A Noetzie Love Story

John W. Newdigate's album - the same picture as Herbie North's in top left corner

From John W Newdigate’s album

Looking through the old family album collections, my husband and I discovered that both our grandfathers had once been in love with the same girl. The details are sketchy but when the same graceful beauty appeared,  so often, in both  our grandfathers’ bachelor albums,  we started to look for, and find more clues.

Herbie North's album

Herbie North’s album

What we have found out is that her name was Una le F…., maybe le Fleur,  her sister, or friend, was Peggy.  These photos were taken in 1926, a weekend party to the coast from Oudtshoorn, via  Kruisfontein, Prince Albert. Apparently there was a le Fleur family  living in Knysna?

Herbie North's album - Is that Una standing behind the car?

Herbie North’s album – Is that Una standing behind the car?

John W. Newdigate album

John W. Newdigate album – Here she is again,  in the reeds at Noetzie. Is that Herbie on the left? Yes, I think so.

Una & Peggy laughing on the steps at North Cottage, from Herbie North's album

Una & Peggy laughing on the steps at North Cottage, from Herbie North’s album

She never married either of them but the wives they eventually married (our grandmothers) may have ripped photos out of their  husband’s  bachelor albums at some point – it really looks like photos have been removed deliberately.

Una was chaperoned at all times by her parents, the man who we now assume is her father,  we once were convinced was George Bernard Shaw (he did visit Noetzie- but a few years later). You can see Una’s parents and siblings (?) in the watermelon feast pictures, as well as others. I don’t think the chaperones went on the picnics upriver though, that might have been too adventurous.

John W. Newdigate album - picnic with Una at Noetzie River

John W. Newdigate album – picnic with Una at Noetzie River

John W. Newdigate album - Una

John followed her or accompanied her on a trip to Europe, or did she post this to him, after her visit to Noetzie?

John W. Newdigate album - Una and Peggy

John W. Newdigate album - sailing on the Knysna Estuary (Una on right)

John W. Newdigate album – sailing on the Knysna Estuary (Una on right)

So, that is all we have really- there are a few more I might add but I am still relying on too much imagination when I look at these lovely faded photographs. I wish they could tell us a bit more! Bruce and I did not know that our grandfathers knew each other that well but it certainly seems that they did. Maybe Herbie was in love with the sister Peggy and Una is behind the lens?  Who knows? 5 years later, Herbie called his new baby daughter Peggy. Is that a small clue? Ah, no  that is my imagination at it again:)

noetzieknysna pics 007

Herbie’s album, ‘cooling off in the lagoon’

Sand witches? Hmm, under her spell perhaps?

Herbie’s album: Sand witches? Hmm, under her spell perhaps?

Below, Herbie on right with his arm on Una’s knee.  John is to the left in dark pants looking very glum. Mysterious GBS look-alike next to him – probably the father keeping an eye on his daughters?

Noetzie History

 Can you provide any info. I’d love to fill in the gaps!

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