December 2014

History is alive! (delayed news)

At a Charity Premiere on 10 June the 1964 film Zulu was re-launched in a digitally re-mastered format, 50 years after its first appearance. The Odeon, Leicester Square in London hosted the occasion with Walking with the Wounded, Sentebale and the Rattray Foundation being supported.

Recorded interviews with Chief Buthelezi and Michael Caine were enjoyed – as well as the full length film, at the conclusion of which everyone in the theatre stood and cheered! You must know it is based on the defence of Rorke’s Drift in 1879.

Springtime

Since our last Headlines in August, Spring lengthened our days during September and October, both months keeping us busy with a steady flow of guests. We witnessed four separate groups of bikers from UK, SA and Oz who all enjoyed our hospitality but ‘biked on’ after just one night, as bikers do.

October was notable for having just two nights without residents and the period left a trail of good wishes in the growing number of Trip Advisor reviews.

November to Remember

The first of the summer rains coincided with the start of our busiest month ever, with some back to back groups feeling the pressure on the laundry drying equipment. Impressive hail gave our roof a freshening grit-blast and reminded us about the damage that 75mm rain in an hour can cause.

The regular U3A luncheon from Cape Town with their 53-seater coincided with a resident group coach, giving our parking a new definition. Our new roadway stood the test and in spite of some rather dull weather during the month, a good time was had by all.

Our local dancers entertained on several occasions, enriching visitors’ experience of Zulu culture from the comfort of our lounge sofas.

Room at the Top

Number pressure and the desire of groups to keep together saw the completion of an additional room on the mezzanine floor in the main building. Equipped with shower ensuite and spacious accommodation for the single guest, it adds a genuine third-storey dimension to our ‘round house’ main building. Fitting out under a sloping and curved thatched roof challenged the geometry of carpenter and decorator but eventually all was done in the nick of time for its first occupant who enjoyed its quirky comfort.

Our guest suite at The Deanery offers interesting accommodation right beside the Rorke’s Drift Battlefield and is enjoyed by independent travellers and families.

Video production

Moving pictures are worth thousands of words and we now proudly present of a 3-minute video of the hotel. If you missed it in our email signature or elsewhere the link to its u-tube home is http://youtu.be/kP4gLG3dUmQ and it is also on our website and can be viewed in conjunction with our picture gallery.

Forthcoming attractions

Visitors often ask ‘what happens on the anniversary of the battle’? In 2015 for the first time a Commemorative Football Match is planned at the new Rorke’s Drift Stadium here in the village. Kick-off at 4pm and a braai afterwards at the battlefield. Those wishing to join either the Zulu or British teams should make contact. Literary Luncheon.

Author Chris Ash will present his new book Kruger, Commandos and KakDebunking the myths of the Boer War at the Hotel on Saturday 14 March. To quote a reviewer: “ Revisionist history serves the purpose of discerning historical fact from evidentiary sources through research and inquiry to reveal new perspectives and truths. It is the essence of historical scholarship. This book delivers on all these counts”. A supporting programme of activities and talks will support a British Dinner with a menu including beef and Yorkshire pudding and our kitchen’s famous non-partisan Orange Cake.