Reader Paul Woodham just wrote in with a few memories of his time in Durban:

Lived in Durban from October 1970 to January 1972. What an incredible place; once you get the sand between the toes you are hooked. Will never forget the city. Used to frequent the Cumberland and played darts for the hotel.

Remember The Los Angeles in Berea (Lionel behind the bar), The Cooge , Crazy Horse Saloon. Stayed in Berea lido !!! Mentone Mansions and The Oceanic. Worked for SARAH as a crane driver.

* Jason Fox is interested to know if anyone has info about an old toll booth in the Drummond valley.

* Helene Beisheim wrote in to ask if anyone had information about an old Durban house:

The Manor House which now forms part of the San Kellind complex. Rumour has it that it belonged to the Tollkeeper’s son? A prominent feature of the House is its lovely stone arches.

I need more information about the house I am an co-owner of. It’s name is ‘San Kellind’ and the street address is 15 Charles Henwood Avenue. It is situated on the corner of Charles Strachan and Charles Henwood Ave. The house is about 100 yrs old, if not more, and I would like to find about the history.
Thank you.

* Mo Heine would like to know if there was a drive-inn cinema in Umhlanga and would interested in any photographs, if available.

Please use the the contact link above to drop me a line if you can help with any of the above.

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15 Responses

  1. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Helene,
    I tried to locate the house San Kellind in both the 1938 and 1968 Durban directories that I have access to. In 1938, Mayville was then considered a “district” or outlying suburb of Durban so there is not much detail. Both roads are now in what is called West Ridge. In the 1938 alphabetical list of residents mention is made of Henwood Avenue only. Only two addresses are given No 20 Mrs E Henwood and No 25 E.H. Greaves. Although it does not help you, in the Origin of Durban Street names book the following is given: Charles Henwood Avenue, runs off Jan Smuts Highway at Westridge. This old thoroughfare took its name from the home of Charles Henwood at Mayville and was known as Henwood Avenue until 1955 when the christian name was added. Henwood was Mayor of Durban 1905 to 1909. Mrs Henwood above was probably his widow.
    In the 1968 directory both Charles Henwood Ave and Charles Strachan Road are listed. The only street numbers given in Charles Henwood Ave are No. 8, a house called “Homepark” , No 20 a house called “Greenpark” (could be the old Henwood residence) and nos. 42, 44, 46, 48. Nothing listed for the left hand side of the road.
    No information given for any residents in Charles Strachan Rd. Rather obscure but that’s the best I can find. Why not send Allan Jackson a photo of this old house so we can see what it looks like?

    • Gerald Buttigieg

      Hi Helene
      Just an idea but why not approach Durban City Engineers Plans Dept. They used to be in the City Engineers building in Old Fort Road. Most old plans have dates to them. Unusual frontage on the house with the somewhat small windows for the large front area. The arched door and the ornate “skylight” window very unusual. Would be an interesting exercise to get to the bottom of it.

  2. Bianca Lawrence
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    There was definitely a drive-in in Umhlanga. It wasn’t far from the Natal Sharks Board and was surrounded by sugar cane. I suspect that that area is now a built up area with office blocks. We used to go there often. It had a small T-room at the back that sold cool drinks, popcorn and hot dogs on stale rolls! Had a long and convoluted access road from main entrance to the car spots and speakers! I think it closed down early eighties.

  3. Gerald Buttigieg
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    Hi Mo,
    I asked someone who lived at Durban North for many years and he said he remembers the Drive In being at Ballito and not at Umhlanga. I never patronised either so cannot say. Unfortunately no photos. Maybe someone else can clear this up.

  4. Bob Gooderson
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    Hi Mo
    There was definately a drive in Umhlanga near Natal Sharks Board. Not sure when it closed but I remember the Jaguar Drivers Club holding an event there in 1969 or 70. Who else remembers the JDC. Jeremy Whysall, Tony Laserow and myself were involved in the formation of the club and there were quite a few members. At sometime during the clubs existence we had an evening function at the Red Garter on the 5th floor of the Lonsdale. Another venue which might bring back memories

    • Rodney

      Bob, were you born while the Goodersons lived in Fairway? If so, then we lived just about opposite you. The Gooderson property was cut off from the southern end of the property of the house ‘ Coral Gables’. ‘ Coral Gables’ was built by the writer Hein Wicht and could be worth a short FAD article itself. I seem to remember that it featured in a book on Spanish style houses in Africa. I also remember that the next owner was a Dr Stern – it may have been him that sold your parents a portion of his property.

    • Bob Gooderson

      Hi Rodney.
      I was the Gooderson who owned the house in Fairway. As far as I can remember I purchased it in early 1963 or 1964 and sold it in November of the same year when I bought a house in Monteith Place. We had 3 children Christine who was then 7, Barbara 5 and Robert 3. If memory is right I paid £7500 for it and sold it for £9000. I think that we were the second owners.

    • Karen Ward

      I stayed at your home as a child …. i am now 57! Met your kids at Drak Gdns!

  5. John Taylor
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    The Umhlanga Drive In was situated on what is now a retirement home next to the prefabricated Umhlanga SAPS station. One of the reasons that it closed down was that the metal supports for the screen had corroded badly from the sea air and the screen was in danger of collapsing. I seem to recall that the site was also used for go kart and small motorcycle (50 to 125cc) racing.

  6. Andre Harmse
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    Hi Paul Woodham, my name is Andre Harmse and I would like to share some comments. I also stayed at the Berea Lido in Grants Grove Berea at the time when Roger Service was the owner and we use to listen to him on Springbok Radio programme “The Men from the Ministry”. This was in the late 60’s and my mate Austin York and myself also use to the L.A hotel , Cumberland up on Musgrave Rd. Lots of memories there and also use to go to a club called “Tiles” on the Esplanade where we had a great time dancing and charming the chicks.
    I left Durban in 1969 after completing my stint at the State Health Dept after completing my army training. Remember the Cuban Hat on thebeachfront, Smuggies, Joe’s Snooker Saloon and the Alambrah movie house? Very fond memories and the beach parties at Winkelspruit?
    Keep well

  7. Stephen Berry
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    I have been looking at some old photos. My great great uncle Robin ( Robinson Berry) moved there must have been in the 1930s when the house was new. I have photos of the house. He was the first owner of 20 Monteith Place, North Durban. I have looked on the net and it says this house was last sold in 1948 ‘wow’. I would be interested to know who is there now and would like to trace his descendants. I am the only direct descendant left in the UK with the surname retained i.e. Berry. My dad and grandma went out in 1990 to visit Joyce and Lorna I think that was their names, they were the daughters of Robinson. I think one of them moved to 72 Marion Ave, Glenashley, Durban
    Can anyone give me any further information.

    From Stephen Berry
    Foulridge, Colne, Lancashire. UK

    • Robbie Berry

      Hi Stephen,my name is Robinson James Berry.I am Thomas Berry’s grandson and great Grandson of Robinson Berry.
      The house is now home to the USA consulate general.
      Hope this is hopeful and my father would (also Robinson) would love to hear from you.

    • Robinson Berry

      Hello Stephen. Im Robinson Berry son of Thomas grandson of Robinson.i met i assume your dad in 1990 with my dad.would be nice to get in concact with the family.my number is SA 27834256071.

  8. j. Hilton
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    I stayed in the Berea Lido in 1967. Very cheap and good food. The place was also crawling with cockroaches.

    They used to show films illegally on sundays and the manager was a twit.

    Does this place still exist?

  9. Alex Zazworka
    | Reply

    Alex Zazworka
    Hi everybody
    I loved in the Berea Lido, 168/69.
    Great place for parties where everybody landed up in the pool. We also went to “The men from the Ministry” to do some prompted laughing. We also were regulars at the “South Sea” coffee bar, where anybody would take their guitar and play a song.
    Brerea Lido has lots of good memories. I have been looking for it some years ago, but it does not exist anymore. Not even the road, Grants grove.

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