Syd Oram asked for information on several Durban topics. In order to “thin the herd” as such I am going to put the Coronation Brick and Tile topic as a separate post as that company goes back many years in Durban’s history. I really do not know much about Coronation Brick and Tile save to say that the Company Offices where alongside North Coast Road in the early 60s. It also was a source for employment for many school leavers as I recall quite a few of my friends started their working careers there. The other thing I remember from the 60s/70s were the Coronation Brick Trucks which were large tippers. Bricks were sold by the truckfull and at the depot they were merely loaded as they came. On delivery the truck merely tipped the load on your property and the first thing that had to be done was to barrow the bricks to the build site. Broken and half bricks were part of the deal and one merely had to accept that. It was only in the late 80s that pallets of bricks shrink wrapped in plastic and hoisted off the trucks, replaced the ‘dumping” of orders.
But to get back to what Syd asked. I have in my possession what must be quite collectable, a 1930’s catalogue of Coronation Brick and Tile products. This catalogue belonged to my late father in law Arch Black. He had always wanted to study architecture but the war intervened. The range of brick products that were once available is amazing. There was one caveat though; you could have any colour as long as it was red. Blue bricks were available but only on special order. The first pages of the catalogue give a bit of the history as well as pictures of the various works. Dates are given as 1905 and 1928. I attach these as pictures. CLICK on pictures to enlarge.The catalogue also shows some pictures of some building in Durban and other centres in South Africa where Coronation products were used. The picture below shows the Plaza Hotel (indicated as being in Grey Street) but now in Broad Street. Grey Street used to run all the way down to the Victoria Embankment. The picture shows the Plaza as it was originally and no doubt was added to in later years.
Note that at the time the catalogue was produced the telephone numbers in Durban only had 4 digits. The 5 digit numbers were introduced round about the early 1930s.