Museums, Art Galleries and Botanical Gardens

ID #1621

Our Heritage Museum, Adelaide, Eastern Cape.

The building started out as the “Pastorie” for the Dutch Reformed Church minister, George Stegman, who supervised its construction. It served as home for a succession of ministers from 1860-1964.  The Provincial Administration and Mr and Mrs Harry Ash, who donated much of the furniture, purchased the building in 1967.  One becomes aware of a feeling of timelessness and tranquillity on entering the museum. Its charm lies in the fact that it has been furnished with period furniture.  The 12 rooms were allocated to teams of ladies who were given the task of furnishing and portraying a “lived-in” look as close as possible to the state of each room when in use in the 1860’s.  The outbuildings comprise a large shed that house a variety of carts, carriages and wagons as well as an interesting collection of old-time dairy and laundry utensils

Mr and Mrs Ash were instrumental in establishing the museum and he was the largest contributor of antiques – furniture, glassware, Wedgewood and silver.  Harry lived in England and met Margaret Lomax, who hailed from Adelaide, while on holiday.  They subsequently married and made their home in England.  During WWII he served in the merchant navy and was the only survivor after his ship was torpedoed and sank.  Mrs Ash was the oldest daughter of A Lomax, from Molteno, who moved to Adelaide and established a successful chemical business. 

They collected antiques as a hobby and, during the war years, their collection was stored in a little village on the east coast of England.  During the blitz the area was heavily bombed and they believed that their collection had been destroyed.  After the war, they were amazed to find that their collection had survived intact.  They relocated to Adelaide where they established a home.

Their valuable private collection of china and antiques forms the nucleus of the museum.  It includes pieces of Sierre, Staffordshire, Worcester, Stoneware, Derby, Dresden, Chelsea, Loystoft, Spode and Wedgewood.

Mr Ash was among the many distinguished guests at the Wedgewood International Seminar at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.  He presented coloured slides of the 1760/1860 Wedgewood period, antiques in South Africa, and articles in “Our Heritage Museum” As a renowned collector of Wedgewood he was much in demand to lecture on this subject, and lectured extensively in the USA and England.   At a seminar in England, he also gave an informative talk on Chinese Ming porcelain he found in Morgan’s Bay.

He founded a successful sweet and cooldrink factory at #16 Market Street that specialised in Turkish Delight and Jelly Tots. He was the first Chairman of the museum committee and both he and his wife were made honorary life members of the Board of Trustees.

Queen Street, Adelaide, which is on the R63 west of King William’s Town, which is on the N2 east of East London, which is at the intersection of the N2 with the N6. BGOur

Contct:            +27 (46) 684 0290 telephone
+27 (46) 684 0290 fax   

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Last update: 2014-05-11 19:10
Author: Alan McIver
Revision: 1.3

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