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TODAY IN KIMBERLEY’S HISTORY 20 FEBRUARY

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UPDATE: 20/02/2018

20 FEBRUARY 1899, England cricket team arrive in Kimberley to play match.
20 FEBRUARY 1912, A serious earthquake hits Kimberley causing great damage at Kenilworth.
20 FEBRUARY 1918, Four miners die in a mud rush at Bultfontein mine.
20 FEBRUARY 1922, The Beaconsfield Club burns down.

DID YOU KNOW

After fifty years of using the original building that came from Klipdrift (Barkly West) a fire destroyed the entire Beaconsfield Club in the early hours of Monday 20 February 1922.

The Diamond Fields Advertiser reported:

“Unusual excitement prevailed in the early hours of yesterday morning at Beaconsfield, where a few minutes after three o’clock a fire broke out at the Beaconsfield Club, one of the oldest buildings in the township and a landmark of no mean importance since the early days of the discovery of diamonds.

It was at 03h05 that the Kimberley Fire Brigade received a call from the telephone within the building, and under the command of Major B Doyle the engines and full crew were quickly speeding to the scene of the outbreak. The flames spread with startling rapidity, and in no time the flimsy structure was enveloped, the tongues of fire which leaped skywards being visible for a good distance around.

Upon arrival at the spot, it was quite apparent that the building was doomed, and all that was possible was for the Brigade to concentrate its efforts in checking the devastating influence of the furious flames, and saving the back rooms of the premises (of which there is a row) and adjoining properties. For half an hour the firemen battled with the conflagration, and although by this time the building had been practically razed to the ground, the fire was localised and was not allowed to get within grip of properties adjacent.

The origin of the fire is unknown. The property is insured for £4000. Acquired by Mr TJ Laffan some little time ago. Mr J Molyneaux (at one time Mayor of Beaconsfield) was previously in charge, and conducted the establishment for many years. The place, we understand, was under the control of the Beaconsfield Club Company, of which Mr D O’Brien was the manager and Mr Williams secretary.”

UPDATE: 20/02/2017

20 FEBRUARY 1899, England cricket team arrive in Kimberley to play match.
20 FEBRUARY 1912, A serious earthquake hits Kimberley causing great damage at Kenilworth.
20 FEBRUARY 1918, Four miners die in a mud rush at Bultfontein mine.

DID YOU KNOW

The seismic history of South Africa dates as far back as 1620. Information as acquired from various sources e.g. replies to questionnaires, accounts supplied spontaneously by numerous individuals, from the reports of meteorological observers, and from the press was compiled in a uniform catalogue of earthquakes in Southern Africa.

For historical earthquakes the size of the event is established from the intensity of shaking experienced by the observer.
The seismic intensity is a measure of the observed disturbance caused by an earthquake on the surface. It is closely related to the distance from the focus of the earthquake and also the geological conditions. If enough observations are available an isoseismal map be drawn up for an earthquake. The isoseismal lines can be used to establish the location of the earthquake.

Historical earthquake information is complemented with data recorded by the South African Seismological Network. The first seismographs in South Africa were operated by the Union Observatory in Johannesburg, the University of Cape Town and the De Beers Meteorological Station in Kimberley. The first installation was in 1910. A modern national network of seismological stations has gradually developed in South Africa since 1971 and is operated by the Seismology unit of the Council for Geoscience.

Earthquakes in the databank are specified in terms of date, time, region, value of maximum reported intensity (on the Modified Mercalli Scale), and/or magnitude.

Since 1988 several seismological stations have been upgraded to digital stations. The current network comprises 28 seismological stations of which two are three-component broad-band stations, while the rest are vertical component short-period. Three of these stations are also equipped with three-component long-period seismometers. Twenty-three stations are digital.

The earthquake that hit Kimberley at 15h04 on 20 February 1912 was felt all over South Africa. About 6.2 degrees magnitude on the Richter scale the epicentre was near Koffiefontein and apart from Kenilworth village where several houses were badly damaged, many farm buildings were completely destroyed. The Schietmakaar, Kareeportjes, Bramley, Inkomst, Witkomst, Zendelingsfontein, Helpmakaar and Groenkloof farms were the most affected.The earthquake lasted about 30 seconds.

20 FEBRUARY 1899, England cricket team arrive in Kimberley to play match.
20 FEBRUARY 1912, A serious earthquake hits Kimberley causing great damage at Kenilworth.
20 FEBRUARY 1918, Four miners die in a mud rush at Bultfontein mine.

DID YOU KNOW

An ML 6.2 earthquake that occurred near Koffiefontein on 20 February 1912 was felt all over South Africa, and particularly in Kimberley where many houses in Kenilworth village were so badly damaged they had to be rebuilt.

The strongest effects were registered in the area delimited by Kimberley, Bloemfontein, Koffiefontein and Fauresmith, in particular in the rural district between the latter two locations, from which severe building damage, including isolated instances of total collapse of farm houses, as well as damage to dams, was reported.

From Kimberley Calls and Recalls on Facebook By Steve Lunderstedt

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