and scenery … but please remember to pack warm clothes; the weather can get very cold and misty.
There is a large garden with a small dam, complete with canoes. The views over the Byrne Valley are spectacular too!
Planning a visit
Entrance to the museum is free but donations are most welcome. For directions or if you would like to book accommodation please call Vossie Vorster on +27 (0)82 371-4425.
See more photographs from the Minerva Museum: