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Images from 1993



This was a device that I put together for burning pans.  At that time I (mistakenly) believed it was important to get the drum red hot.  The "barrel" at right has an industrial extractor fan attached, which forced air into thr larger drum which had a kind of grill arrangement on which the fire was lit.  The pan sat on two iron bars above the fire.  It took about 3 minutes to get the whole pan glowing red.  The fan was originally used on the ICL 1301 installed and maintained at Rhodes University by my Dad in about 1966.

This was a device that I put together for burning pans. At that time I (mistakenly) believed it was important to get the drum red hot. The "barrel" at right has an industrial extractor fan attached, which forced air into thr larger drum which had a kind of grill arrangement on which the fire was lit. The pan sat on two iron bars above the fire. It took about 3 minutes to get the whole pan glowing red. The fan was originally used on the ICL 1301 installed and maintained at Rhodes University by my Dad in about 1966.

This was at a gig we played at The Halyards, a hotel/restaurant on the marina at Port Alfred.  L-R Cathy, Robin, Ant, Rodney (kneeling) and Don.  Me in the bottom right.  I still have those super-stylish uniforms!  The banner was lost when I moved from South Africa.

This was at a gig we played at The Halyards, a hotel/restaurant on the marina at Port Alfred. L-R Cathy, Robin, Ant, Rodney (kneeling) and Don. Me in the bottom right. I still have those super-stylish uniforms! The banner was lost when I moved from South Africa.

A set of bass pans I made for one of the schools at the De Beers diamond mining town of Orapa in Botswana.  This and the two sister sets at the other two schools were my first big order for pans, and the first complete sets of Bass pans that I made.

A set of bass pans I made for one of the schools at the De Beers diamond mining town of Orapa in Botswana. This and the two sister sets at the other two schools were my first big order for pans, and the first complete sets of Bass pans that I made.

Early Lead Pan that I made for the mine schools in Orapa.  At that time I was starting to shape the pans directly as I was sinking them, as opposed to sinking a bowl and then refining the bowl into a pan shape (hey, there was no-one to teach me, I was figuring it out on my own).  The pan had a two octave range exactly, with 12 notes on the rim, then 9, and then 4.  D4 - D6.

Early Lead Pan that I made for the mine schools in Orapa. At that time I was starting to shape the pans directly as I was sinking them, as opposed to sinking a bowl and then refining the bowl into a pan shape (hey, there was no-one to teach me, I was figuring it out on my own). The pan had a two octave range exactly, with 12 notes on the rim, then 9, and then 4. D4 - D6.

A set of Double Tenors I made for the mine schools in Orapa, Botswana.  This was a "mathematically correct" layout in the sense that it provided the optimum use of the available space across all notes.  The range was G3 - Bb5, and the chromatic scale sticking was R-LL-RR-LL-RR-LL-RR-LL and so on, which made more sense to me than the "traditional" Double Tenor layout.  The kind of weird looking square/octagon notes were based on the set of Double Tenors I played in the Andrew Tracey Steelband, which were made by Lenox "Darkie" Lewis in about 1980.

A set of Double Tenors I made for the mine schools in Orapa, Botswana. This was a "mathematically correct" layout in the sense that it provided the optimum use of the available space across all notes. The range was G3 - Bb5, and the chromatic scale sticking was R-LL-RR-LL-RR-LL-RR-LL and so on, which made more sense to me than the "traditional" Double Tenor layout. The kind of weird looking square/octagon notes were based on the set of Double Tenors I played in the Andrew Tracey Steelband, which were made by Lenox "Darkie" Lewis in about 1980.

A set of the Double Seconds I made for the mine schools in Orapa, Botswana.  Range started at G3.  When I looked at them after I came back from my trip to Trinidad (which I left for a few weeks after this picture was taken) they seemed kind of rough and crude to me :)

A set of the Double Seconds I made for the mine schools in Orapa, Botswana. Range started at G3. When I looked at them after I came back from my trip to Trinidad (which I left for a few weeks after this picture was taken) they seemed kind of rough and crude to me :)

Cellos from the mine schools in Orapa, Botswana.  I had struggled to make decent cellos, I knew that by truncating the range and making the notes bigger that they would be easier to tune and be more stable.  They look kind of crude to me now :)

Cellos from the mine schools in Orapa, Botswana. I had struggled to make decent cellos, I knew that by truncating the range and making the notes bigger that they would be easier to tune and be more stable. They look kind of crude to me now :)

A traditional village in Botswana.  I took a trip with some of the teachers from the mine schools to go there.  My expert photography skills are on display with my finger over the lens on the top right.

A traditional village in Botswana. I took a trip with some of the teachers from the mine schools to go there. My expert photography skills are on display with my finger over the lens on the top right.

Visiting entertainer Louis Balkind at his apartment in Johannesburg on my way back from tuning the pans in Orapa, Botswana.  Louis had purchased what was the best pan I had made up to that point.  Based on the 4ths & 5ths Lead, from low D, but with 12 on the rim, 9 on the next ring, and 5 in the middle.  I was obsessed with trying to get more space between the notes...

Visiting entertainer Louis Balkind at his apartment in Johannesburg on my way back from tuning the pans in Orapa, Botswana. Louis had purchased what was the best pan I had made up to that point. Based on the 4ths & 5ths Lead, from low D, but with 12 on the rim, 9 on the next ring, and 5 in the middle. I was obsessed with trying to get more space between the notes...

The first set of pans that I made to order were these Double Tenors, sold to Ant Stevens several years previously.  On my way back from Orapa, Botswana in 1993 I went past his place to tune them, and found them quite rusted.  I cleaned them up for him.  This is an after-before pic.  I had no idea that one could paint the note surface at that time, up til then I had only seen pans finished with shoe polish.  These pans and photo of me with them made it into a national newspaper magazine article about my then upcoming trip to Trinidad.

The first set of pans that I made to order were these Double Tenors, sold to Ant Stevens several years previously. On my way back from Orapa, Botswana in 1993 I went past his place to tune them, and found them quite rusted. I cleaned them up for him. This is an after-before pic. I had no idea that one could paint the note surface at that time, up til then I had only seen pans finished with shoe polish. These pans and photo of me with them made it into a national newspaper magazine article about my then upcoming trip to Trinidad.

A few weeks before I left on my pilgrimage to Trinidad, some friends threw me a party.  They knew that this was a trip that I had been wanting to do for years.  Due to the apartheid regime in South Africa, it had not been possible for me to get a visa to visit Trinidad, but with the "winds of change" in the air things had relaxed and Robin, Cathy and I were finally on our way.  To acclimate us to Trinidad, our friends insisted that we finish a bottle of rum between us that night.  It was quite a party...

A few weeks before I left on my pilgrimage to Trinidad, some friends threw me a party. They knew that this was a trip that I had been wanting to do for years. Due to the apartheid regime in South Africa, it had not been possible for me to get a visa to visit Trinidad, but with the "winds of change" in the air things had relaxed and Robin, Cathy and I were finally on our way. To acclimate us to Trinidad, our friends insisted that we finish a bottle of rum between us that night. It was quite a party...




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