My informant Richard Holmes wrote in with a reply to a long-ago query in the diary about a singer called Bill Williams:
Your reader David Rastall asks if anyone can remember a nightclub singer / piano player from 50’s in Durban named Bill Williams. David used to have an LP of him recorded live at the Hotel Edward in 1959.- this request was in the Diary of 10 November 2010.
Indeed I remember Bill very well indeed – I was an impressionable youth at the time and his brand of naughtiness seemed very adult to me
I first heard of Bill when he was playing in the nightclub at the old Langham Hotel in Johannesburg.He subsequently had a few seasons at the Edward.He also had at least one run at a hotel that I forget the name of now.It was run by a lady called Mrs Lewin ( her son Lenny became a Solicitor in Durban ). The hotel was situated a bit back from the northern Marine Parade probably opposite the Four Seasons and near the old Coogee Hotel.
My favourite memory of Bill was when he opened the new bars at the Ocean View in 1962 or 3.It was an absolutely riotous evening untiil the lights went out.I had a Fiat Toppolino at the time ( oh how I wish I had that now ) and it was the only car small enough to manoeuvre into the pub doors so that the headlights could illuminate the interior. Needless to say the party continued unabated
I assume that Bill will have passed some time ago as he was by no means a young man then.
On the subject of the Edward I am surprised that no-one has mentioned Mel & Mel ( later Mel,Mel & Julian ) upstairs on the first floor – in the Rose Room I think it was called. To this day I have memories of not only many happy evenings there but of what an outstanding entertainment unit they were,