Bakeries and Dairies

posted in: New Articles | 106

 

We’re going to try an experiment but don’t be worried, it won’t hurt at all.

Regular contributor Gerald Buttigieg sent in a story (a loooong time ago) about Durban’s dairies and bakeries that he dug up from his memories and a book. There is no facility for people to add their own memories to the regular pages on the site and so the experiment is for you to:

READ THE STORY HERE AND COME BACK AND LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS BELOW.
I’ll kick things off to show how easy it is….


ADDED October 8, 2016:

Reader Elaine Howson sent in a contribution to this post a shamefully long time ago. I lost it and have only recently rediscovered it and so here it is:

Springfield Dairy. Thomas Henry, Margaret, Francis and Evelyn are all in the photo. The elderly gentleman is Archibald Aitken, Thomas Henry’s father, who visited them from Scotland.
Springfield Dairy. Thomas Henry, Margaret, Francis and Evelyn are all in the photo. The elderly gentleman is Archibald Aitken, Thomas Henry’s father, who visited them from Scotland.

 

My Great Grandparents Thomas Henry Aitken and Margaret Aitken migrated from Dunbar in Scotland with their two children Francis and Evelyn in 1903 to Durban, South Africa. They ran a dairy at Springfield for maybe 9 years as Margaret passed away in July 1913.
Thomas Henry, Margaret, Francis and Evelyn are all in the photo. The elderly gentleman is Archibald Aitken, Thomas Henry’s father who visited them from Scotland. Thomas and Margaret are both buried at Stamford Hill Cemetary [now known as Umgeni Cemetary].
I hope this is useful information
Yours sincerely
Elaine Howson

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106 Responses

  1. Allan Jackson
    | Reply

    A great story and memoir Gerald, thanks. I would just like to add that I’m sure there were actual dairies in the municipal area. My mother mentioned a couple of times that she had stayed with the folk who ran a dairy in the area of Earl Haig Road in her youth.

    One thing you don’t mention is the fact that electric milk floats were used in Durban or, at least, in the Glenwood area. They were pretty quiet but you could hear the whine of the motor, the swish of the tyres and the clinking of bottles if you happened to awake at that time of the morning, as I sometimes was due to an athsma attack.

    • Allan Hannah
      |

      Hi AllanJ
      I wonder if anyone will remember anything about a dairy near the Durban North end of Umhlanga Rocks drive??
      I remember playing a squash match at this old dairy which had been converted to a squash court and change rooms and, I think, has since made way for development of the site.
      I also seem to remember that it was used as a home court by the only ladies side in the league (the remark is not intended to offend)!!
      There was a hotel on the corner (Bell Inn??) and a short way down Umhlanga Rocks drive one would turn left up into what appeared to be a cul de sac, the court being set back off Umhlanga Rocks Drive!
      I hope this is not a figment of my imagination as I remember playing a very hard game of league squash against a very good lady player at this venue!! I think I lost the game!!!!!!
      Regards
      AllanH

    • Allan Hannah
      |

      Hi AllanJ
      Just an afterthought!!
      The hotel on the corner was quite famous for putting on medieval evenings where one would hire a costume, dress up and have a supper, complete with mead, and eaten with the hands, of course!!!
      I always ended up wearing a Friar Tuck costume as I was a fairly portly chap at the time!! Needless to say there were about 5 other Friar Tucks in the group!
      Regards
      AllanH

    • Maurice Warren
      |

      I remember that dairy well, use to go there and buy bottles of cream for my parents when we lived in Umhlanga Rocks Drive. Must have been around 1949

    • Allan Hannah
      |

      Hi Maurice
      Not quite 1949! I was about 6 then!
      Glad someone remembers the dairy and thabks for letting me know!
      Drove past the spot where I seem to remember the drive up to the dairy but got quite confused and went on through to Umhlanga!
      Thanks
      AllanH

    • Gerald Buttigieg
      |

      Hi AllanH and Maurice,
      I have no recollection at all of that dairy’s existence so you two will have to do a bit of digging and research into that one. Some one also mentioned Swales Dairy on the Bluff. That one rings a very feint bell but again location unknown. Did both these dairies distribute milk and milk products? Be interesting if we can unearth more on these establishments for the record.

    • Allan Hannah
      |

      Hi Gerald
      Perhaps Maurice will be able to do some research on the dairy! Possibly he has family who also remember the dairy!
      All I remember was that the dairy was set a little back from the road and that I played squash there a few times! Maybe there are some old lady league squash players who recall the venue?
      AllanH

    • Rodney
      |

      I do know that there was a Swales Dairy on Puntan’s Hill in the 1950’s, complete with dairy herd. We lived in North Ridge Road 1950 -1953 and used to get our milk from them.

      P.S. Do all newcomers to FAD have some sort of verbal diarrhoea? There is so much that I would like to add my trivia to that I ration myself to 2 comments per day.

    • Rodney
      |

      The hotel that you refer to was probably the Montfleury (popularly known as the ‘Monty’. Its predecessor was the Why-notte Tearoom. We occassionally would be taken there for Sunday afternoon tea – a real drive out into the country. I still have one of the rustic chairs that my mother bought from the Why-notte when it closed down to make way for the Montfleury. (probably in the late 1950’s).

    • Gerald Buttigieg
      |

      Hi Rodney
      Durban North was not my territory but the book of words says the Montfleury Hotel with its Ye Whynotte Restaurant was in operation in 1968. The address is given as 210 Northway. Probably the hotel that Allan Hannah was referring to.

    • Veronica Hawes
      |

      We live in a unit in the complex Berry Grove, 205 Umhlanga Rocks Drive. This complex comprises of 7 units – 5 free-standing, the other two, one of which we own, are much, much older and are said to be the original buildings of a dairy farm. We call our unit the milking shed as we are convinced that the floor tiles in the entrance area as well as the kitchen resemble old milking shed tiles! We have no documentation to validate this claim, would so enjoy to learn more.

    • Rodney
      |

      Hi Allan
      This duplicates some of the information that I emailed to you. We lived in North Ridge Road 1950 – 1953 and I remember the dairy in Earl Haig Road.
      I think that it was part of what was then called Durban Combined Dairies (DCD). While we were living there, DCD evolved into Clover Dairies which of course is still going. However, the property was taken over by the NPA Education Department for the construction of a new school – I think Mitchell Girls’ High School (not sure about the name) moved from near Greyville Racecourse to the new premises. At the time it was great fun wandering about the abandoned dairy and later the new school under construction – at that time nobody seemed to worry about such intrusions. I also remember being told that the new school would not be able to use their new sports fields for 5 years as a precaution against infection from tetanus and other infections after all the dairy herds having been the previous occupants of the site. Having later studied microbiology, I found that the spores of Clostridium tetani can remain viable for a lot longer than 5 years – some writers say they are viable indefinitely (for the scientific pedants, yes I do know that ‘Clostridium tetani’ should be in italics, but I don’t know how to do that here). The school closed a few years back and the building is now used for some other purpose, but what I don’t know. At that time (1950s), Swales Dairy was in nearby opposition on Puntan’s Hill (see below).

    • Gerald Buttigieg
      |

      Hi Rodney,
      To answer your PS. I think we all get caught up with this memory thing and one memory leads to another, so I can understand where you are coming from. No doubt there are many topics written about previously that you can add to. There is no limit as to the number of comments one submits but there is a search facility which enables you to find items already discussed. This may be a help in obviating repetition.

    • Gerald Buttigieg
      |

      The 1938 Lawrie’s Directory has some interesting insights into what Durban was like just before World War II. I have been perusing it quite a bit going from one interesting aspect to another. Regarding the dairies of Durban, the directory does indicate that at the time, many independent dairies did exist and operated in and around Durban. It would appear the smaller dairies serviced the area they were situated in but there were also larger “combines” and distributors which obviously catered for the needs of bulk buyers of dairy products. It would appear that the back of Morningside / Springfield was “dairy country” seeing the number of dairies there. Here is the listing of Dairies (Creameries) in Durban at that time. The names given in brackets would be the dairy farmer / owner. I have added some comments at the end
      of the listing I have sourced about dairies.

      The Durban and District Dairies circa 1938.

      Arcadia Dairy Blackburn Road Red Hill
      *Atlanta Dairy (R.A. Carte) 179 High Ridge Road Durban North
      *Baynesfield Dairies corner Canada and Sydney Roads Durban.
      Berea Dairy 95 Mountain View Road
      Bijou Dairy (E.J.G. Wilson) 19 Cato Manor Road Mayville
      Botha P ( Dairyman) 64 Woodford Grove
      Brown’s Dairy Umgeni Heights
      Caldwell’s Hygienic Dairy Sydenham
      Carlow Dairy Carlow Road Mayville
      Child Protection Dairy 200 Florida Road
      Crown Dairy 174 Lower Bridge Road Durban North
      Dairy Products 65 Umbilo Road (see Royal and Regent)
      Dairy Supply and Cold Storage 537 Sarnia Road Sea View
      *Durban North Dairy (R. A. Carte) 179 High Ridge Road Durban North
      Farmers’ Federated Dairies Dairy Product Suppliers 8/10 Brook Street
      Hillside Dairy 14 Mimosa Road Greenwood Park
      Hillary Dairy Ridge Road Hillary
      Homeleigh Dairy 63 Marnevale Road Sea View
      Innes Road Dairy (McDonalds Bros) 915 Umgeni Road
      Irvington Dairy ( J.L. Hendry) Haig Road
      Johnson D.F. ” Wyndene” 45th Cutting Mayville
      King’s Lyn Dairy (Mrs C.M. Knights) 144 Rippon Road Sydenham
      *Model Dairy (Cafe’ S.A. Ltd) 37 Victoria Street
      Mount Pleasant Dairy (Mrs M.A. Johnson) 69 Silver Oak Avenue
      Norfolk Dairy 60 Rosebank Avenue
      North Ridge Dairy (I.E. Davidson) 117 Ridge Road
      Paradise Dairy ( J.L. Livingstone) Mayville
      Puntan’s Hill Dairy 44 Clancy Avenue
      Royal and Regent Dairies 65 Umbilo Road
      Sacca Ltd Wholesale Distributors Dairy Products 126 Berea Road
      Shamrock Dairy 559 Randles Road Sydenham
      H.J. Sands (Dairyman) 64 Woodford Grove
      Springfield Dairy (V.M. Cope) 75 Haig Road
      Swales Dairy ( W.L. Swales) 36 Valley View Road
      Tip Top Dairy 239 Buttery Road Durban North
      Welwyn Dairy (C Tunmer) 19 Bottomley Road

      * Baynesfield Dairies were based at Nel’s Rust, the farm owned by Joseph Baynes. It is situated not far from Thornville on the R56 road. Joseph Baynes was a very well known Natal and Durban pioneer. In 1898 he started Natal’s first dairy farm at Nel’s Rust. Dairy goods were transported to Durban daily. He initiated the “Model Dairy” tea room concept and opened several of these outlets in Durban, the most notable one being the one on the Lower Marine Parade, now demolished. Its legacy is the calling of the beach where it stood, “Dairy Beach”. Some of the above from the book “Joseph Baynes Pioneer” by R.O. Pearse.

      *In 1932, Richard Alexander Carte a descendant of the original 1849 Byrne Settlers purchased a small dairy in Durban North. The 1938 directory has this residential entry for Durban North: R.A. Carte 183 High Ridge Road and two dairies as listed above. Carte’s first dairy initially produced 35 gallons of milk per day. Twenty years later his milk output was 7500 gallons per day! In 1952, Richard Carte successfully negotiated the formation of Clover Dairies (Pty) Ltd. Some notes from the business section of the Natal Municipal Association Diamond Jubilee Book 1964. Richard Carte became Mayor of Durban. His and his wife’s ashes are interred in the graveyard of St Mary Magdelene Church Byrne Valley.

      Durban Combined Dairies as some one reminded me of, also operated for a time in Durban in the late 50s early 60s. What went into the formation of this group is unknown and may have been an opposition group to Clover , made up of smaller individual dairies.

    • Ellefsen
      |

      Gerald Buttigieg is quite correct about Durban North Dairy. I am Richard Carte’s daughter and my father bought DND in 1933. The dairy, staff, cows and all, were on our property at 179 High Ridge Road (later 4 Cablan Place) and Dad leased Ellis Park at shilling per year for the cows to graze. Dad also received milk from the country and initiated the first milk tankers as it was too often that the milk went sour on the railways! Around 1948, DND started making ice cream which of course, was very popular with us kids and our friends! In 1952, DND amalgamated with NCD (Natal Co-Operative Dairy) to form Clover Dairies and the factory then moved to Congella, though our home dairy was still used for distribution.
      Dad of course, knew the owners of the other dairies such as Swales, Royal and Regent, & Baynesfield Dairies in particular.
      If anyone wants further info, I can be contacted on coll@acenet.co.za
      Colleen Ellefsen (nee Carte)

    • Barry Schoeman
      |

      Hi I grew up in Cablan place in Durban North. Is my memory correct that the dairy could be accesed from there. My memory of Mr. Carte was that he would alllow us to ride our bmx bikes on the drive. Such fond memories. He also allowed us swim in his pool. I also recall he had a talking watch and he would amaze us all with it.my Name is Barry Schoeman we lived at no 5 cablan. I seem to remember a croquet green around the back with a giant mirror so the grass would grow in the shady spots.

    • Soo Marsden
      |

      My grandparents, John L Hendry and his wife Jean, owned a large dairy farm in Earl Haig Rd. With your back to the sea my mother said it was nearly all pasture looking inland. The house was on the top of the rise and had a huge mango tree in the garden and many stories from my mother and Aunts.

      The house was called Irvington from the area in Scotland he came from, the dairy Irvington Dairies and my familly speak about him starting Clover dairies. I believe Clover was sold out to NCD many years after his death in the mid 50’s
      I believe he came to South Africa late 1800 or early 1900’s on his own and started the farm, but this will have to be looked into.
      I would love to recieve any info about the farm, or my Grandparents
      Regards
      Soo

    • Gerald Buttigieg
      |

      Hi Soo,
      I looked up Hendry in my book about the Byrne Settlers who arrived in Natal circa 1849 to 1850. A James Hendry and his wife, Charlotte along with a child Charles arrived at Port Natal in the Lady Bruce on 8th May 1850. They were part of the emigration promoter, William Josiah Iron’s Wesleyan group which numbered 19 emigrants. They were settled in the Verulam settlement Irons had planned. Now I am not sure whether this Hendry is related to your grandfather but it needs following up as many old Natal family names can be traced back to the Byrne Settlers.
      Then there is Hendry Road in Rose Glen which if I remember runs from Haig Road down to Brickfield Rd/ Alpine Rd . From my book, the origin of Durban Street Names, Hendry Rd is named after a prominent resident and property owner who lived in this district. Probably your grandfather.
      re Irvington, see my notes above where Irvington Dairy is listed.
      In the 1938 Durban Directory, your grandfather J.L Hendry is listed as living at 28 Haig Road. Maybe of interest his telephone number was 88406 and that of the dairy 88838, working off the Overport Exchange which was situated in Ridge Road. There are 7 other Hendrys listed. Hope this helps you.

    • Colleen Ellefsen
      |

      Soo, my Dad started Durban North Dairies and knew John Hendry very well and I remember him also and Irvington Dairies. Dad and John were competitors really but had great respect for one another and co-operated and were friends.
      However, John did not start Clover Dairies. That was my Dad in 1952! Durban North Dairies (DND) and NCD joined forces 50/50 to form Clover Dairies and my Dad was MD until he retired in 1970. My brother Bruce Carte also worked there.
      My sister Kingsley Aitken in Durban, also remembers John Hendry and says that he gave them 10 pounds for a wedding present – and she still remembers thinking how incredibly generous it was of him and she could not imagine anyone being wealthy enough to give such a wonderful present!
      As you know, they had 3 daughters and one of them was bitten by a rat! She thought it was dead and lifted it up by the tail and it climbed the tail and bit her! I think of that to this day!

  2. Josephine Wallstrom
    | Reply

    Hey Gerald I remember Bakers Ltd very well. I worked as the bread sales manager’
    as a secretary in 1967, I remember his name was Bill Lacey a big friend of Gunnar and Doris (Narurally). At that time the chef or whatever he was called was experimenting with pies. Steak and Kidney, Pepper steak, Chicken & mushhroom and would bring them to us to taste. One day I said to him what about a curry pie. He tried chicken, beef and mutton.
    The one we liked the most was mutton. Funny the things we remember hey? Especially if you jog my memories.. Jo Wallstrom

  3. Allan Hannah
    | Reply

    Hi Gerald
    On bakeries, I wonder what Mrs Perks would say!!
    Perks Pies!!
    My brother worked for her and got to drive a Zephyr Sports – much desired car in them thar days!!
    Regards
    AllanH

  4. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    This history of Baumanns (later to become Bakers) is taken from the Natal Municipal Association volume celebrating its Diamond Jubilee 1904-1964.

    Although many many years later, I do recall the Bakers Building at the corner of West Street and Brickhill Road looking similar to what is shown in the photo. It obviously had been upgraded but I do recall the front door being on the corner as shown and bigger windows on the side. Inside one could see wedding cakes on display. I am going back to 1954 here. There is a story that during the First World War, Mr Baumann’s business was boycotted because of his “German” origins. However this history indicates he came from England. It may be significant that in 1915, a year into World War One the firm changed its name to Bakers. I have always wondered where the name “Marie” biscuits emanated from. Anyone know?


    • Alan Wells
      |

      I remember Bakers Bread (BB). It was not wrapped in those days. A BB delivery truck would arrive at Preens Grocer (later Archie Blumenthal’s) grocer next door at 204 Florida Rd, take the order, open the back of the van and pull the bread order out along wooden layers by a long pole with wooden cross piece as like a broom. I remember a story told by my Dad, that when war broken out, everyone seemed to think the name Baumann was German. A fire erupted at the Point Rd corner shop and when the fire engine arrived, all the spectators jumped on the pipe and stopped the flow of water!!

  5. Josephine Wallstrom
    | Reply

    I worked for Bakers Ltd in Maydon wharf in 1966. They mostly made bread and also experimented with pies. They made steak and kidney. pepper, steak. chicken, mutton curry and much more. we girls used to enjoy tasting the pies the chefs made. Jo Wallstrom

    • Shirley Wagner Parel
      |

      I worked at Bakers Ltd as private secretary to Bryan Baumann, director of purchasing, in 1966/7. We were at the West Street offices and enjoyed all the smells of the biscuits baking. With tea we were always served broken biscuits, often warm, on the balcony overlooking Brickhill Road.
      My father Aubrey Wagner was the buyer, and he worked there from when I was very young until long after I had left home. More than 25 years.
      It was a great place to work.

    • Terry Peacock
      |

      I worked with Bryan and LEN Baumann and persuaded Len Baumann to write a book on the Bakers Ltd group.
      A wonderful family with a wonderful history of great products.

    • Michael Fourie
      |

      well now this is a big surprise!
      Hi Shirley! this may seem odd but I believe we are family. Never thought I would run into family online to be honest.
      would have sent a private message but I don’t see any options for that on the site.
      would love to get in contact and get to know more family as I am trying to work on the family tree and record as much as possible as far back as I can.

  6. Allan Jackson
    | Reply

    I remember Bakers pies, especially from the cafeteria at Glenwood High. The mutton curry ones were my favourite but they had limited numbers of them and you had to rush to get in the queue when the lunch bell went.

  7. John Taylor
    | Reply

    I seem to remember another dairy in Durban called Swales Dairy which was situated somewhere in the Overport area. The cows were milked at the dairy itself so the milk did not have to be transported to the bottling plant.
    I also remember the bakery mentioned by Gerald in the Congella area. As a child I used to frequent a movie theatre (bioscope!!) called the Planet on a Saturday morning (this became the well known Lyric Theatre), and across the road was the bakery’s shop. The smell of freshly baked bread and pastries was irresistible.

    • Gerald Buttigieg
      |

      Hi John
      Here is a bit of Planet Theatre nostalgia. I cannot remember where I got it from but I have a March 1958 Planet Programme. I have put up the front cover but the interior shows the films being shown on what days and at what times. Some of the more notable ones were The Vagabond King with Kathryn Grayson, On the Waterfront with Marlon Brando and Meet me in Las Vegas with Cyd Charisse. Converting the ticket prices for those unfamiliar with Pounds/ Shillings / Pence: 2/6 = 25 cents, 1/- = 10 cents, 6 pence =5 cents. Quite a difference to today’s prices!

    • Alan Wells
      |

      I remember my father being asked (forced by a friend) to hold some shares in the Planet Cinema, which he did buy. He did take the family there a couple of times to see shows. I remember seeing “The Sound Barrier ” there, a story about the first efforts to beat the sound barrier. I think the advise was not good as when The Planet eventually folded, my father had lost some money on the investment!

  8. Sharon Lynn Bank
    | Reply

    I grew up in Westville too.
    Does anyone remember the man who used to go around on foot with his son sharpening pairs of scissors and knives? I think this must have been in the late ’60s.
    I loved having cream soda floats at Medwood Gardens!
    Sharon

  9. Bianca Lawrence
    | Reply

    I think one of the best bakeries ever was the C’est ci Bon next to the Belgica Hotel (somewhere in the Albert Park area). I think the chef patisserie’s name was Hugo ( although I stand to be corrected). They made the most delicious pies with flaky buttery home made pastry, divine brandy snaps with creme patisserie and gorgeously sculpted meringue swans. They also did small marzipan fruit and catered many a birthday party!

    • KJ
      |

      Oh wow C’est Ci Bon is still my favorite bakery of all time! Their baked cheesecake was second to none – I have tried many recipes to try to replicate that cheesecake but I’ve never come close. I’ve always wondered what cheese they used.

    • Esther
      |

      One of Cie C’est Bon outlets was in Field street, just about opposite the Daily News Building. They sold a divine Black Forest Gateaux in the early 70’s, long before it became ubiquitous.Someone gave my mother one, And ever since I have been trying to recreate it the way they did it!

  10. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    In September 2012,when I posted my memories of Bakeries and Dairies of Durban, I underestimated the amount of reaction this post would receive. From fellow contributors it is apparent that there were two smaller dairies in operation which I did not know of namely Swales Dairy and another that operated in Durban North somewhere in the vicinity of Umhlanga Rocks Drive. In my original write up I did mention Creamline Dairies that were headquartered at 47 Oppenheimer Street Pinetown. I have since found out that Creamline Dairies were originally Durban Combined Dairies and this could have been a name change or even a takeover. When I came across the Durban Combined Dairies name I seem to recall that on their pint bottles was painted an intertwined “DCD” logo in red. Someone perhaps can confirm this. This does not add much to the two “unknown” dairies above but looking through the Lawrie’s Directory a little more information has come to light but it still remains vague.
    The only mention there is of Swales Dairy is that an address of 30 Valley View Road Puntan’s Hill is given as its location. Valley View Road peeled off North Ridge Road and wound down the back of the ridge and meeting up with the end of Earl Haig Road. My sister at one time lived in Banfield Crescent and I knew Valley View Road as it was the access road to Banfield. I cannot remember mention of any dairy in the area. Now Mitchell Girls’ High School is mentioned as a possible location of the dairy which may be true. However Mitchell came in to existence in 1954/1955 so if it stood on where the dairy was, the dairy may have moved to the Valley View Road area as it is mentioned as existing in 1968. So there is still uncertainty whether in later years the Swales Dairy still operated as such. Whether it is a misplaced cross reference but a person by the name of H.V. Dyason is given as living at 30 Valley View Road. Perhaps he was involved with the dairy?
    Regarding the Durban North dairy again nothing conclusive at to its name but there is a bit on its possible location. AllanH had previously commented “I wonder if anyone will remember about a dairy near the Durban North end of Umhlanga Rocks Drive? I remember playing squash at this old dairy which had been converted to a squash court”. Looking up Umhlanga Rocks Drive, it was interesting to find what was at the Durban North end of Umhlanga Rocks Drive. Nos 3-5 was the Avonlea Tea Room, No. 7 Berciles Drapers (also a Francis Frere’s Dry Cleaning Depot), No. 9 Dr. PRB Smith’s Rooms, No. 13 Whynotte Service Station, No. 19 Clover Dairies Depot, …..No. 39 given as Squash Court with adjacent Salon Sabrina …….No. 59 Durban Combined Dairies Depot and adjacent Tennis Court. I have driven past the area in the last few years and the Durban North End is still very much an accumulation of businesses. Back then both big dairies Clover and DCD had depots there and the Squash Court is noted. Further down was a Tennis Court! So basically the name of the dairy and its history still eludes. It is going to need someone who resided in the area and knew it well to eventually gives us the finer detail.
    Creamline Dairies in Pinetown I do recall as I used to do the maintenance of the PABX Telephone System there. Oppenheimer Street is off Escom Road. Creamline had depots at West Ridge, Jan Smuts Ave, in Silver Avenue off Stamford Hill Road, at Durban North as above, and a distant one at Stanger. I see in the latest Durban Telephone Directory that Clover are now based at 47 Oppenheimer Street so Creamline must have been absorbed some years ago.
    Another find in the directory regarding dairies is that there was a Child Protection Dairy (Pty) Ltd at 200 Florida Road. Anyone know about this one?

    • Rodney
      |

      The website :
      http://namesdatabase.com/schools/ZA/KW/M/Mitchell%20Girls%20High%20School
      confirms that Mitchell High was in existence in 1942. This would have been before they moved from the building in Mitchell Road, Greyville to the new premises in Earl Haig Road ca. 1953-1954. The old building became, I think, an Indian school, Bechet College. The Mitchell Road building would have dated from ca.1900 if not earlier. It is puzzling that the above website still has entries up to 2010 – perhaps the school had yet another move, but I am fairly sure that it ceased operating at its Earl Haig Road address 10 or more years ago.
      There is another website :
      http://mitchellhighschooldurban.com/
      but it is still under construction.

      I know that there were at least two separate dairies in Morningside in the early 50s – Mitchell High was built on the site of what had become Clover Dairies; Swales dairy on Puntan’s Hill was quite independant but just when it closed I don’t know. I have an acquaintance who has lived on Puntan’s Hill all her life – we attended the then North Ridge Road Primary School together in the early 50’s, but she is out of the country at present. When she returns, I will see what if anything that she can contribute to the discussion. Maybe I can persuade her to write on FAD about her early memories of Puntan’s Hill.

    • Gerald Buttigieg
      |

      Hi Rodney,
      Regarding Mitchell Girls’ High School. I was always under the impression that it opened in 1954. That is the year my sister and I returned to live permanently in Durban. She was put into MGHS and it had just opened with a Miss Cheeseman as Principal. If MGHS was previously in Mitchell Road which is logical with the name being what it is, then on vacating that school became Windermere Girls High School. They wore a greyish dress uniform with maroon buttons. When MGHS closed the property reverted to the Education Dept. and it was changed into a type of Technical College and I think it is now a FET College. When MGHS closed it was for good and I do not think it relocated. Windermere GHS also closed down later not sure of the date and the buildings stood empty for some years.
      Bechet College may have taken over the old school at a later stage.
      Your friend will probably be able to clear up the dairies poser. It does seem that the one was definitely Swales Dairy and that was associate with Valley View Road.

    • Mark Billingham
      |

      When Windermere High School closed down, the property became the home of Commercial High School a co-ed school with subjects such as Economics, Accountancy and Merchantial law for students who wanted to enter the business world. There was also a large art department for those wanting to make a living from art. This school closed down in 1977, with the buildings becoming N.P.A. offices.
      Looking on Google Earth it looks like the property has once again reverted to a school with it being tagged as Greyville Primary school.

    • Wendy Hillary
      |

      I went to Mitchell Girls High in the early 60’s and we wore yellow and white checked dresses in summer and black gymslips with white shirts in winter, this certainly brings back the memories, Miss Cheeseman was our Principal and she ran a very strict school

    • MOIRA BADSTUBNER
      |

      What a co-incidence…Mrs/Miss Cheesmond was a well respected headmistress of the (preprimary/junior ??) school at Brighton Beach before the children went on to the official Brighton Beach School…

    • Bryan
      |

      Swales dairy was opposite morningside junior school, down valley view road, u could buy milk from a small outlet on the right hand side of the road, I am not sure when it closed.

    • John
      |

      Hi Bryan

      We moved into Puntans Hill in the late 60 ‘s and the whole strip of land between the bottom of the hill and Silverwillow road was referred to Swales Diary. It must have closed down some time or before 1967 when we moved into the area because there was no diary operating at the time. As I remember( I was young at the time so stand to be corrected ) the whole of Puntans Hill was owned by a slightly eccentric Irish lady of Scots descent. Many of the roads were named after Irish / Scots place names. Enniskillen , Clancy , Fife , Dublin Avenue , Bangor , Londonderry. She made the land over to the ‘Corporation’ on condition that no liquor licenses could ever be granted on the land.

    • MOIRA BADSTUBNER
      |

      My hero Paul Martens and his family lived in Clancy Avenue in the early days of Edward Dunn’s orchestra…

    • Mark
      |

      Hi John,

      I want to steer away from the subject of dairies as we have purchased a property here in Clancy Avenue in the late 90’s. We have had a friend and good neighbour Linda Reynolds here who shared many stories of this area but she moved away a few years ago after her husbands passing. Do you know of an infamous car crash … where the was a classic car that apparently crashed into a house in Clancy Avenue and there were 2 fatalities and 1 survivor ?

    • Jo Wallstrom
      |

      In the 50’and 60”s Mitchells Gitls High had the nickname “Model Dairies”. Co-incidence?

    • Gerald Grove
      |

      Hi Gerald, I remember this Clover Depot in Florida Rd. They were ( in the early 50’s)where the Standard Bank stands today and I remember the horse drawn ice-cream carts that serviced our area right down past 7th Avenue. There was also a very old Zulu man at this time who used to walk around beating a huge open cow skin drum. Both kids and adults used to toss pennies into the drum for him, he became quite an institution. In addition to the above there were racing stables in the area and the horses were walked in the early hours all the way down to the Blue Lagoon for workouts. Thanks for rekindling my memories.

    • Gerald Buttigieg
      |

      Hi Alan,
      Thanks for your memories of Florida Road. Seeing you were born in 1938, I thought you may be interested in who lived and operated in that part of Florida Road which you were familiar with in later years. I give both sides of the street between Ninth Ave and Gordon Road.
      Left hand side.
      Ninth Road
      159 Mrs SE Fletcher
      167 J Lewis
      175 FJ Beath
      177 JH Guthrie
      177a G Schelin
      179 WH Williams
      179 MG Wetteland
      Tenth Avenue
      183 CW Downard
      185 MG Smith
      185 Bon Accord Boot Reoairs
      185a H Naess Fishmonger
      187 Dainty Tea Rooms
      189 The Mansion Private Hotel
      197 Mrs HJ Sealy

      Right Hand side
      Ninth Avenue
      170 HA Robertson
      170 Jas A Clark
      170 J Boshoff
      170 J Hugo
      174 GW Sim
      178 JG Hollis retired
      Tenth Avenue
      198 Geo Browne and Sons Butcher
      200 Perella Drapery Shop
      200 Girling Bros Butchers
      200 Child Protection Dairy
      200 CE Cuyler
      202 FJ Wells Chemist
      204 P Preen Grocer
      206 Maedy’s Beauty Parlours
      Gordon Road

      No idea why individual’s names are listed as the same address.
      JG Hollis seems to ring a bell with horse racing.. I seem to remember the was a race for the JG Hollis Cup. Interesting they even mentioned he was retired!

    • Richard Holmes
      |

      Hi Gerald

      In the distant recesses of my mind lurks an idea that J G Hollis was a sometime Mayor of Durban

    • Gerald Buttigieg
      |

      Hi Richard,
      I googled Mayors of Durban. There was a Mayor of Durban with the name Hollis, Dr GJ Hollis 1976-1978. I do not think it would be the same person as in the 1938 directory it states “retired”. Initials are also reversed but you never know.

      PS I have found a reference to racing. The JG Hollis Memorial Plate is a race on the KZN Racing calender. We need someone who is knowledgeable of racing to clear this up.

      PPS From the 1938 Directory JG Hollis was a Steward of the Clairwood Turf Club.

    • Alan Wells
      |

      Gerald, see my posting on 25 March 2015 re Child Protection Dairy. I also remember watching them fill their vehicles at the dairy with petrol by a hand operated upright pump. The 2 glass bowls alternately filling up with petrol then emptying!

    • Alec Turner
      |

      Gerald, re your question regarding Florida Road and the Child Protection Dairies. I have many fond memories of this area having lived in Florida Rd 1950-7. First attending Clarence Road School and then Prep (DPHS) in Gordon Rd. The milk bottling area for for the CPD was in the small unnamed lane that ran behind the shops in Florida Rd. No health and safety in those days,we as children used to stand at the wide open doorway watching the bottles being filled and topped with a small cardboard disc. The dairy owned the first three houses in Gordon Road which were used for staff. Other shops that I recall were Wells the Chemist, Preens the grocer and Perry’s the butcher, on the lower corner of Florida Rd.and 10th Ave. was the Shell Garage owned by the Gee family, on the adjacent corner was the Bottle Store.
      On the corner of Florida and Gordon Rd. was our favourite the Avondale tea room and small bakery owned and run by a Mr Love.( died during a robbery)Above the bakery and surrounds was the Orrisdale Hotel now the Catholic Church.opposite the Orrisdale entrance was the Glamis Hotel,moving up toward Mitchell Park was Holdens Store and the Florida Rd post office.
      Hope this helps with Florida Road memories

    • Brian Mason
      |

      Hi
      Thanks for a great site.
      I recall that there was a Pearson’s Diary in Sea View back in the early 60’s which was eventually taken over by Clover. It was in the valley between Sea View and Bellair. Their milk was supplied in bottles that had a cardboard lid. Later when Clover took over the lids changed to aluminium.
      Clover had large locked wooden crates on the street corner that the delivery driver would load the crates of milk into for the Milk Man to deliver to the houses. In all the years that I recall milk having been delivered to the neighbourhood, I can’t remember an incident of milk having been stolen.

      With regards to the bakers in Durban, my brother in law Jim Allan, whose father, a baker from Scotland joined Bakers Ltd during the late 50’s and introduced his Scottish receipt for short bread which became known as Eat sum More. The box still has the tartan ribbon on it..

    • Colleen Ellefsen
      |

      As I wrote earlier, I am Richard Carte’s daughter and he initiated the merger of his Durban North Dairy with NCD to form Clover Daires in 1952. The cardboard lids were used for many years – but they were easy to remove to steal some milk and replace it by water! So the aluminium caps stopped this problem. Nowadays of course, the whole bottle would be stolen! I also cannot remember ever being told that a whole bottle had been stolen!
      Those were the days……

  11. Richard Holmes
    | Reply

    Hi Gerald

    If it’s any help I can contribute a little morsel which may point you in the right direction

    From 69-71 I lived in a block of flats in Ridge Road cnr Hartley Rd- can’t remember the name

    We used to have our milk delivered from a local dairy and I am convinced that they had premises in either Cope or Wallace Road

    • Gerald Buttigieg
      |

      Hi Richard,
      The block of flats, could it have been Harridge Hall? I checked Cope Road but no businesses are shown. However it reminded me that an old school mate lived in No. 10 Cope Road by the name of Berry Horner. Cope Road is in the vicinity of Earl Haig Road but Wallace Road is more over by Windermere not that far from DPHS school. We will get there eventually.

  12. Richard Holmes
    | Reply

    Hi Gerald

    That’s it – Harridge Hall – It was my first married home and I recall my rent was R75 per month which included undercover parking and a resident Caretaker – sigh

    I was obviously wrong about Wallace Road but my memory of this depot is sill strong – I KNOW it was off Earl Haig at this time

    I can clearly remember walking past it several times on Sunday afternoon walks.I am relyant for an aide memoir on Google maps.

    Off EH Road to the left is a small block of flats which used to have a store on the ground floor.This is the corner of Hendry Road.Following along Hendry the depot was somewhere in that vicinity.It may even have been in Hendry itself

    Be interesting to see what you can find out

    Regards

    Richard

    • Les
      |

      Hi Richard,
      You are spot on with the depot. It was on the corner of Hendry and Mountain View. A large Mosque has since been built on the old site.

    • Richard Holmes
      |

      Thanks Les

      Always good to learn that my memory has not totally gone

  13. Mike Hogan
    | Reply

    Creamline/DCD had a depot next to the tennis stadium at West Ridge. That primarily distributed bottled milk. Made a lot of noise when being loaded I remember. My father, John Hogan, was senior dairy inspector for the Durban Corporation and as a kid I accompanied him on his rounds. I think this was when he was a dairy inspector and before being promoted in charge. Later on he became Chief Health Inspector. Anyway I went right through Clover, Creamline, Walls Ice Cream and Royal and Regent production lines at times.

    Of interest all dairy farms supplying milk to Durban were regularly inspected by Durban Corporation health inspectors. Lot of overnight traveling throughout Natal.

    Then in the early 1980’s I worked for Creamline Dairies for a number of years. I was their Empangeni Branch Manager but I was often at Oppenheimer Drive for meetings. We had just two branches, Martizburg and Zululand.

    Creamline had a chequered history as I recall. I remember a light plane crash killed a number of senior staff before I joined. At the time it was majority owned by Russell?? who also owned the Royal Hotel. I also remember there being a court case which Creamline won over a 6c/litre levy that was supposed to be paid to the Dairy Board to subsidise advertising and the promotion of milk. Lot of money, millions of rand in total was involved.

    Not sure what happened to Creamline but I had heard Clover bought it. I left SA for Oz (live in Brisbane) nearly 20 years ago. Pity because Clover needed to be kept on its toes.

  14. Steele Ord
    | Reply

    Good Day to all. I was brought up in Durban, Fynnlands Primary on the bluff 1952 then Windsor Park 1956, Northlands High 1957, Durban Tech 1960, came to PMBurg 1961 and apprenticed to a motor racing concern ( Campbell Racing Stable) 1964, so all the info about early Durbs is most enjoyable ie The Cuban Hat, Smugglers Inn, Cookie Look, we stayed at 2 Killarney Terrace, my mother worked at Greenacres 1940 and at E Snell@Co Pine St 1955, any more info and pics would be most welcome, Regards Steele.

    • Rodney
      |

      This comment has little to do with the original article other than that Steele Ord says that he attended Northlands High in 1957. That was the same year that I started at Northlands High, but I can not ever recollect knowing Steele. There does not seem to be a thread on Northlands High on FAD, so perhaps Allan would consider starting one.

      Although all my High School years were spent at Northlands High, I do not consider myself an authority on the school, so I will kick off with some recollections about my first form master in Form 3G. (Strictly speaking, this was not my first high school – in 1955 I was a primary school pupil at the inappropriately named Kokstad High School).

      My first form master at Northlands was a Mr Len Hibbins. He was also our geography teacher and besides his BA (?) had a string of other letters after his name which were, I think, FRGS and LRCM for geography and music. His nick-name was Tarzan, not because he was some type of macho man (he was quite the opposite), but supposedly because he had the British habit of only bathing once a week. As a digression, I could mention that in the late 40’s our family spent 2 years in England. That country was still in recovery from WW2
      and austerity measures were very much in evidence – we each had our own ration book for food and our bath had a black line painted to show the maximum water level for our weekly bath.

      Back to Tarzan. He drove a white Ford Zephyr (or was it a Zodiac?) which was considered quite an upmarket car for a teacher – the headmaster (Mr Percy Hardaker) only managed an elderly Peugeot 203. He was widowed which is perhaps why he belonged to the Spiritualist Church which at that time was I think, situated in Masonic Grove off Smith Street. I was told by Howard P (who seemed to know a lot about everybody) that Mr Hibbins was the organist at this church. I can well believe this because he always played the piano and conducted the school choir at school functions. His hand gesticulations were quite something and he was frequently made fun of because of this but he took all mocking in good spirit. On another occasion, I recall that one Monday someone asked him if he had been talking to the ghosties at his church over the weekend. That was the only time that I can recall him being mildly cross. He said ” Boy, never ever play with a ouija board. That’s all I have to say on the matter.” At the time, I had no idea what a ouija board was but have followed his advice when I subsequently did find out what it was.

      In 1958 or 1959 a Mr Aldo Berutti returned in a wheelchair as geography teacher. Apparently he had been struck down in the polio epidemic a few years before (~1956). For the remainder of my time at Northlands he was my geography teacher. His nick-name was Snake – most schoolboy nicknames for their teachers were somewhat derogatory. I heard two versions as to how this name arose : firstly that in his mobile existence he went about in soft rubber soled shoes and would creep up silently on miscreants and send them to the office. The other version I know to be true is the hissing way he pronounced ‘s’-eg ‘yesssss’. As regards teaching ability, I consider Mr Hibbins to have been the better teacher, but that is just a personal opinion.

      I could come up with a few other recollections but they may bore anyone other than a Northlands past pupil. Perhaps other NBHS old boys will offer their recollections.

  15. Elaine Howson
    | Reply

    I have just learnt that my Great Grandparents Thomas Henry and Margaret Aitken had The Springfield Dairy, Springfield, off North Ridge Road from about 1903 to 1912. I have copies two ads selling the dairy stock, utensils etc. I also have a photo of the family with the cows on the property.

    • Allan Jackson
      |

      Elaine later sent in the pictures but I filed them in a dark corner and only rediscovered them the other day. I have added them to the post above.

  16. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Elaine
    If you would like to post the pictures then contact Allan Jackson via Contact Us and he will guide you through the process. Pictures are always welcome.

  17. Linda Richards (Putter)
    | Reply

    I have just had a trip down memory lane, considering I have lived in New Zealand for the past 38 years. You just can’t take the girl out of Durban! I was born in Durban and reading all the articles acts like a domino effect. My brother worked for two bakeries in Durban. He was a cake confectioner and the I believe one of the bakeries was “Swiss Bakery” off West Street during 1964 onwards….his name is Casper Putter. I wondered if anyone can remember whether I am right?
    Regards
    Linda
    ps He entered a competition where he won a gold medal making a cake entirely of icing of the Pretoria State Buildings.

    • Moira
      |

      Hi Linda,
      There was an Anglo Swiss Bakery just off West St in Field St. Could that be the one you’re thinking of. Loved their Rembrant cake and Petit Fours as a child.

  18. Bob Gooderson
    | Reply

    My Dad was recruited in October 1954 in the UK to take up the position of manager of Clover Dairies Ice Cream factory in Durban, he had owned an ice cream factory in the UK from 1947. His interest in Durban had been sparked by a Durban couple he and my Mom had met while on holiday in Europe. He arrived in Durban in November of 1954 and was met at the airport by Richard Carte who was both the chaiman of Clover Dairies and the Mayor of Durban.
    Clover Ice Cream factory was located in Victoria Street right opposite The Goodwill Lounge, My Dad took up his position the day after he landed. That is how the ‘Goodersons’ came to Durban.
    In March of 1955 my Mom, myself and my new wife arrived to join my Dad. I took up the position of Production Manager and we moved into a house, owned by Clover, at 4 Cablan Place off High Ridge Road Durban North. Adjacent to the house was the Durban North Depot of Clover Dairies and adjacent to the depot was the home of Mr & Mrs Carte. I suspect that the depot was the original Durban North Dairy belonging to Richard Carte before its amalgamation into Clover Dairies.
    The Head Office of Clover was on the top floor in Victoria Street where Mr Carte and Mr Barry the General Manager had their offices. The first and ground floors were the Ice Cream factory. Names which may ring a bell for some are John Birch who was the ‘Retail Manager’ in charge of all the bikes and carts which went out every day selling ice cream. I remember a Mr Vergotini who was the refrigeration engineer who was a rather ‘well built’ man. The factory foreman was an Indian gentleman known as Mr Arthur . In charge of the despatch office was a Mrs Swanepoel who did not need a telephone to communicate over fairly long distances. In the office there was a Mr Cohen who controlled the whereabouts and movements of the several hundred ice cream fridges dispersed throughout Durban and its suburbs.
    Clover’s milk plant was then virtually brand new in Congella and the company chemist, Ron Wallace, and I became friends as we were of similar ages.
    My Dad bought the Lonsdale in March of 1957 and I was installed as manager. Dad stayed on at Clover for another year and left when he purchased the Cumberland Hotel from Mr & Mrs Jacobs in May of 1958.

    • Colleen Ellefsen
      |

      I have just replied to Gerald Buttigieg about Durban North Dairy and Clover Dairy, as I am Richard Carte’s daughter. The depot in Cablan Place was the original Durban North Dairy. The milk carts were taken out in the wee hours of the morning by the dairymen and by the time we went to school, the staff had returned to sleep during the day! People complained that the carts were so heavy to push up the Athlone Hill – but the staff laughed and said the real work was going DOWN the hill and not letting the carts run away with them! I remember well when your Dad, Mr Gooderson came to South Africa and how pleased Dad was with his input – and was sorry to lose him to The Cumberland Hotel!!
      Colleen Ellefsen (nee Carte)

  19. Pete Kitchen
    | Reply

    I recall a small bakery running from Gale Street to Sydney Road that my folks used to buy from in the mid to late 50’s – Pucks Pantry. Another one to add to the list

    • Gerald Buttigieg
      |

      Hi Pete
      The name rings a bell but very vaguely. I looked up Pucks Pantry in the 1968 Durban Directory but the name does not appear there so it must have closed by then. A street number would help in identifying who took over the premises.

  20. Wendy Hillary
    | Reply

    My uncle, Doug Wicks used to be the Manager at Barretts Bakery in Umbilo Road and he lived in a house adjoining the property. I remember the smell of bread baking permeating through to his house. the bread in those days was real bread, not this dreadful stuff they call bread today.

    • Pat Franken
      |

      Hi Wendy,

      I remember Dougie Wicks so well. He worked for my grandfather “Pop” Bill Gladwin at Barretts Bakery. Used to play in the bake house as a kid. Both my mother Betty Robson (nee Gladwin) and my aunt Winnie Messenger (nee Gladwin) worked there over the years as well.

      Pat Franken (nee Robson)

  21. MOIRA BADSTUBNER
    | Reply

    What about the bakery in Botanic Gardens Road just past the Gardens….

  22. Ian Varkevisser
    | Reply

    As a child in the 1950’s I recall the Swales driving their cows down the road from the dairy in Valley View road , past our house in Puntan’s Hill ( Imeson Road ) to Clancy Avenue. I was also at Morningside Primary school with one of the Swale’s boys, Gerald I think it may have been. As I recall some of the more adventurous youth in the area used to go bonking in the haystacks in Swales dairy. For fear of embarrasing them I wont mention any names. The lawns outside Clover dairies in Hendry road were often used as an impromptu soccer field by us on many an ocassion into the late 1960s.

  23. Terence peacock
    | Reply

    With reference to Bakers Ltd , and at my insistence, Mr Len BAUMANN (now in his 90’s) wrote an historical account of The companies in the Bakers Group, all ultimately purchased by AVI Ltd, a company still listed on the JSE and for which I was the Group Company Secretary of most of the subsidiaries as well as Group Legal Advisor.
    I retired 2 years ago.
    if anyone wants details of the book, apply through this site.

  24. Caryn
    | Reply

    My grandfather owned Barnell Dairy in Hillary. Milk was sold from the shop at the corner of Stella and Freemantle Roads in Hillary, Durban. My grandparents and mother lived in the farm house until Barnell Dairy was taken over by Clover Dairies. I haven’t had any luck finding out more as my mum was only 3 or 4 years old when the dairy was bought out in the early 1950’s. The name came from a combination of both my grandparents surnames ( Barnes and Elliott). I do recall my grandpa being very proud of a photo he had of his two prize winning dairy cows.

  25. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    I have received correspondence from Colleen Ellefsen (daughter of Richard Carte who founded Clover Dairies) and she has sent me some interesting photos of the original Durban North Dairies. She indicated that she had an idea that Atlanta Dairies and Durban North Dairies were both dairies controlled by her father. Atlanta apparently was the name of the family home, situated at 183 High Ridge Road* . I checked the 1938 Durban Directory and it confirmed that both dairies were owned by R. A. Carte and the address for both of them is given as 179 High Ridge Road Durban North. The telephone number was 61442.
    * Quoting the 1938 Lawrie’s Directory, the residential listing for R.A. Carte in Durban North is given as 183 High Ridge Road. Note that Durban North then was still regarded as a “district” of Durban outside the municipal boundary.

    A far cry from today’s automation. A staff member manning the bottle washing machine. Note the thick squat bottles which were the forerunners of the pint bottle which superseded them.


    The cows being prepared for milking in the cow shed.


    The horse drawn dairy cart.


    The photo shows the filling of the milk bottles, the capping with a small cardboard disc and then the loading of the milk into steel crates and being rolled into the refrigeration room. One can imagine how small this production line was in comparison to the modern day operation where thousands of bottles of milk have to be be produced to meet the demand.


    The photo shows the delivery service comprising milk carts, bicycles and a horse drawn carriage. Interesting to note that the telephone number is given as 158 which dates the picture quite considerably. In 1938 the telephone numbers for Durban North were 5 digit so this photo must have been taken quite a few years before possibly as early as the late 20’s early 30’s.


    The photos show a Durban North Dairy Tanker looking moderately newish. No doubt it was used for milk collection from dairy farmers who were dairy farming outside Durban.

  26. Colleen Ellefsen
    | Reply

    The address of the family home was actually 179 High Ridge Road. (not 183)
    The horse drawn carts would have been in the early 1930’s.
    The cardboard circular disc was later replaced by the aluminium seal as sometimes the milk bottles left on the doorsteps were tampered with by taking some milk and replacing it with water, in the hope that the theft would not be noticed! (nowadays the whole bottle would be taken!)

  27. Marge du Plooy
    | Reply

    Just found this website. My daughter and I were talking recently about the Anglo Swiss Bakery in Field Street and reminiscing about the Chinese Lady cakes [well that’s the name we knew it as] they used to make. Layers of biscuit with a coffee cream filling and a splattering of green coconut on top with a chocolate button in the center. Does anyone remember them? Would love to know if they are still made somewhere, perhaps under another name?
    Have lived in Durban for 77 years, born in the Montclair area and remember the dairy owned by the Gobles. Milk was delivered by hand drawn cart in bottles with a cardboard top and every bottle had a thick layer of cream on top. Yummy!

  28. Bianca Lawrence
    | Reply

    Hi Marge,

    In reply to your question about the Chinese lady cakes – Hans bakery at the La Lucia Mall makes them.

    • Liz Irons
      |

      I remember those Chinese Ladies. My parents-in law used to buy them as a treat whenever they shopped in Durban (they lived in Isipingo Beach)

      I would like to buy or make them for my grandchildren and have I have tried in vain for several years to find a recipe, or any information about them. We live in Pietermaritzburg and no longer drive very far, so getting to La Lucia is out of the question. If anybody knows of a baker in or near the Midlands, or can supply me with a recipe I would be simply delighted.

      Phone 033 3433150
      email irons@mweb.co.za

  29. Alan Wells
    | Reply

    In my very early years our property was adjacent to the Child Protection Dairy. I spent many an hour watching the cleaning and filling of the milk bottles. I loved going into the huge refrigerators with the workmen (remember Durban’s heat and humidity)! It always impressed me how the African delivery men were able their push carts up the steep hills of the Berea and handle them on the way back, starting at very early hours in the morning! I am not aware of any traffic accidents involving these quite heavy wooden carts. I remember walking between the men sleeping in their bunks in quarters upstairs in the afternoons and they were always very nice to talk to. I never disturbed them though!
    I also remember Jack Ruben who used to own the Royal and Regent dairies.

    • Colleen Ellefsen
      |

      Hi Alan
      (My father owned Durban North Dairy)
      As I wrote earlier, the delivery men never complained about pushing the carts uphill – it was the downhill that they found strenuous, trying not to let the carts “run away” with them!
      There was at least one accident involving a cart, as Mum was phoned and told that a little cart had been involved in an accident. She immediately thought of her little son as our name was Carte!
      I also spent many hours in the dairy. One hot Sunday afternoon, my dog and I went into the empty dairy and my dog licked the lower icy pipes for the pasteurisation, as they were caked in “snow”. I tried likewise higher up, not comprehending that there was very little “snow” on these pipes – and my tongue stuck to the pipe. After much screaming and my dog running to the house, my mother came and pulled me off. I spent the rest of the day with my tongue in a glass water! Ouch!
      We had about 50 staff sleeping on our premises – but as small children we were very thoughtless, playing on the corrugated tin roof! (Can’t understand why they did not complain!) We had a good relationship and enjoyed “putu” with them and learnt to ride their big bicycles with baskets in front!

    • Gerald Buttigieg
      |

      Hi Alan,
      Thanks for that interesting information. The Child Protection Dairy intrigues me as when I listed the dairies of Durban found in the 1938 Durban Directory, the Child Protection Dairy was given as being in Florida Road. You may not want to give your age away but you mention your home was adjacent to it. Could you give the period you are talking of as Florida Road was one of Durban’s early roads and I am trying to imagine where the dairy was situated or was it a depot situated in Florida Road. By the way, I see in the 1938 Directory, F.J. Wells is listed as Chemist at 202 Florida Road. For those trying to localise where No 200 Florida Road was/is , it was between Tenth Ave and Gordon Road so we are talking the upper part of Florida Road not down by the Race Course.

    • Alan Wells
      |

      Hi Gerald, Firstly my input on the cart wheels. I am not 100% sure, but to me they looked a size bigger than a bicycle tyres because the carts ran so smoothly and silently on them. I was born in 1938 and lived above our Wells chemist shop until moving in 1950. Going down Florida Rd on the left would have been the butcher shop owned by Radford. The dairy had a depot next shop down the road. If they were 200 Florida Rd, then the butchers address was No 200a. I hope that answers your query. The next shop down was the butcher owned by Harold Brown. Below that was virgin bush before the building of Standard Bank and Florida Rd Motors owned by the Gee brothers. The dairy and offices actually were operated from the small lane at the back running parallel to Florida Rd. The lane would not have had a street address. The manager was Mr Miles. Across Florida Rd was wild bush as well, but I think it has a more park-like appearance today. Our “gang” actually built a tree house in there! We enjoyed watching everyone getting off the Marriott Rd buses from Field St (Wesleys Tobaconist, corner of Pine St) and walking home below our tree house.

  30. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi
    One photo Colleen sent me of the milk bottling process was missed so I have added it to my original post. One thing I have noticed looking at the photos of the milk carts more closely is that the wheels appear to be solid rubber similar to the ones that were on rickshaws. In the mid 50s when I remember the carts the wheels were like bicycle tyres and filled with air. I think the electric carts were introduced in the mid 1960s. I am sure I have a cutting showing these powered milk carts but the problem is to find it.

  31. Mike
    | Reply

    Dr Hollis the former Mayor of Durban is the son of Mr J G Hollis. Mr JG Hollis was very big in horse racing and had a number of races named after him :

    Clairwood Racing Club forged ahead and
    proved to be popular from its inception. The garden-
    like layout, Tudor-style architecture and modern
    graded track lent a distinctly country atmosphere to
    the venue.
    Mr J.G. Hollis was the founder of the club assisted
    by Mr W.E. Langton and Mr Dick Powell who later
    served as the Starter at the Auckland Park Club in the

    Transvaal for many years. In the days of tape starts
    Powell became famous for his call of: “Triers on the
    inside, non-triers to the outside!”
    Mr. W.H. Hamilton was the first chairman of
    Clairwood and held this office for 10 years. His
    successor was a prominent Durban businessman, Mr.
    Rupert Ellis-Brown. Ellis-Brown was a highly respected
    member of the Durban community, Commodore
    of the Royal Natal Yacht Club and mayor of Durban
    throughout the dark days of World War II.
    Opening meeting
    Five special trains were put on for the opening meeting
    at Clairwood and an estimated crowd of 10,000
    eager people thronged to the track. The race card, 40
    pages long, included several innovations: a full alphabetical
    list of the runners as well as the results of the
    previous seven meetings held in Natal – the provinces
    first ever form guide.
    A detailed map showed all the facilities and amenities
    of the course and also a plan of the track. In modern
    terms, the left-handed oval racetrack was 2500 metres
    in circumference with an easy turn. The run-in
    to the winning post was 600 metres and there was
    a 1200 metre straight, meeting the bend at the 600
    metre post.
    137 horses, of which 49 were English-bred, were entered
    for the first ever Clairwood race meeting and
    the first ever race staged at Clairwood was won by
    Oriel, owned by Messrs Deane & Hollis and the horse
    went on to win the Durban July for the same partnership
    in 1924. The main race of the opening day,
    the Merebank Handicap, was won by an aptly named
    horse called Proud To Fight, trained by Mr A Laird and
    ridden by Johnny Otto who was later to become a
    Jockey Club Stipendiary Steward.
    The Department of Defence brought racing to a
    standstill at Clairwood during WW II from August
    1942 to May 1945 seizing the property for their military
    operations.

  32. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Mike,
    Thanks for that enlightening information. Can I say straight from the horse’s mouth?
    I was never into racing but one read and heard of names so one became knowledgeable on the fringes so to speak. This 1938 Durban Directory I have, has a wonderful mismash of information. This is what the Clairwood Turf Club hierarchy looked like in 1938. All ties in with your information. Chairman R Ellis-Brown Stewards R Ellis Brown, JG Hollis, WE Langton, HFV Dymes, Maj J Raftery, P.Osborn (another Durban Mayor in the 1950s). Judge: DR MacGregor, Asst. Judge: T Druce, Clerk of Scales: HE Yeadon, Hon. Med. Off. : Dr JM Hulett, Hon. Time Keeper: Lovell S. Robertson (had a well know clock business in Durban ), Advisory Expert J. Stayt. Totalisator and Assistant Secretary: WP Rice, Hon. Auctioneers: Hugh M Thompson & Co. ( also well know auction business in Durban). Vet. Surgeon and Inspector of Saddlery: ST Amos. Handicapper, Clerk of the Course, Stakeholder and Secretary : SH Matthews. Also listed is the Durban Turf Club hierarchy.
    So now we know who JG Hollis was.

  33. Alan Wells
    | Reply

    I have the following further memories to comment about on old Florida Rd. Before the bank and garage were built, the Browns butchery had a delivery of meat carcases arrive most afternoons in their covered horse-drawn wagon. The large wheels had wooden spokes and steel rims. After off-loading the carcases, the children of the neighborhood would be allowed to jump aboard for a rough ride around the block to the stables at the back of the butchery. The rear of the wagon was lined by sheet metal on floor and sides and heavens knows how we got there unscathed as there was nothing to hold on to as it was very, very slippery! The horses could graze on grass amongst the trees.

    The Child Protection Dairy was different to other dairies in the area at the time, as they had no herd of cows but brought the milk in daily in large milk cans for bottling. This was on the back of a vehicle as there was no refrigeration in those days. So CPD was no more than a bottling and distribution dairy.

    I have further recollections on the delivery men of the dairy. They had no problem in braking and holding their carts back coming down the Berea hills as their shoes (sandals) were made of sections of old car tyres which adhered to their feet by cross-straps of car inner tubing.
    The shop at 200 Florida Rd served as a drapery shop and also as an outlet for milk tokens though I am uncertain in which order.

    The mayor, JG Hollis owned the fine building on the corner of 10th Ave and Florida Road. Rumor had it that the building because of similarity of style and finish was built of material left over from the building of the Durban City hall! It was later owned by the Tayfield family.

  34. Alan Wells
    | Reply

    With regard to the Sealy family that lived at 197 Florida Rd, their daughter Peggy, was the appointed as the first female bank teller in South Africa.

  35. Debbie Webster
    | Reply

    I came across this site when doing a search on Puntan’s Hill Dairy. We lived in Puntan’s Hill in 1983 for just over a year. Later we moved to the Berea, and whilst investigating a house that was being demolished in our area, I came across a glass 1/2 pint milk bottle in the rubble. I happened to come across it again today and noticed it had Puntan’s Hill Dairy, Clancy Road faintly embossed across it. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be much information as to when Puntan’s Hill Dairy was in operation. Do you perhaps know the dates etc.
    In between our stay in Puntan’s Hill and Berea, around 1984-86, we lived in a small block of flats just behind the Killarney Hotel, where my husband worked. I took photographs of the demolishion of the Bakers Biscuits building, and watched the construction of the now Checkers building. That was very sad to watch as Bakers was a lovely building and we used to rent a large room there to do dance classes in.

    Thanks for the opportunity to take a walk down memory lane

  36. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Debbie Webster put up a post about the Puntan’s Hill Diary. She has sent me photos of a milk bottle she has from that dairy which may be unique. Unfortunately the inscription on the bottle is not very clear so you will have to look closely to see the name “Puntans Hill”. As Debbie said there is a lot of information on the bottle. On the front there is Puntan’s Hill Dairy, Clancy Avenue, Puntan’s Hill Durban Rinse Well. To the side, a crown emblem and the initials G D R. On the bottom DAIRY SPECIALIST DURBAN. Around the bottom edge SUPPLIED BY MARTIN AND HOTCHIN UGB. I wonder what UGB stands for?

    I did a bit of research in my 1938 Durban Directory and did come up with some interesting facts.
    The dairy existed then and was at No 44 Clancy Avenue and the dairy farmer was C.J. Parker. I then looked up Marlton and Hotchin and of all things they were a pet store but also Purveyor’s Requisites! Purveyor is a fancy word for a supplier so they obviously were the agents for the bottles which I would say were imported. In other section of the Directory, Marlton and Hotchin are listed as Dairy Outfitters and carried on business at 237 Pine Street which is where the present day back of Woolworths is.

    Click on the pictures of the milk bottle to enlarge them:


    • Mike
      |

      Hi Gerald,
      The only reference I can find relating to UGB is as follows. Don’t know if it helps ??.

      United Glass Bottle Manufacturers – Grace’s Guide
      http://www.gracesguide.co.uk/United_Glass_Bottle_Manufacturers
      – U. G. B. Bottles are:- Accurate in Capacity; the Corkage is Correct; the Height and Shape are Uniform; the Strongest Bottles Made.

    • Debbie Webster
      |

      Thank you for your input Mike. That’s a great pamphlet on your link. Use Good Bottles. I’m amazed that they produced 250 million bottles a year in 1922!! That’s incredible. There again, there were probably no plastic bottles, only glass, back then.

  37. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Mike,
    Wow that was quick. I think you have nailed it. I doubt if there was a bottle manufacturer in Durban at the time nor in South Africa. The pictures are not too good but I will try and get them reduced which may improve the images. The GRD is also interesting . GR and a Crown is usually associated with Georgius Rex, King George and at that time there was George Fifth followed by George Sixth. But the D has got me.

  38. John Dighton
    | Reply

    Hi Gerald,

    congratulations on the FAD site, it is excellent and I hope to add a few more memories here. I lived on the Bluff at 839 Bluff Rd from 1956-1961. I went to Fynnlands Senior Primary School where my father Alton Dighton taught from 1955-1961 inclusive. There was a model dairy on Dunnville Road, just on the corner with Beacon Road where one could get a good view of the ocean and also the valley between the twin dunes of the Bluff.

    On the other side of this site, there was a bowling green sandwiched between Bluff Rd and Dunnville Rd. There was a bus stop on the Bluff Rd side where one could catch a bus into Durban. I notice that neither the bowling green or Model Dairy exist anymore, so am not sure when either were closed as I left South Africa in December of 1961.

    We used to receive milk at Fynnlands daily and I am sure that it was from this Model Dairy. The milk was so cold and tasted so good unlike the terrible stuff that passes for milk nowadays, just a few molecules short of being plastic!!

    If I remember more I will write again, but my memories are more detailed about Fynnlands Primary, Salisbury Island and Brighton Beach than on the Model Dairy.

    Cheers,

    John Dighton

  39. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi John,
    Thanks for your input. I did not know there was a Model Dairy on the Bluff. My knowledge of the Bluff is not that good. Please let us have your memories on the subjects you mention. You left SA a long time ago; if you have not been back you will not probably recognise Durban today.

  40. heather
    | Reply

    Note to Rodney. When Mitchell Road Girls’ School relocated to Earl Haig Road, the old site became home to Durban Commercial High School – I attended here from 1972-1973. It was seen as the natural progression to Durban Technical College, which later became known as The Natal College for Advanced Technical Education, now known as Technikon (M L Sultan Technikon). When DCHS disappeared into the history books, the school morphed into Bechet College (Indian).

    Another school I attended, no longer in existence, is Carmel College which was situated near the University campus bookshop – also next door to Convent High. The school is also now an Indian establishment.

  41. Pete Kitchen
    | Reply

    I grew up in Essex Road in Umbilo, Durban during the 1950s and later in Davenport Road (Umbilo Road end) and can remember a bakery that we used to walk to in a small road between Umbilo and Gale Street. The bakery’s name was Puck’s Pantry.
    Does that ring any bells??

  42. Chris
    | Reply

    So not sure if anyone is interested – but yesterday I was in our roof looking for a leak and I found an old milk bottle. Looking for Creamline Dairies I came across this site. Not sure if anyone would be interested in the bottle? It can’t be too old as our house was built in the late 1960’s. It’s a pint bottle with a Pinetown phone number – 79471 and the old address – 47 Oppenheimer Street. I’d post a picture of it, but not sure how to do that here…..If you want it, its yours…

  43. Matthew Mullins
    | Reply

    Hi Gerald.
    I came across this site trying to find information on/ date a milk bottle we found buried in the yard of our plumbing company in Doornfontein Johannesburg. The bottle is a “ONE PINT” Nel’s Rust Dairies bottle. It has the British crown emblem with the letters E A R below it. The writing is molded on the bottle in both English an and Afrikaans. The Text is as follows.
    THIS BOTTLE IS THE
    PROPERTY OF
    NEL’S RUST DAIRIES
    A BRANCH OF
    NATIONAL CO- OPERATIVE
    DAIRIES LTD

    There is a triangle on the bottom with the letters G C W inside – C at the top, G left bottom corner and the W on the right. It looks like the same letters are outside the sides if the triangle although not very clearly molded. There is also a 1 above the top point of the triangle and 358 below the base.
    On a Clover Dairies article it states that the National Co-operative Dairies Ltd was founded in 1934. I have been in contact with the curator of the Baynesfield museum. They did not seem to have any information on the bottle itself but did give me a bit of history of the farm itself. It was quite interesting as my Great, great grandfather on my mothers side John Montegue Cockburn farmed in the Richmond / Eston area from About 1850 having come out from Scotland via Spain, The Cape and i believe he may have spent some time in the Mount Edgecome area. Other relatives in the area from that time were The Comries, Moores, Antels, Aitkens and Schmidts.

  44. Gerald
    | Reply

    Hi Matthew
    Living in the Byrne Valley, I can relate to Baynesfield which is not far away and I have visited quite often. A very short history. The original farm was called Nel’s Rust and dates to when the Voortrekkers trekked into Natal with the Great Trek circa 1836. The Voortrekkers were allocated very large farms. Britain annexed Natal in 1842 taking over all the land once occupied by the Voortrekkers who had moved out of Natal. Joseph Baynes bought Nel’s Rust farm in 1863 and renamed it Baynesfield. He started a dairy farm and kept the name Nel’s Rust Dairy. The dairy expanded and he started what came to be known as Model Dairies in Durban. These were milk bars/ tearooms and he opened several such facilities in Durban. One was in Gardiner Street, another in Field St. , and the best known one the Model Dairy at the Beach. This is where the name Dairy Beach comes from. Sadly the fine old building was pulled down not so long ago when the beach front was remodelled. Baynes died 1925 and bequeathed the whole Baynesfield Farm to the nation. It is still operational.

    To your bottle. I think there was a similar one at the Baynesfield Dairy Museum. Being PInt it would be pre-decimal period from the time when milk was sent out from Baynesfield. There was a railway siding at the farm. The CGW could be Consolidated Glass Works who would have produced the bottle. This is a guess but the Crown and EAR could relate to the then reigning couple King Edward VII and his wife Queen Alexandra. Edward Alexander Regnum EAR.They reigned 1901 to 1910. Not sure what the numbers relate to but probably “bottle” details.

    Interestingly enough I recall that in the very early 1950s, I lived in Johannesburg as a young boy then, milk was supplied in wax cartons, khaki coloured with wax interior and exterior. The forerunner of the tetrapak carton today. This was supplied by Nel’s Rust Dairies.

    The names you mentioned are mostly old Richmond families.

  45. Deryk McBain
    | Reply

    Hi Gerald, The dairy in Umhlanga Rocks Drive was Davis’ Dairy, I think. Their cows use to graze across the road where Park Hill Bowling Club is today – having moved from it’s original site in North Coast Rd. I was Cake Sales Manager at Bakers Ltd in Sydney Rd (1964 -1973), and personally launched Valerie Roux frozen range of family size pies in 1964. I attended Dbn North School in Chelsea Dr, then Tech High School. Lived in Rhodesias 1951 to 1963, Emigrated to USA in 2000. South Carolina – 11years, New Jersey – 4 years, presently living in Gilroy, California, 4 years and counting. Wendy Morgan was my first serious girlfriend, who attended Northlands Girls HS. I married Maureen Mc Hattie, who passed in May 1999.

    So nice to recognize so many places and people who have commented to your historical site. Keep it going and encourage re-connects from name recognitions. Cheers, Deryk.

  46. Deryk McBain
    | Reply

    Does anyone remember the name of the horse riding stables in Durban North. They were positioned where the Japanese Gardens / Glenwood Old Boys Club were later established. A bunch of us Red Hill “lighties” learned to ride there, and used to take outrides to Rocket Hut and Beachwood.

  47. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Deryk
    Cannot help you with the name of the Riding School but the Glenwood Old Boys’ Club was in Radar Drive.

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