15. MINING PROPERTY LEFT BEHIND IN EXCELLENT CONDITION

Hugh Hughes was appointed as General Manager of TGME after the war and on 14 July 1902 he reported as follows after visiting the mine at Pilgrim's Rest:


The machinery in the workshop is in splendid order. The Boers used our punching machines for the minting of a few hundred 1902 sovereigns... The three large safes inside the strong room were not touched in any way. The cash balance of £137-0s-10d was intact.


He also mentioned that bar gold to the value of £17 000 was untouched by the Boers.

At the first annual general meeting of the TGME mine in 1902 in Johannesburg, the chairperson said the following:


The action of the Boer authorities in the Lydenburg district in connection with the mines under their control has been highly creditable to them. Of course they commandeered all stores and material of which they could make any use, but they avoided wanton destruction. It must be remembered in this connection that our property, which is scattered over a great area, was under the control of the Boers throughout the whole period of the war, excepting for a few days when General Buller's forces passed through Pilgrim's Rest.109

Our manager, on his return, found all the Company's safes, books, documents, and plans as he had left them in the strong room. He found unlocked in our store room the lead bullion for September and part of October 1899 and, above all, he found practically intact the whole of the buildings, plant and machinery, valued at 200 000 pound.110




109Cartwright, AP. Valley of Gold 1980:100.

110Cartwright, AP. Valley of Gold 1980:100.

 
  INDEX
   
1. Introduction
2. Background
3. Pilgrim's rest
4. Contemplating the making of gold pounds
5. Permission for establishing a government mint
6. ZAR field mint at Pilgrim's rest
7. Workshop and machines
8. Process of making veldpond
9. Cabinet ministers visited Pilgrim's rest
10. The mint commission
11. Final product
12. Medals awarded
13. Veldpond as a reminder
14. How many veldpond were minted?
15. Mining property left behind in excellent condition
16. The last time the dies were used
17. Marshall's book
18. Diorama of the field mint at the empire exhibition 1936
19. Conclusion
20. References